Cooperstown Crier - Your Source for Hometown News - Cooperstown, Baseball Hall of Fame

January 2, 2014

Coping with the Christmas chaos...

By Catherine Ellsworth
Cooperstown Crier

---- — We must admit that we had a rather down and up ending to 2013. 

In the midst of all our preparations for our Christmas visitors, we suddenly felt most unwell exactly one week before the big day. In fact, we felt so unwell and so uncertain as to exactly what the difficulty might be that we quite panicked, ending up with the arrival of both the Cooperstown police and the Cooperstown Emergency Squad at our door. This was followed by an ambulance ride to the ER at Bassett where we eventually determined we would live, something for which we were rather grateful.

And we must say we cannot say enough about the excellent care we received at both the hands of the Cooperstown Emergency Squad and the Bassett ER staff. And, of course, we must extend a big thank you to our good friend Betty Giffin, who graciously accompanied us on our ER visit, providing transportation when we returned home in the middle of the night. We were also most impressed that we procured a follow up appointment in what we consider to be a rather acceptable time frame. All in all, we were most pleased at the outcome of what we found to be a rather scary event.

And, we were able to recover from the episode in time to greet the family’s newest arrival, Marin, aka The Mar-Bear, who breezed into town on the 23rd with her parents and older sister, The Widge, in tow. And then on the 24th, before Santa made his appearance, her Connecticut grandparents, Hal and Judy Higby arrived to partake of our Cooperstown Christmas. We all celebrated Christmas Eve with a dinner at the home of Harvey and Alice Eckler of Fly Creek. And we enjoyed Christmas Day dinner at the home of Al and Sandy Bullard of Milford. We then marked Boxing Day with dinner at the Hawkeye Grill. Needless to say, we ate well.

We did manage to provide, courtesy of Christopher and Annie’s culinary skills, a Christmas bunch at home which we ate with relish following a two hour gift opening session. Our appointed task at the opening of the presents was to corral the wrapping paper once it had been removed from the gift. Fortunately for us, the main gift opener, who will celebrate her 4th birthday on January 18, was most helpful in delivering the wrapping paper to Gramma’s outstretched hand.

All in all, we think it is safe to say that, in spite of the chaos, we had our most enjoyable Christmas in recent years. And the Higbys report that both the accommodations and breakfasts at the Cooper Inn were excellent. We certainly are already looking forward to next year’s celebration, which we realize may or may not be in Cooperstown, but will be when The Mar-Bear will no doubt take a more active part in the festivities. We also look forward to more “out of the mouths of babes” comments, such as the one we got this year from The Widge.

 Although she had ordered take out mac and cheese with French fries, she asked if she could have a bite of the pizza that had also been ordered. Her mother pointed out to her that the pizza had onions on it, something we gather The Widge is not big on. She peered at the pizza for a moment and announced she would be careful. We are still laughing.

And we also think that before celebrating Christmas again in Cooperstown, it would behoove us to remove some of our clutter before the clutter of Christmas arrives. Unfortunately, we are well known in the family as the Queen of Clutter. For example, we have known for years that we are afflicted with an overload of stuff.  But as we prepared for the Ohio Ellsworths to visit, we came up with a precise explanation of the problem.  

Not that we needed one this year, 105 Pioneer still houses five, count them, five generations of highchairs.  Starting with our great-aunt Nina’s combination stroller/highchair, we also have the he-we’s father’s highchair, the he-we’s highchair, The wee-we’s, aka Christtopher’s, highchair and The Widge’s, destined to be Marin’s, Cooperstown highchair.  We can’t decide if we should start a museum or get a dumpster.

Equally disturbing is the fact we have written this column since 1984 which means that we are starting, with this column, our 31st year. We must say that we find this somewhat unbelievable. Yet, when we glanced through a recent copy of the paper for which we used to write, we realized that a Cooperstown Carol we had written was quoted, in part, under the 25 years ago part of the “Bound Volumes” column.

We were stunned, not only by the fact that the carol was quoted, but also by the fact that as we read it, we realized we had no idea what it was about. Thus we were forced to go back in our archives to read it in full, after which we realized that of which we spoke. However, we fear that the casual reader might not understand that the carol, written in 1988, dealt in great part with the impending festivities to be held in 1989 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Hall of Fame.

And now, it seems we are facing the upcoming the festivities that will mark the 75th anniversary of the Hall of Fame. It just doesn’t seem possible, especially since we are the same age now that we were in 1988. Of course, while we tend to think we have not aged, we must admit that we have lost ground when it comes to our physical abilities. But fortunately it seems that we are still able to maneuver our way around the keyboard of the computer which means the column, from our perspective, will be able to continue as we plow ahead in 2014.

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