Friday, December 24, 2010

Ho, ho, ho

The first chiming of the captain’s clock I heard this morning said it was 3 am. I heard it a while later chime once for the half hour, and continued to hear the chiming of the hours all the way until I heard Mark making coffee at 8:30. I had spent all of those hours almost getting back to sleep and then being jostled into consciousness again and again. Images and words poured thru my brain like I was tapped into the congestion of the airwaves. My sinuses were feeling like a dump truck had unloaded a full load of gravel on my face. It was not the best way to start the day, Christmas Eve. I hate not getting all my beauty sleep anytime tho. It makes me feel like I have been on foal watch for a month, and going thru the days in a fuddled daze. Gimmie coffee, quick, there is merry, merry to be had.

It has been a nice week leading up to my insomnia with visits from both my youngest daughter, and my sister in law. Their visits were brief but it was very nice to be with them and recount things that have happened in our lives since the last time together. They both live far to the west so the infrequent nature of their visits makes them more special.

One night during their visit was special indeed, with a birthday celebration for Mark at a good friend’s house. It was a repeat performance of the same gathering last year for the same purpose, including both daughters, son in law, sister in law, and our hosts.

Our friend and neighbor, likes tamales, on a serious scale. To that end, one night we were talking about them and how a really home made one was so much better than what generally gets passed off as in a restaurant. The next minute this fellow is on his phone calling a place he remembered visiting in Santa Fe where he had great tamales. After he had convinced the person, somehow, that he was not crazy (that, is still up for discussion), he placed an order with them for several dozen in all types of stuffing inside. A few days later a big box arrived, out came the steamer, salsa, chilies, and sour cream and into these hot tamales we dug.

So for Mark’s birthday this was repeated and we stuffed ourselves silly with these corn husk wrapped treasures, washed all down with nice chilly Mexican beers, and then we sang a raucous chorus to the birthday boy with his candle burning bright. Of course, our friend could not help but use a relighting candle as a joke. It worked. Mark blew hard and out it went and came right back lit. It was a sweet night with friends and family spent doing a lot of laughing. I don’t know that I can safely say which hurt worse, my cheeks from laughing or my belly from my dinner, but it was pretty close either way.

Tonight is Christmas Eve and the gathering is to be done at my parents’ house as they aren’t quite as mobile as the rest of us. Dad likes to get it all done early, mid-afternoon really. He has an incredibly hard time looking at wrapped presents and always stresses over our lackadaisical methods of slowly unwrapping the boxes. We will then eat, and finish early,  and all retire to our homes to wait for Santa and his reindeer.
Christmas is pretty boring around here now that the kids are grown. I did put up a tree and got out some of the multitude of ornaments we have stored upstairs, and dressed it up but it’s quite pale compared to our past Christmases where the house was transformed into the North Pole basically, with lights everywhere and all the trimmings. We used to host for many years, a huge party that celebrated both Mark’s December birthday and the holiday season. The party was a staple event for hundreds of our friends and when we ceased having it many people wondered if they had been dropped from the invite list, or if we had lost their address, or had they done something to offend us. It was none of that. It had simply run its course and my energy for putting it together was gone. Now I appreciate the less stress, more laid back approach and my elder daughter has picked up the torch and has a smaller champagne gathering at her house.

Today is a cool clear blue day but the weather folks are hinting at a possible white one for us tomorrow. I just got the bells out down in the barn and either way I want to take a jingle bell carriage ride tomorrow. Being in a carriage behind a horse wearing bells is magic. At first when the horse is just walking the bells rattle with discourse, but the sound of the rhythm of the bells when the horse starts to trot is something everyone should get to experience. If that sound doesn’t move you, then, scrooge to you.One can't help but hear where The song came from. Jingle all the way.

I have got a few more things to wrap, so off I go to the attic workshop to get the last ones done. Mark should be home from hunting quail with friends soon and we will begin the ritual of the evening events. Fingers are crossed for snow, and wishes are for all, to have a very merry one, and a fabulous new year. Cheers.

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