After the Holidays

Winter is at peak performance. Pristine, negative zero cold settles in night after night. When it’s warmer, we have a new snowfall. Most days the sunshine slants in making warm, yellow pools with snowflake reflections in them in the living room. The house plants bask in living green-ness.

Brad flew back to his home in Idaho and went to the mountains to snowboard at his first opportunity. He sent this picture from the top of the world. Isn’t it breathtaking? So is how much I miss him.

The Christmas decorations are all put away already, because the church sewing circle met here in the great room a couple days after the last of the family went home to Nebraska. I kept the winter decor, though.

Christmas and New Years were all rolled into one with our family get-together happening between. The get-together was incomplete because of COVID. But everyone did their best to enjoy what we had. There’s always the part that we need to improve. I could make excuse about unexpected sickness and plan changes, but that still doesn’t create a solution … there will always be the unexpected things to derail a good plan. The girls said, “Let’s write down what we did this year so that we remember.” So, while we had good food and plenty of it, it was not organized and sensible. Yes, we will do better next time.

We had visits. The more time that passes, the added experiences of the children’s marriages, their children, and careers, and the current events, the more there is to discuss. Everything from raising dogs to homesteading to building houses to beliefs to scams and technology. Music, movies, books, and games. How many interests can one family contain?

We had visits by the fire, or from across the coffee table, and sometimes in threesome’s

from the coffee table. The children played games and went sledding and generally kept a happy din going.

Brad came home counting on a haircut from Francis. That suited me just fine. I used to have to do four haircuts. I don’t miss doing them.

We had rides by Grandpa. Everybody expects this by now. This year I realized that we used to do this when our children were small and we used to be taken out by our dads when we were small. So the traditions keep on. Maybe we’re all just a little clutching about the happy traditions now. Let’s admit it. We want for ours the good things we were given, don’t we!

We had a puzzle and gifts in a disorganized sort of way. We don’t have a formal gift exchange together because we figure that each family needs to begin their own traditions of gifting. Never do we want Christmas be burdensome.

Yes, we had buckeyes. Lots and lots of them. The children helped to make them and to eat them. I try to keep peppermint candies and buckeyes around for while the family is together. I think we did run out eventually.

There was space for the train this year. At least Karyn and Margie got some train play in. I had bought more track for the other train, but in the end it was decided that for the children to get successful train play in, we need to switch out to all Fas track rails.

One evening we sang together. For once we had enough books that we didn’t need to crowd the piano which I play. I play till somebody suggests we sing with out it. And that’s even better. The book we used wasn’t familiar to us but we found How Deep The Father’s Love which has great meaningful lyrics but poor poetry. I cannot seem to memorize it. Then Jesus, Flow Like A River, which Jenny protests but sang anyway. Makes me smile, we all have opinions, as usual. So then we tried, Mary, Did You Know. Half-way through Instruments of Peace our singing ended, because it was discovered that the bathroom faucet was leaking. And that was it. But it was lovely, singing together again after so long.

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