Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Gathering

It used to be that we would pack ourselves into the truck on Thanksgiving and head off 'over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house we go' (as the old song goes.) Our river being, the grand Connecticut river and, well, woods are more than plentiful around here... there isn't a route that we could take that wouldn't mostly journey through brown, bare branched and crunchy looking forests, interspersed with stubby, harvested corn fields - sometimes, lightly powdered with snow.

Then, after a grand day and a perfect feast, we would bundle ourselves, sleepy and belly-laden, back into our truck and we would head back home. Christmas would suddenly appear with twinkling lights on homes along the way - including some really spectacular displays!!! We would listen to Beary Christmoose, which, as you could probably guess, is a CD of Christmas classics with a fuzzy twist - geared for children. (Aaaah! Children's music that adults actually like listening to, too! =]) Then, we would listen to Garrison Keillor's Christmas CD - Now it is Christmas again. It's a long drive - almost two hours - and the music fit perfectly. It started out as a way to soothe overexcited and overtired little boys (the first CD has magical properties!) but, before we knew it, it was tradition. I can't hear the opening phrases of these two recitals without welling up with tears. ('tho.... I always try to hide it. ;-))

Well, now what? Grandmother lives next door! (It's been three years, now?) There isn't even a rivulet to hop over and we'd have to go the loooooong way around to go through our woods. =/

.... and, yet.... Thanksgiving at Grandmother's house is still always a warm holiday!

We had a lovely Thanksgiving! The whole New England contingent of the family gathered (with a few extra boyfriends tossed in - it's like they're part of the family, anyway. ;-))

Since mom was cooking, I got to set the table. Happy me! It's one of my favorite things to do. I had just enough time to take a few hurried pictures as the feast was beginning and everyone was coming to the table.



and, what can I say?

We still haven't listened to our traditional CDs; so, Christmas hasn't kicked into any sort of reality for us, yet.

but, still...

the deepest tradition is intact!

It was time at the table, again... spent with family... laughing - comfortable - delicious - warm - oh, so familiar and, yet, oh, so special!

I don't have to even stop to think what I'm grateful for - it was handed to me on a figurative platter!

Warm smiles!!!



Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tis the season....

I'm not sure why. Perhaps it's because I've felt chilly and a sense of pending winter since the end of August but I have been SO very ready to play Christmas music since Halloween. I have been resisting, however, and only playing subversive Christmas music - unusual and ancient carols, modern songs that have more to do with advent and classical Christmas concertos.... stuff like that. And, boy, oh, boy has it put a spring in my step to get the house together - scrubbed from top to bottom - rearranged - all 'ready'.... which is why I think that what I've really been doing this November is subversive Christmas decorating. Whatever and whichever it is, I don't want to rush anything!


No need to rush.... Thanksgiving is here!!!


I can hardly believe it!

In less than twenty four hours, we will be legitimately listening to our authorized, traditional, beginning-of-the-season Christmas music. Just the thought of it gives me the warm fuzzies (possibly because the first CD we always play is 'sung' by a bear and a moose.... don't know.... could be that....)


in the meantime, thankfully, we have traditional Thanksgiving music to listen to.

The Thanksgiving gathering, tomorrow, will be next door, up the hill, at Grandma's house. Always a warm and peaceful time. I get to set the table, this year! (I'll make sure to take pictures. =])

but, most importantly....

what am I most thankful for?

Well, I don't think that I could put it quite in to words but a sure hope and peace - deep down in the secret, quiet places of my heart - is definitely part of 'it'. I really can't express it and don't think that I want to anyway - I just know it's there and am glad for it!

... and, of course, I love my family!!! =]

I would love to know you're thankful for, this year.... =]

Wishing a happy Thanksgiving to you all!

...and much joy, too!!!


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Last Supper

Goodness, Golly, Joe! The weather forecast is calling for snow, tonight!


According to the weather, we ought to be going to get our Christmas tree!!!

We don't have our windows washed, yet, and I don't have any of my bulbs put in...

 I mean....

Holy succotash!!!

The ground is freezing and the wind is howling and moaning down off the hill!

The thing is, September came and it has rained or blustered right through till now - no Indian summer in October, at all, really. So, a few days before Hurricane Sandy was projected to blow through, I decided that, even though it was a bit nippy, we were going to have one last picnicky fling outside.

I just want to hang on for a very short moment more to the thought of the great outdoors being hospitable because, now, noses are nipped, long johns have permanently given me Raggedy Anne legs and my face turns to ice if I don't get mummified in my scarf when I go for my evening walk (...which, by the way, seems suspiciously like it should be afternoon to me since I have to leave by 3:30 to make it home before dark.)

...a sort of 'in memoriam' for the last eke of 'summer into autumn'...

Speaking of outdoor hospitality...

This summer, I had saved a spot in the corner of the newly dug garden border for a bench. It's sheltered under the lilacs and always cool and shady there and the view is through the garden and up and over the hill. The bench was definitely a far off dream - or so I thought. I would go and take my breaks from digging and weeding there - sitting on the soft grass in the spot. Tom surprised me with an actual bench in July, which was a tremendous vote of encouragement and support for me and all of my toil!!! Eventually, I want the plants to billow out around it so that it has the feel of a somewhat private nook.

This was the last day that I could sit out there.... one can only be so stubborn in the face of chilling breezes - even with a cup of tea to warm their fingers!

...frost on the now crinkled and brown blooms that were around the bench.... (where the hellebore are still flowering on.... =])

And my Men just LOVED the idea of 'the last gasp picnic'! They really did! They thought that picnicking in the cold was a brilliant idea - i.e. deep breaths in the bracing fresh air - I mean, really LIVING!!! ;-)

...and I set the table for six instead of five (silly me - because I wanted to take pictures of it) and my young friend from up the road, Kyrionna, just happened to show up to buy some eggs and was able to join us for dinner. It was perfect! =D

and to warm us, I made a new recipe - the most delicious chicken pot pie (with cheddar/scallion biscuits) EVER! Comfort food supreme! (And, oh joy! HERE is the recipe!!! It's a really, really good one!)

...and, now that I've got that out of my system... enough of the fresh air! ;-) It's time to come indoors and enjoy hearth and home - to breathe in the scent of apple cider simmering on the stove and to warm our toes by the fire!!!

And, since there never seems to be enough daylight hours and it's always getting dark on us, I'll end again with a beautiful twilit moonrise...

The autumn evening sky that I saw as I finished the last delicious bite.


PS Hello to my new 'followers' and to those of you who leave comments - so many of you, wonderful friends, at this point - thank you! =] They are such a joy to me!!! I really ought to say it more often!