Monday, December 26, 2005

December 26th--A Great Holiday

Always I have loved the time between Christmas and New Year's Day. My responsibilities as a housewife are over. Gift getting and wrapping are behind me, dinner has been served, and at least by New Year's the extra dishes are all put away--even if all of them aren't yet today. Yet the Christmas trees are still glowing and I leave them up to New Year's Day at least. (One year when it snowed during break and the children couldn't go back to school, I left the tree up through Old Christmas and the twelth day of Christmas. This week cards will still be coming in from friends and loved ones. I usually have time to look through and enjoy the ones already here. Because there are leftovers to eat for awhile, cooking time is reduced. It is a lovely mellow time of the year where it is proper to give oneself a rest and a true holiday from working. December 26 is a lovely holiday indeed.

Gerald and I spent the morning drinking coffee together, talking, and each reading on our current book. Not only has he been reading the daily account of Lewis and Clark in the Southern Illinoisan, he has also been reading the journal of Lewis and Clark that we bought at the gift shop two springs ago when we took a carload of grandkids to see the movie at the theater at the Arch in St. Louis. I have been reading Kestner Wallace's book and finished it this evening before I fixed us all a bite of supper.

Christmas morning was the first morning in 49 years that Gerald and I woke up alone in a house without a single child or grandchild present. The Eilers were waking up in Freeport since they come every other Christmas, and they were here along with the rest of the families on Thanksgiving. Then there were heading to Naperville yesterday afternoon for celebration with Rick's mother. The Taylors were in Florida with Brian's mother, who has just moved there from the New York area. This was their first Christmas not here, but they don't usually get to come on Thanksgiving, so it all worked out well.

The two local families are usually only here for the dinner and gift opening and visiting, and that was true this year also. On Christmas Eve, after the Cedars had gone to David's family for their Christmas get-together, they then went in the rain to their house--still in process of being remodeled--and slept on the floor just so Samuel could wake up on Christmas morning in his own home again. It has been hard on Samuel, since his parents were originally told by the contractor that they'be be back home in September soon after school started. Then they were told they could move back in by Thanksgiving. They have spent the month of December working much too hard--doing themselves what had never gotten done. Yesterday morning after they had their family time together opening the few presents they had at their house, they came back to Woodsong before noon and welcomed the beds here last night. Samuel was very pleased with their celebration. I think Samuel finally has some hope that someday he will be back home in his own room again. Today friends off work poured into their house to help David, and they are working yet tonight.

Gerry had come in from Mexico on Friday and Vickie met him in St. Louis and took him back there this morning to catch his plane to the border and back to the lodge and his hunting business. It is always good to see him after he's been away although he is always cold in our climate after Mexico and he will be distracted by what may be going on while he is away. Erin was still chilled out from her new cold and snowy environment at Notre Dame. When Gerald took Samuel and Geri Ann on the mule for a ride in the little wagon around the lake in the chilly air, Erin declined to leave our cozy house. Jeannie had dreaded the Northern climate for her knowing how she felt the year they moved to Freeport and the snow started before the Halloween parade and their first winter there was colder than any year since. It was strange not having Tara here on Christmas Day. But appropriately she and fiance Bryan were in Chicago area with his family. So with only nine at our dinner table, we were able to all sit at one table, and the dishes were fewer.

Rick just phoned from Naperville with their change of plans. He and Leslie are going to check out Belmont College in Nashville, and they were scheduled to be here on Thursday only to find out that was also the day we were leaving for Brownsville, Texas, for Tara's wedding. But the Cedars would welcome them here, and I had the upstairs guest room ready for them. However, with a little light flashing on the new van, which is driving fine, Rick decided he would like to have it checked out in Marion tomorrow morning. Therefore, I will be leaving the porch light on and the door unlocked for two tired travelers arriving around 3 in the morning. I am pleased that I am going to get to see them on this trip through here after all.

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