Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas comes but once a year....(but it lasts for more than a day)

I'll admit it - I don't get this rush to be done with Christmas by midnight on December 25th.  I guess if you've been berated by Christmas decorations and carols at the mall since late October it comes as a relief to know that part of Christmas is over.  Where my husband works, the holiday tree was already down by December 23rd.

Being a part of the Plymouth UCC community means the days after Christmas are filled with Boarshead and Yule Log festival rehearsal and services.  I've never been part of the cast, but my son is. I've been one of the parents who helps out in child care with the young actors.  Mike and I went out to dinner last night. Just the two of us. To a restaurant that only serves those over 21!  Lovely!  We then went to the 8:00 service of Boarshead.  It was wonderful.  This year Pete is a joust.  That means he wears a horse costume and pretends to take on the other joust in bouts of bravery. All during a medieval Christmas celebration in the manor house with lords and ladies, peasants, and servants watching on.

But is it more than the Boarshead Festival that makes me glad that Christmas season is longer than just a day.  How much freight can one day be expected to carry?  What if your gift was lost in  UPS or FedEx?  What if you woke up feeling crummy on the 25th?  Is the whole of Christmas now lost?  The beauty of letting the Christmas season be just that, a season is that you have until the Feast of Epiphany on January 6th to enjoy your 12 Days of Christmas.  Time for more music, more get-togethers with family or friends. Time to slow the pace down just a bit and savor the season.

Living car-free has caused me to dial back the tempo on some things in my life, just because the option to pack too much into one small period of time is less available.  And it is something I've discovered I enjoy.  Letting Christmas stretch over its 12 days is not something new to me since going car-free, but it does reinforce an option I'm glad I have!

Merry Christmas all!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas is coming....

This time last week it was snowing like crazy, and cold. A White Christmas seemed all but assured.  But the end of this week brought temperatures in the 40s and now, except for the mounds in parking lots, the snow is long gone, replaced by umbrella-wielding folks trying to stay dry.

Last Sunday, Pete and I bundled up well and tramped through the snow to the neighborhood just northwest of ours for some Christmas caroling.  I didn't get pictures, but one of the local newspapers did.  Pete and I are near the middle of this picture.

Photo by Lisa Esquivel Long of The News-Sentinel

Wednesday we braved the mall and did some Christmas shopping. That and some online ordering have taken care of most of what I needed to do.   Tonight or tomorrow we may take on the gift wrapping.

This is Pete's weekend for Boarshead rehearsals.  By tomorrow evening he should know more than he ever wanted to about being a horse. (He has a new role this year.)

Short entry today, but not a lot of news either!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Where did November go?

Wow, I certainly never thought it would be over a month between posts this fall!

We had a very rainy Halloween.  How do I know?  Well I was escorting a squirrel through the neighborhood as he trick or treated his way to a full pail of candy.

Soccer season ended the following weekend with Pete's team getting to the second round of the tournament before ending their day.

Homeschool classes wrapped up too.

But then we got ready for our much anticipated trip west to go see my parents in Colorado.   We drove to Miami, OK our first day on the road.  Our first local geography lesson of the trip - it's not pronounced like the city in Florida or the college in Ohio.  It's pronounced the way the Native Americans for whom the town is named call themselves - My- am- uh.   We stopped in Tulsa for breakfast and then continued south and west toward the Texas Panhandle.  Coming from a state that is considered flyover territory, this next comment might see presumptuous: but there is a a whole lot of nothing between Oklahoma City and Albuquerque, NM.  But Texas takes the prize on non-stop wind.  We got into New Mexico ahead of the winter storm, though the drive from Santa Rosa to ABQ was mostly done in snowy or icy roads that had been well sanded/salted.

We didn't do what we had thought we might do in Albuquerque ( bike and enjoy some sunshine) but we did check out Old Town and the aquarium and botanic garden at the BioPark on a cloudy and cold
weekend.  My mom filled us in on the alternate route to Colorado; so we left NM via Cortez, CO and then on to Monticello and Moab UT and then back around to Grand Junction CO and Montrose.  Longer mileage wise, but on a day when the San Juan mountains were totally obscured by snow and clouds, the lower altitude was worth it.

We hung out, we visited.  We took a family picture.   We fixed food.  My mom REALLY fixed food.  Her Thanksgiving table always groans under the weight and this year was no exception. We were joined by my parents friends Bill and Linda, who are the usual guests.   And on Friday morning, in lots of low-hanging clouds, we departed for points east.

The clouds lasted until east of Paonia when we began climbing into the Rockies and left the fog behind in the valley.  The whole trip home was clear blue skies and warm temperatures.  We spent the night in Kearney, NE and made a brief trip to the Mormon Trail Historical site near Omaha.  Then on through the I states, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana, all in one fell swoop.  We were home that night.

Mike's brother Tom called us this past Friday night to say he would be in town on Saturday and Sunday.  We had Saturday night pizza and Sunday lunch with him and his mom.  Now, on toward Christmas!

Monday, October 21, 2013

There's more than corn in Indiana part 2, the illustrated version

Pete was the cameraman yesterday and he went a little crazy with the camera - but that isn't unusual for him.  So here, in digital color is the Harvest Festival as he saw it:

First was worship.  About half of the Plymouth Youth Ensemble.

Then dinner.  Pete was too busy eating to take any pictures of that.

Then his favorite part of the day - the kettle corn in the parking lot!

Since the combineing was off, several Salem members brought in their small livestock and set up a sort of petting zoo.

And of course the people!

And on the way home we drove past the field. (The one with the soy beans too wet to harvest.)