Christmas Journey Home 2012

NOTE: Click on the pictures to see the captions.

I’m home after the Christmas Holiday with family in Louisiana. I was treated to a light snowfall last night. It won’t last long. The temperature is not freezing, so it will be melted shortly – but what a nice Christmas treat! I drove home in the storm that precipitated (pun intended) the snowfall, but it wasn’t too bad. The worst of it occurred when I was in a Chinese restaurant in Madison MS having some awesome fried rice and hot tea.

I was so tired from a weekend of laughing and visiting that I went to bed at about 7:30, tucked into an electric blanket and two warm kitties purring. It was luxurious after a weekend of sleeping on bunk beds and sofas at family and friends’ homes. I slept great the whole time, but it was nice to be home in the bed I knew and where I wouldn’t wake up and bump my head on the bunk above me or step on a toy or two strewn about the floor.

I really had fun this Christmas. I love being with my nieces and nephews – Bryce, Aili, Sasha and Mariya – and this year, we made a Christmas video. That project added a whole new element of fun and “something to do” during the day. It’s always too short, though. I wanted to spend some extra alone time with my sister-in-law Laura and my sister Susan, but it just didn’t happen. My family lives in the same state but they are all at least an 1 1/2 or 2 hours away from each other, so it makes it hard to go from one house to another for just a weekend. The driving time adds up.

An additional treat was spending a night with my old roommate Cristal whom I’ve reconnected with this year. I spent some time with her and her husband Charlie over Thanksgiving and had such a good time, I wanted to go back. Besides, it’s been 30 years since we’ve hung out, and that’s a lot of catching up to do. I hated to leave at Thanksgiving, so I asked to spend the night this time so I didn’t have to. It was fun waking up and having coffee with her again after all these years. Charlie made a fabulous gumbo for dinner, and we chatted until about 1:30 in the morning before they had to go put their horses up and we all went to bed. I slept on their comfy leather sofa in front of the Christmas tree and didn’t wake up until about 8:30. I NEVER sleep that late. But, after laughing all night and having a pretty intimate conversation about faith and our individual paths, I was rested and blessed. No wonder I slept like a baby.

My parents and I made the journey over to Lutcher to see the bonfires on the levee on Christmas Eve. That was the first time I’d done that although I’ve seen them from afar from the riverboat. It was really fun to see them up close and personal and to see the creativity that the families had in building their own unique piece of family fun that would burn into ashes before the night was over. My sister and I talked about it on the way home and vowed we’d all go down next year and experience the whole thing. She even has a friend in mind whose party we might crash. If you’re interested in meeting us, let us know… 🙂

On Christmas morning the pond in front of my parent's home was covered with cormorants.

On Christmas morning the pond in front of my parent’s home was covered with cormorants.

There was a gentlemen I would have loved to have seen and kissed under the mistletoe, but he had family responsibilities this year that kept him from making the journey. We did catch up by phone and hinted that next year might be different. Who knows..I know one thing for sure. Next year will be different. It always is. When I leave to go home for Christmas, I never truly make plans except for making sure I have a place to lay my head each night. I know that the plans will always present themselves in their own time. And, I know that there will always be laughter, a bit of family tension, good food and coffee and too much of both, and crazy weather. It was 82 degrees on Christmas Eve. I wore my boots anyway. That’s what you do in the South. If it’s after September, you wear your boots……even if your toes are sweating.

Happy New Year to you all.

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