The clock is ticking away the minutes, and soon it will be Christmas Day.
It was a beautiful sunny Christmas Eve, blue skies without a hint of snow or rain. The trees sparkle like some magic fairy show, until you see the widespread damage done by two days of freezing rain. It looks inviting out, and then I open the door and feel the crisp, cold air of 17 below (Celsius) temperatures.
My son was by with two of his kids. The kids and I stayed snug and warm inside, watched the Disney movie "Tangled" while my son spent almost an hour outside chipping the ice off my car. Never again would I buy a van with criss crossing window wipers that drop down out of sight. Ice and snow get packed in there and make it impossible to clear.
They left to celebrate the holiday with his...grandmother-in-law. They were having their usual fondue dinner. It sounds different, but fun. Brought back memories of fondue dinners enjoyed decades ago with friends.
There are all sorts of different holiday traditions, and all sorts of families. Times change, new people come into your family circle, and sadly, others leave.
I managed to get a fairly decent picture of my family group yesterday, all wearing the hats I'd rushed to complete. I need to remember to turn the red eye feature back on after changing batteries, and shouldn't use a mirror as a background. Oh well, next time.
We had our get-together Monday, as the power was finally restored at my daughter's house. Kudos to her for the lovely meal, and my thanks for the leftovers I enjoyed tonight.
It was a bit surreal, driving through town, the yards of most homes covered in bits and pieces of tree branches. You could see the fresh scars on the trees where limbs had fallen under the weight of accumulated ice.
Half the town was still without electricity, the shopping plaza dark except for the grocery store running under generator power. That first view of the damage was in daylight, the trees and hydro lines hanging low, some on the ground, yet all sparkling in their coating of ice. The drive home in the dark even more unbelievable, neighbourhoods in total darkness, street lights out, traffic lights not working.
This will definitely be a Christmas to remember.
My sister called and we talked for hours, she nicely has an unlimited long distance plan. She was resting up for a busy day tomorrow with her daughter and grandchildren. It's hard for her to imagine what's going on up here, she lives in Florida. The effects of this ice and cold cannot be truly understood through pictures.
I see it's after midnight and I'm still writing. I meant to do this earlier but was exhausted. I laid down and tried to read, only to fall asleep. Now I'm wide awake, feeling a little melancholy, remembering Christmases past.
The year my husband and I married we agreed to buy only one gift for each other, as we were saving our money for our first house. I did abide by the agreement and had his one gift under the tree, though I did ignore the amount we agreed upon and went over the budget. He bought me the set of electric hair rollers I wanted, I knew as they made an unmistakable sound when shaken.
But Christmas morning he surprised me with numerous gifts he'd hidden throughout the apartment. The ones I remember most were the lovely black silken nightgown and the perfume. Enough of that year, what can I say, we were newlyweds.
I remember the first year my parents retired to spend the winter as snow birds. They gave plane tickets to my brother and I so our families could fly from Canada to be in Florida for the holiday. My grandparents and my sister lived there so it was the first holiday we'd had together in such a long time, four generations in the same place.
Who would have thought both my parents, grandparents, and my sister's husband, would all be gone in the next ten years. It makes that memory all the more precious.
My kids are doing their own thing this year for the holiday. They got together and decided to stay home for the 25th. Years of rushing the kids to open gifts, only to leave everything to take off for Christmas dinner somewhere else has made them say no, let's stop this insanity.
Celebrations are just as meaningful if held on the 23rd as ours was, or the 26th or even into January.
Just like the gifts given, and the gifts received, it's the thought that counts.
Christmas is a feeling that lasts the whole month of December, right into the New Year. It's the season that's important, not the day. I learned that early, as a nurse I was always working weekends and holidays.
So tomorrow I'm going to burrow in with my new book, and be glad to stay in where it's warm and not have to brave these freezing temperatures. I'll touch base with everyone and wish them well, but I'm just as happy to have a day of rest between social events.
The stress of the holiday, the issues of dealing with a chronic illness, and now this awful storm, and my reserves are depleted. There are more celebrations planned, and maybe next time Mother Nature will be kinder to everyone.
So to everyone, I wish you a very Merry Christmas, and as it's late, to all a good night.