Thursday, December 31, 2015

Week 52 - A Merry Christmas

The two work days flew by with preparations for the Winter Workshop in full force. I was writing, editing and formatting handouts a mile a minute and that was a good thing. I brought all my presents to work on Tuesday and had everything else ready to go. I didn’t have to leave for the airport until 11:00 so had time Wednesday for final stuff, which felt like a luxury and made for way less stress than leaving after work to save a vacation day or a few dollars. I’m done with that!

I had a slight delay on my first flight, which cut into my layover but I still made it. As in I got off the first flight, checked the monitor for the gate, walked over and right into the line and was on the plane within 2 minutes of getting to the gate. That worked. It was a very uneventful arrival, which was a change, and I was shocked that my luggage made it too. No travel drama. Merry Christmas to me!

Wednesday morning was the steaming of the pudding. Carolyn had been baking/prepping for days so there wasn’t much else to do on that front. Cornelia came over with cookies to decorate so she and I frosted and adorned cookies while Carolyn puttered in the kitchen. It was fun and we got them all done, with some prettier than others but they’d taste the same and were destined for kids. All good. At 3:00, I jumped in the shower and headed to Shelley’s for the Pinney family Christmas. She and Brian bought a huge house in North Kingstown so it was great to get the tour and visit with family, especially Auntie Margaret, of course. After a whirlwind few hours and our traditional lasagna dinner, I headed to John’s parents’ house. They were still eating when I arrived so I had some salad and enjoyed the calm after the storm. We had a nice catch up and then I headed home to Carolyn’s to stuff stockings. It was a lovely Christmas Eve.

Ginny was supposed to have stopped by on Christmas Eve to exchange stockings with me but first delayed and then never showed. I had Carolyn’s wonderful stocking to open Christmas morning though and then we had a lovely breakfast of lemon blueberry bread pudding with sausage and bacon. Once the roast was in the oven, we had some down time. Ginny came by and we exchanged stockings, opening them in front of each other, which was new. Then Carolyn and I went for a walk in just t-shirts because we could. It was 75 degrees outside on Christmas! Very strange but nice too. Carolyn’s parents and Jen arrived mid-afternoon so we all had a yummy Christmas dinner of prime rib, mashed potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts with lemon tart for dessert. Deslish! In the post dinner lull, I finished my last pair of Christmas socks, which would be gifted to Sharyn the next day. Perfect.

Saturday was the Boxing Day Open House so we spent most of the day prepping for that – grocery shopping, bringing up chairs, pulling out serving pieces and doing the last cooking/food prep. You know, the regular stuff. We had quite a few more people than usual, which made it even more fun, and everyone had a good time. Even Ginny and Bob came! John had picked Sharyn up on his way back from Ikea so it was up to me to drive her home. By the time we got in the car, I had a sore throat. Not good. But it was good to visit with Sharyn on the way home and for a few minutes at her house. I was exhausted when I got home and started the Zicam immediately in hopes of nipping the cold in the bud.

Sunday was my last day so I had made plans for lunch with Auntie Margaret at The Crow’s Nest for belly clams. Unfortunately Bette was working so that meant I spent 3 hours in the car – 45 minutes down and back to pick her up and the same again to take her home. It was all worth it for the food and company. John joined us too because who can resist seafood in RI? I visited a bit when I dropped Auntie Margaret back home and then Carolyn and I hit Job Lot later that afternoon. I have to assume the Zicam did its job because all I had was a bit of congestion, which wasn’t keeping me down. I spent that evening packing because I was heading home on Monday.

So, it was a whirlwind Christmas but worth it. There’s no place like home at the holidays (sing it!) but I was looking forward almost as much to six days at home. Now I could only hope for uneventful flights back.

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