Sunday, December 30, 2007

Scenes from a Christmas

Scenes from a Christmas... the East

Christmas is a time for many things, and this year our celebrations included both my parents in all our family moments for a week’s time.

It was such a pleasure to meet and greet them at the airport. So much excitement filled the air once we arrived to pick them up, with so many people traveling to loved ones during the same time. During our time waiting for my parent's arrival, we were able to witness many, many grand reunions, all featuring happy and incredible heartfelt emotions, such a wonderful time to step back and view the tenderness and love to all those before us. There was an abundance of festivity all over the place.

A few times I caught myself dabbing my eyes, like when the young father appeared with two little ones in tow, his child's buggy holding many helium balloons tied to it, all pink, wafting in the air and a fresh batch of lovely flowers lay on top ready to bless someone with the exquisite bundle. That someone ended up being his wife, who had just returned from an escorted trip to acquire an adopted newborn daughter (thought of YOU Justine!!).

There were several soldiers dressed in their khakis, and their eyes were glancing all about for loved ones to greet them, imagine that reunion!

I noticed the older father who was there to pick up his son, and the unabashed show of affection between the two of them when embracing tenderly and lovingly.

I also noticed many a mother who arrived to a large family awaiting her visit with them for Christmas, as were of course, many other tender and emotional reunions.

Grandparent time...

The airport luggage waiting area was packed full, giving the term "sardines" a new meaning! Before my parent's plane actually landed, I noticed a line up growing at the lost luggage claim center and hoped we wouldn’t have to enter into it. Alas they arrived though, delayed somewhat while their connecting flight's attendants carefully determined whether to fly or to cancel the plane instead, due to an upcoming and imminent snow storm. Many flights had been canceled all afternoon as we glanced on the screens above to query if my parent's had as well. While watching them descend the long moving escalator towards the exit doors to the outer areas, we could hardly wait for our own embracing moment! Here at last was our reunion time, and we were so excited to have them here!

On our drive back to our home, we stopped and introduced our guests to a “Cracker Barrel Restaurant”, and if you haven’t been to one, or even heard of one, it’s a treat worth pursuing! My southern mother so enjoyed her okra, the hot biscuits, cornbread, and chicken and dumplings. “Just like home” she said. Likewise, the fried apples complimenting the meal were terrific as all the other “southern” homemade foods served to us that day.

Lovely rocking chairs on a front veranda are the Cracker Barrel signature greeting, along with a storefront with many unique and fun gift ideas. It turned into a fun event, our dinner stop on our long drive back home again.

To our delight, a fresh white snowy blanket appeared the following day after my parent’s arrival. The back property’s natural ice arena was small but usable. One child followed another, until all four were on their ice skates, and a hockey net with sticks soon followed for a wild game on a bumpy rink’s surface.

What fun to watch them!

What fun they had!

As our time together continued, scenes of Christmas floated in our heads, the candles were lit, music filled the air, Christmas lights on the tree nearby and outside were all aglow, and a lovely fire was enjoyed by all those gathering nightly for my mother’s foot rubs. Laugh

Great anticipation for all while awaiting
the birth of Christ for one of our many manger scenes.

(Notice all the animals who showed up this year...)

We traveled to church both on Sunday and again for Midnight Mass, where the smells and bells awaited all of our sensory pleasures. It was beautiful to celebrate Christmas with family present, by candlelight while carols rang in the midnight bells, and where the wee Christ child was laid in the manger in the crèche scene, for the festive and holy occasion just before mass began.

With our hearts all aglow, we savored the moments as our days rolled along. Life as we know it here in the east continued but most of all, we spent plenty of time visiting together, laughing, reminiscing, joking, chatting and most of all, making an incredible memory for all time to come.

(All ready to eat - no utensils...big oops, too relaxed!)

New boots from a big sis.

Handsome guy!

Family photo 2007

Happy Birthday to me!

(It can only happen AFTER dinner this day - my rule! :-)


The beauty of flowers - always appreciated.

As the time whisked by, it was soon time to bid one another “until the next time” farewells. We traveled together the night before my parent’s flight departure, as they were staying in a hotel overnight for their early morning flight. Wow, time flew!

Rolling along and pointing the way.

At the hotel lobby.

Thank you so much for visiting and spending Christmas with us here in the east Mom and Dad!

We love you and miss you already!