The Christmas trees are still aglow. The Taylors are still in their camper in the driveway. There is still left-over ham and Christmas cookies and cranberry tea. However, the guitar strumming in the living room is no longer there. Our lives are no longer brightened by Cecelie's high-powered smile when she is happy and her effective glower when she is putting on her perfect pout with her expressive little face. There are no shit-zus barking when we step into our garage. Those two hopped happily in their Eiler family's van this afternoon ready to take off for the long trip upstate after their vacation in the country and their visit with their "cousin" Fifi, who is still here but not sleeping in our garage.
Presents have been unwrapped, misplaced, broken, and most taken home. Christmas cards are still arriving and being enjoyed. Cousins were still coming and going today--we've seen not just the Eiler three and the Taylor two, but also Samuel, Erin, Geri Ann, and her friend Cece today. The kids have played inside and out, messed up the "art room," and cleaned it up as their parents ordered. For lunch they enjoyed fish from the lake that friends Winnie and Jay brought for us last fall to stash in the freezer. Elijah helped me roll it in cornmeal while Geri Ann had not arrived back here from basketball practice and while Sam and Trent were still sleeping in.
Tonight the eight here enjoyed pizza that Mary Ellen and Brian carried in when Brian picked Mary Ellen up from her sister Katherine's in town. I made hot chocolate although the weather was not really appropriate for it despite the season.
Things are winding down from Christmas and winding up for the new year ahead. We are facing the fact that our younger cousins are entering the teenage stage that the older ones have passed through. I realize that next year that transition will be even further along. Although I know it is what we really want for them, a part of me is reluctant to see the change.
I still remember when I would take four of these tiny cousins to the grocery store with me during a summer visit. They were so cute together. We'd create a sensation with people smiling at us. They need a grandmother's presence less and less now, and they aren't likely to be lined up going into a store with me. That is good and the way it is supposed to be. They are still cute together--putting on skits, playing games, and having serious grown-up talks with each other. David said they watched a TV show about global warming together and are worried. And probably trying to figure out a solution. Another year will really see a big difference in their maturity level. Now the trees are still glowing and there is still some time left to enjoy 2006 and the way they are now.
Catching up - It has been a crazy couple of weeks of deliveries, unpacking product, bar coding, pricing, breaking down boxes, watering plants, writing orders, filling ...
2 months ago