Saturday, December 27, 2008

It Ain't Over Til It's Over

Merry Christmas to all my loyal readers and the new one's too! As you have gathered, Christmas is a wonderful and important time to me and my family. This year, we had a little curve in the road. My daughter was stuck in Olympia, Washington with no way home. I made a vow to my children a long time ago that if it were at all possible for us to be together at Christmas, we would be. After exhausting every possible avenue, it became clear what needed to happen. It was my son's idea actually Christmas Eve morning, we loaded up presents, essentials and all the food I could grab and headed for Olympia.

A harrowing trip and one large freak out later, we arrived Christmas Eve at my daughter's apartment. I was immediately glad that we did. Not only was my daughter on her own, but one of her friends, who waited the better part of a day in the Sea Tac Airport only to find out he would not be able to get home to Colorado for Christmas, was stranded as well. It became immediately evident that I was where I needed to be.

A make shift Christmas Eve, and a wonderful Christmas morning, a restful day and a Christmas dinner shared with my daughter's grateful friend, the day was wonderful and it passed all too quickly.
One thing that I always do, no matter how perfect the Christmas is sweat the really small stuff. I worry that my house was dark and no lights when I was gone. I remembered that we didn't get out the Night Before Christmas. The little insignificant things that really don't matter always seem to nag me a little. I worried that though he was completely on board for the adventure that Christmas was less for my son. I worry that Christmas will be all over the day after. I always hate that as I like to drag it out as long as possible.

So we made it home no worse for the wear the day after Christmas. Just as long, but not as stressful as a trip. When we got home, I was so excited to see some packages outside my door that had arrived late due to the storm. The snow was as we had left it.

My son had to work but we had a little leftover ham dinner before he went. While he was gone, I got a little homestyle Christmas organized, a fire lit and some candles. When he came home, we had a little Christmas with just us. We drank some egg nog and much to my suprise and happiness, we found a Christmas movie on TV and found Christmas music was still playing on a station. Not sure I had ever seen this happen before, it was wonderful. It also began to snow just as my son arrived home.

We opened our new presents, sent photos to Amanda who was not able to come home with us and enjoyed my happy Christmas house. The snow continued to fall and when looking outside, I had three little doe's standing underneath the white lights of my lilac bushes. One was very close to the window looking inside. It was perfect. The deer in my window hilighted the amazing wildlife we had seen on the trip.

The conditions were dicey and it was slow going, we saw large evergreens heavy with wet new snowfall. We saw Multnomah Falls with beautiful blue ice all around it. We say big horned sheep right by the highway, abundant deer, a few elk and three bald eagles on the trip. Driving that slow allows you to take in things you normally wouldn't see.

In my 46 Christmas', this was the first ever that have not spent in my own home. Same for my children with the exception of once. I was thrilled not only to be able to get to my daughter, but to return home safely and see that for once, Christmas was still happening. It always makes me so sad to see discarded living room centerpiece trees the morning after the celebration. It seemed like a mini miracle to me to still find Christmas music on satallite and Christmas movies still playing. I am lucky to have had the best of both worlds in adverse conditions. A wonderful family Christmas with a new family member and a safe return home to continue with traditional ways. So blessed this season. So truly blessed. Proving once again that that best gifts don't always come in a box with shiny wrapping paper.

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