Christmas past is past.
Christmas present is here today
Bringing joy that will last.
(Intro to “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”)
Nick and Hallie arrived very late Thursday night (22nd), and we all retired to our beds soon thereafter.
Friday (23rd) was a day of relaxation. We visited the neighbors, carrying jellies, watched a herd of mule deer slowly eat their way over the hill to the south, played table games. I bought a new game this year -- "Fact or Crap." It was mentioned in a Lewiston Tribune review of games and I bought it on a whim. We gave it a try, and the four of us say it will never replace dominoes or Scrabble. And now we have a game we don't like. Pretty much a waste of money. In the kitchen, I made a batch of oatmeal cookies and we had chicken and biscuits for dinner with a small cherry pie for dessert.
The days blur when everyday seems like a holiday. It's hard to remember what happened when and to some extent it doesn't matter. Christmas Eve Hallie went for a run in the morning while Nellie and I followed at a slower pace. I took the above picture of the house and imagined that Ina was bustling around in there, getting ready for a Christmas Eve gathering of friends and family. The gift exchange at my paents' home was Christmas Eve, but now we open stockings and then gifts on Christmas morning. I did prepare a turkey dinner Christmas Eve night, and we had our traditional "Mystery Pecan Pie." Oh! And I made peanut brittle, which began to scorch before I removed it from the heat. Disappointing! However, the family ate it and seemed to enjoy it and when I asked Mike if I should make more, the answer was a resounding, "No! I can't stay out of it!" I will make more, though, perhaps in a week or two.
"Santa" was so tired Christmas Eve night that packing the stockings was deferred until morning. It was a pleasant, quiet time of watching "A Christmas Story" while preparing playing with the stocking goodies. Nick's brand new stocking looked right at home with our old ones. Mike made waffles for breakfast and we tried various toppings -- real maple syrup, pumpkin butter, and jellies. Afterwards we spent a quiet hour with our gifts.
In the afternoon, Hallie and Nick (but especially Hallie) spent several hours pruning back the canes of the old wild rose bramble bush in the yard. It's sadly overgrown -- so overgrown that the blooms are small and insignificant. Besides that, it's an eyesore, I think, taking up more and more of the yard. The thorny canes were carried by wheelbarrow to a "burn pit" beyond the pond, and Christmas Night we had a bonfire. It was cold -- and a strong wind made it seem colder, but the side to the fire was warm.
Monday (26th) was a quiet day, a legal holiday though that didn't affect our day. It started with calls from son Murray and an old friend of Mike's. Perhaps we felt a bit wistful as Christmas 2011 drew to a close. The memorable event was Hallie's discovery an old dump under the brush on June's place. We brought three jars back to the house and she cleaned them. The oldest was obviously old, I thought, and said "Mellins Food, Boston," on it. Unfortunately it was badly cracked. Of the other two, one was an old canning jar without markings and the other said "Duraglas 1986." We plan to explore that site a bit more in warmer weather -- perhaps clean it up.
Tuesday (27th) was a work day for us. I took the tree down and then moved on to other packing, most notably emptying the refrigerator. Nick and Hallie said good-bye late in the morning. Then Mike and I continued finished our work to winterize and pack the pick-up. At the town house, I spent the afternoon consolidating the food and storing it wherever appropriate. KW
Friday I took the fir boughs from over the windows and doors, then I used sprays of holly across the curtains and it is so much prettier, so next Xmas I’ll open your box early and decorate with holly instead of fir. Already planning for Xmas you see. Ina Dobson, 1937