Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas on The Farm 2009

Some Christmases are better than others, and this holiday season topped the charts. Beginning with Christmas Eve, we celebrated with a small group of friends, the people who owned the Villa Virella, Frank, Cathy, and John, and the meal, traditional Italian with a variety of fish dishes, pasta, and more courses than I could count, ended with something special. Father Homer celebrated a private midnight mass. Vestments and all the church accouterments. Of all the thousands of masses I have attended, a private mass was definitely a first for us--we loved the evening, and thought it the perfect way to open the Christmas season. I wanted to take pictures of the earlier part of the evening, but somehow it never seems appropriate, so I am reprising a summer picnic photo.

The next morning, Mickey and I went to my Mother's to visit with her and my brother, David. It was several hours of perfect fellowship. Difficult to remember when I was so relaxed and entertained by family. I told David not to prepare food, but again, it was a feast. That evening, we traveled to Mickey's children, gathered at Carol's home; food and fellowship were unmatched. No photographs, and I really should have snapped some, but I guess, in retrospect, I was so relaxed, so in the moments I enjoyed.

Post-Christmas, just when you might think your spirit is waning, my son's family came to visit and lit the farm with special excitement that only young children can lend to Christmas. Despite the weather--bitterly cold and white--we spent time in the barn with the girls. Back in the farmhouse, Cooper, the children's Golden Doodle, met a cat for the first time. Fortunately, both cat and dog have gentle personalities, and the encounter was wonderful, so much fun to watch. The only problem we could foresee is that this cat is quite used to big dogs and enjoys their company. Often Nina sleeps next to Julie on cold winter windy nights. Should Cooper experience a less dog-friendly feline, it might be a different story.

Then, we re-connected with dear friends that we had not seen as much of in the past few months--likely my fault, with not feeling able to entertain. We had a delightful reprisal of memories, good food, and Christmases past. We are an animal-friendly family, so when the Green's come, they always bring Huddie. He's a true gentleman, gets along with the cats, and I love him for totally ignoring the llamas. He could care less. I wish our dog could learn from him.

I am not certain what makes one holiday season a stand out from others; truly we have always had lovely Christmas holidays. But something extra, above and beyond, seemed to mark this year, and for whatever it was, we are grateful, feeling the blessings of the season. With only a few hours left to this year, we are snuggled in and quietly welcoming 2010. It's all good.
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