Writing on demand is tricky. I sit reclined in my chair, in darkness; the only light eeks from the Christmas tree that is finally up and in process of being adorned. Writing on demand is akin to living in demand. There's a lot of demand and expectation and if you're not careful it can suck away joy. I could be annoyed that I make cookies; teenagers eat cookies. Jerry and I go get the tree (normally a family affair) teenagers are suddenly absent for every phase; clearing a corner of the room, choosing, cutting, lugging, dragging, steadying and straightening. I could let that ache in my chest that I suspect is sadness and disappointment ruin the season, but I won't. However, I can acknowledge that none of this so far has played out as imagined. Absent teenagers. 'Ever heard of "The Little Red Hen?"