December 27, 2023

Just My Opinion - By Mary Kilen

The Hustle And Bustle
As I sit and write my column on Christmas evening, the hustle and bustle has come and gone at our house. After having their own family Christmas on Friday, Amanda, Zach, Carter, Jozie and Abel, along with their dogs Hank and Judd, came on Saturday afternoon. We benefited from Zach’s hunting this fall, having pheasant kabobs for supper with our friends Don and Connie.
After supper, Don and Connie headed home, while the rest of us got ready to head to the theater. We are so lucky to have our theater in town run by dedicated volunteers. Depending on when Christmas falls, the theater may not be open, but this year’s volunteers were prepared to run the movie on Friday and Saturday evenings. That was a bonus for us because it was “Wonka”.
A little back story for my readers. Carter and I watch Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory every time he comes to stay in the summer. We usually watch the original with Gene Wilder, but we have also watched the Johnny Depp version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. My favorite is the classic and the same with Carter. When he was here this summer, we saw the early commercials for “Wonka” and swore we would see it together.
When Ruth Hysjulien sent me the movie list and “Wonka” was supposed to show Christmas weekend I was excited. I was also unsure if the movie would show, but thanks to the volunteers this last weekend, it did.
We found our row, settled in with our popcorn and treats, and waited for the movie to start. Poor Abie maybe made it about 20 minutes before he fell asleep. The rest of us thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. It was a great way to start our Christmas weekend.
Sunday was busy. We had lots of good food, including a first time prime rib for us, which Amanda cooked to perfection. Sunday evening was time to open presents and some time playing with new gifts before bed.
Monday started out with Santa gifts and stocking gifts before time to make lunch. Unfortunately, we found out as we started to cook that our turkey fryer died. We had a ham to cook too and plenty of other goodies, so it was fine, other than Dale’s disappointment. That turkey fryer is his thing and we have enjoyed a number of deep fried turkeys over the years. I, meanwhile, will be cooking that turkey likely on Tuesday since it is thawed.
With uncertainty about the weather heading south and towards Bismarck, the kids left midafternoon to head home. I don’t blame them. If that freezing rain tracks off even a little bit, it could make driving home tricky and I would certainly prefer they do that in daylight.
I would have loved to have them stay longer. It seems like we spend so much time getting ready for the holidays. There’s always all of the preparation and excitement leading up to getting together and then before you know it, it is over. We had a great time but it all seemed to fly by so fast.
Meanwhile, the kids will get another Christmas over New Year’s with Zach’s parents and his brother and family. It will be another busy weekend for them. As I’ve said before, we alternate the holidays so this is their Christmas at New Years. I’m sure they will be just as busy and the time will fly by again.
As I look at heading into the New Year this week, we are again turning the paper over quickly. With the Monday holiday, we will again be observing early deadlines. All copy and advertising for the January 3 issue will need to be in our office no later than Friday, Dec. 29. The office will be closed on Monday, Jan. 1 and we are likely to be in the office for only a short time on Tuesday, Jan. 2 to upload our issue to our printing plant.
I won’t feel the same pressure as this past weekend because I know that I can still come in on Saturday or Sunday if necessary to finish my own work. I was intent last week on getting done before the kids came and much to everyone’s surprise we were done on Friday before we left the office other than my writing this column. That allowed me to spend all of the time the kids were here at home enjoying the holiday weekend.

Will you make New Year’s resolutions? I don’t know how many times I have said that I usually avoid making resolutions at the New Year. So many times, those resolutions made don’t last. We all start the new year with high hopes and expectations. We resolve to make changes. It might be weight loss, quitting smoking, exercising more, or one of any other myriad of life choices.
I generally “resolve” to procrastinate less and get more done during the week to give myself more free time on the weekends. Then I find myself with most of my writing anyway. Sometimes, it’s my own fault. Other times, it’s just that there was so much going on throughout the week.
This year, I think that my goal will be somewhat the same, but it will also be to make more time to spend with family. Since breaking my foot in August, we have not seen Amanda, Zach and the kids as much as we usually would. We would often take a day trip just to visit. When my foot was in the cast, that was not as easy. Once I was out of the cast, things got busy and we didn’t get to Bismarck more than once. I need to change that. I miss them too much when we have that much time between visits together, whether it is here at our house or theirs.
I wish our readers a Happy New Year! May you find joy and happiness in the New Year!