The tub and the table – part 2

We closed the shop door, and I told Josiah that SURELY Scott wouldn’t have a reason to go into the shop before Christmas.  After all, it was December 17, he wouldn’t even be back in town till very late on December 19, we had already – well, okay, the boys had already – hauled the boxes of Christmas decorations out of the shop, and he’d only even be here for five days before Christmas.  What were the odds?

Josiah repeated decisively, “I PROMISE you, Dad WILL go into the shop before Christmas.”

We own a vacation rental home.  Managing it is one of Scott’s primary responsibilities – or should I say, “recreations?”  He is definitely a hands-on manager, and he is always researching and coming up with ways to make our assets more profitable.

In May, he and I took a weekend away and stayed in a vacation home that had a hot tub.  It was most relaxing and enjoyable, and ever since then, Scott has been with the hot tub concept like a dog with a bone.  It is an idea that will not go away, and he decided that it would be fiscally prudent to put a hot hub at our vacation rental home.  (!!!)  After a lot of looking and shopping and considering and planning, he found the one he wanted in a local store, and then proceeded to buy it at a significant discount from an auction site.

I assumed the hot tub would be delivered to the vacation rental home, but that was an inaccurate assumption on my part.  Scott’s actual plan was to bring the hot tub to our house and have it here for a while so that he could learn all the ins and outs of hot tub operation and maintenance before putting it at the vacation home.

We discussed this situation at length.  I was not at all keen on the idea of a hot tub at our house.  For one thing, I think the best place to put a hot tub is out on a deck.  We have no deck.  Not to worry.  Scott brainstormed all kinds of other places we could put the hot tub:  in the office, in the playroom, out in the shop. . . etc.  When it became obvious that, despite my concerns and preferences, the hot tub would indeed come to the house, I gave in.  The hot tub would at some time be installed in the playroom and reside there for the near future.

Katie flew home on December 20 to spend for twelve wonderful days with us.  What a delight she has been!  One of our Christmas traditions that is particularly special to her is our annual jaunt to Silver Dollar City a few days before Christmas.  We all enjoy the lights, the sounds, the rides, the lights, the shows, the lights, and most especially the huge Christmas tree that plays “Carol of the Bells” with an amazing coordinated light display.  Katie has said, “Once I get to watch the tree play ‘Carol of the Bells,’ it’s Christmas!”  I agree!  By that point, most of the work (shopping, wrapping, cooking, baking, decorating) has been done, and going to Silver Dollar City is kind of like permission to breathe and actually ENJOY Christmas.

Katie and Jessica and I have even been known to dance in front of the tree.  We really like it a LOT, and I was determined to experience that with Katie again this year.  This was the first year since we have lived here that we have not had season passes, so none of us has been to Silver Dollar City all year.

Since we are planning to go en masse next May when the extended Roberts family convenes in Branson for a family reunion, the guys (who aren’t quite as excited about the tree as we females) decided they could wait till then to go.  Actually, Josiah said his only reason to go would be to ride “Outlaw Run,” – according to him the only wooden roller coaster in the WORLD to go upside down – and we all agreed that for the price of a one-day pass, that would be better enjoyed in May than December.  Besides that, the weather for the few days between Katie’s arrival in Branson and Christmas was going to be cold, windy, and rainy.  In fact, the rain was expected to start the evening she arrived!

So. . . she and decided to go to the City straight from the airport.  As a bonus, because SDC had been closed for a couple days and had lost a lot of business during even when open to guests during the heavy snow a couple weeks previously, they were offering one-day passes at about a $15 discount!  We bundled up and went with joy, and we had a simply marvelous time.  We did all the things we wanted to do, and none of the things we didn’t.  We looked in shops, rode the carousel, watched them make taffy, and stood and cried while the tree played “Carol of the Bells!”

Our final event of the evening was to go to the McHaffie cabin to see the Homestead Pickers in action.  We really like these guys.  They play guitar, fiddle, double bass, banjo, harmonica, and sometimes even hammered dulcimer.  = )  The night we were there, some thirty ladder-back chairs were crammed into the cabin, and we were shoe-horned in as tight as sardines.  Actually, I’m not sure how the fire marshal lets them get away with that; even if we had wanted to leave, there was simply no way we could have gotten out of there till about twenty people left ahead of us, so we sat back and figured we’d just be there for the duration.  It was almost claustrophobic, but the music distracted me from the tight quarters.

They did insert a painfully long comedy routine in the middle, but FINALLY the musicians did get back to playing music, and we were both so very glad. So I was sitting there, minding my own business, bouncing my knee, the pickers were picking, and all was well. . . when sometime around 7:30 PM my phone rang.

I saw that it was Josiah and so decided I’d better answer.  What he told me stood my wonderful, relaxing evening completely on its ear.

To Be Continued. . .

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