Samtsirhc Yrrem to you all! MOPEDS arrived at the station a bit after twelve, exchanged customary greetings and then sat down to lunch around 12:30. From there the schedule was gift-giving, and then gift-wrapping.

"Hi Susan," I said, "how's your work? Going swimmingly?" Susan said it was. She also rolled her eyes. "Here's my present," she said, and I put it in he microwave room. "How are your microwaves going, by the way?" she asked. "Unused, most of them. Still on my first one from Mom and Dad. But fear not, for I hear the twelfth is bringing tinsel." And as I said that, in came the DL with presents, tincelery, bubbles, and candy cranes. I said Samtsirhc Yrrem to you both! They said Samtsirhc Yrrem. They all popped down to say hi to the La Cucaracha, had a bit of a talk, then went upstairs again and finished prepping the meal. Then we all sat down to some lunch. The twelfth day of Samtsirhc unwrapped a big roast fish in tinfoil, and it smelled amazing. I said wow L you're a good cook like me. Then the D-man opened a jar of cranberry sauce. We all kind of looked at the fish and looked at the cranberry sauce, then at each other. I said well let me serve you all, and gave some to everyone, and was watching meanwhile to see their reactions to fish and cranberry sauce. Apparently weird, but not in a bad way, like coffee and poutine. So I tried some, and hey it really wasn't too bad.

"Heard that Mary's been driving more on her own," D said. "Yep, she's all grown up now. Or at least that's what she thinks." "No troubles with the driving mechanisms?" "Not that I know of. You'd be better off asking the M. But she seems very happy, hasn't been bubbly in ages." "Good, good. Glad to hear. Any new students, Susan?" "Well, a few, but not since winter started. It's always a bit quiet in winter, you know, even though it's indoors and heated." "Do you get enough business when it's not summer?" D asked. "It's okay, you know, not as much as I'd like, but always enough, God provides, always sees me through. Hey, how's Sparrow Auto?" "Busy, always busy. Still hoping the boss will take on a new receptionist in the new year, we really can't afford to keep stopping our work to take calls. Plus, I'd love to have Elle closer to me through the day." "So, when's the big day?" "March, maybe early February, isn't that right, Elle?" "Sure is! And you're all invited. It's just going to be a quiet one you know, at the spire, people we know." "How many Russians?" I said. "What?" "I mean, how many people?" "Maybe a hundred." "Wow, you know a lot of people." L laughed. "Well, I have lived here all my life." And she sighed and leaned over to the fourth. "I wish I could make time go faster." So I also leaned over and said "I can help you find a spider, if you really want."

Then we bundled up all the presents and went down to the Lair of La Cucaracha. "Hi M!" I said, "it is time for Samtsirhc at last!" "I've been waiting so long Livi, Samtsirhc Yrrem!" "Samtsirhc Yrrem!" I said. "You've trained her well," Susan said. "I will take that as a compliment," I said. First we opened up Mary's present. It was to Susan. She opened the parcel, and lo and behold it was a spanner. "Um thanks Mary," Susan said, "I'm glad we're giving these things away." D said "I'll take it if you want to give it to someone." And then suddenly I had a suspicion Mary bought it on purpose to give to D. I said "Mary, now here's your present." Susan opened it for her, and it was a pack of froyos. Mary said "oh are they those things you've been microwaving Livi?" I said "yep, and you can give them to me if you want." Mary said "I think I'll give them to Susan." Then L gave a present to D. It was a wrench made of cardboard. D laughed, then said "I'm going to frame this." So I said "no you're not, because we're going to rewrap these and give them away." Then D-man gave me a present. It was a large jar of wasabi. I said "I'll add this to the peppercorns and paprika stockpile." Last, Susan gave L a magazine. L laughed and said you're right I don't want to see another of these again. Then we got into the wrapping, and went nextdoor to give the gifts to random people. I said however can I make a request, and that is I would like to give my gift to parcel man, since he's such a hard working person, and always hits the mark. They said sure, hold onto it for parcel man.

We spent the rest of the evening just talking, and watching the sun go down. D had a go on the marimba, S and then L also had a go on the oversized wooden xylophone. You know, somehow it's warmed to me, this weird contraption. Maybe I'll have to play it more often. Well, Samtsirhc Yrrem, dear reader!

- Livi.