Thursday, December 6, 2007

C-c-cc-Cold E-e-e-eev-ening in Wi-wi-wi-Wichit-t-t-ttt-a . . .

Joy and I, swept wayyyyy up in the holiday spirit, decided to take Ava to Wichita's performing arts and convention center, Century II last evening for the official lighting of the Wichita City Christmas Tree (yep, we are here in the Heartland where you can just say Merry Christmas v. Happy Holidays without fear of what might happen - it's an odd feeling after more than a decade in Politically Correct America).

I have talked in the past about how summer turning to fall had me realizing that there are some "downsides" to losing 200 pounds in nine months . . . namely (in this scenario) the insulating impact that weight once had on your frame. Let me be very, very clear - early October in Connecticut simply does NOT compare with early December in Wichita in terms of realizing just what a difference a few hundred pounds can make on a person's body.

It was COLD here last night. All day yesterday, frankly. It never got higher than 35 on the old thermometer and the wind chill put it in the low 20s. I ran home after work to put on a sweater and to grab my coat and scarf. That's right. I wore a COAT and a SCARF and a SWEATER. A year ago - the very thought of all three clothing items at the same time would have made me sweatier and itchier than I can even explain. I even considered wearing the same socks that I used as gloves while decorating the outside of the house on Sunday morning (Dear Santa, I need some gloves. Please. - Sean) to keep my fingers warm. That would have been a bit much though, right?

So we got down to Century II and we were early - too early - about 5:35. We huddled in the lobby of the building for 15 minutes and then headed out in to the cold. The Mayor arrived, the college choir took the stage and I slowly realized I could no longer feel my nose, fingers or ankles. The choir sang their first song. The shivering began. The choir sang their second song. My back started to hurt from the cold (it was not Ava's 20 pounds of warmth in my arms (Ava, by the way, was wearing three layers of clothes, gloves, a hat and a scarf (she was actually toasty warm when we got her home and started to peel the layers off)). The radio DJ spoke. I started looking at the tree going "eh, who cares?!" The Mayor spoke. Yadda, yadda, political yadda, I grunted. The choir sang AGAIN. Surely Jesus doesn't want this to mark his Birthday, I thought. The countdown began "10, 9, 8" "The MINUTE they flip that switch, we take two pictures and run to the car," I stuttered. "7, 6, 5" "Hell yes," Joy retorted. "4, 3, 2, 1" - CLICK, CLICK, CLICK. Thump, thump, thump (My frozen feet across the cold, cold concrete).

All in all - it was nice. The choir sounded great. The tree was pretty. We went and took part in the festitivites and Ava's photo album will never know that we didn't stick around for the fireworks, face painting, Santa's arrival or horse drawn carriage rides.

I drank three mugs of hot Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride Tea (I swear it tastes JUST like cookies and is a great Christmas snack for the GBer who can't eat cookies anymore - they also have Gingerbread Spice and Candy Cane Lane too ( have yet to try them)) while preparing dinner.
It was goooooood. The tree lighting, the feeling returing to my extremities and, of course, the holiday spirit and this Christmas just being DIFFERENT!

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