Seabiscuit. I’m working backwards—Seabiscuit with a cheesecake glopped in cognac whipped cream. Also called Vital Precedence due to a greed it’s important (vitally so) to indulge this time of year. A dozen kids galloping around our yard, dogs weaving between (or dodging) Ninja moves and soccer kicks and instant monkeys (no accidents, no tears—I barely had time to marvel over this). I was given books and bookstore gift certificates and a picture of my son from my son. A festive, reddish rug with a plumed rooster emblazoned on it appeared in the mini-foyer of my home. Somehow it enhanced the twinkle lights and faintly glittering wreaths (none of them real, all of them well-appled). When the garlands and lights and triangle-tree disappear, it will be as if the Madonna Inn came and went and we will want to follow it, like traveling circus addicts. I had a list on the pantry cupboard that was meant to guide helpfully. I never looked at it once. I recall running (flat out runs) from the back of the house to the kitchen, searching for my camera as masterpieces were swiftly built and destroyed in my son’s room. I’m fairly certain there’s a new sake set (boxed bottles with cups) somewhere in the house. Also a Farmer’s Almanac cookbook I’d like to browse. And once again I walk the dog in winter, at night, just me and the big galumph, because certain houses beam outdoor Christmas displays visible from Space, standing in for the streetlamps that don’t exist here and I. Feel. Safe.