First of all, it snowed in the morning. Less than an inch but still counts as a 'white Christmas'.
Josh and Cathy and the Bradley girls stayed in Baltimore since Cathy's two brothers were on the East Coast from California for Christmas.
Tim and Mimi came on Christmas Eve, early. We hung out and snacked and marveled at Eleanor for most of the day. I did church at 4 pm and met them and Bern at John Anderson's Christmas party. Good friends and food and opening stockings when we got home.
Christmas was different this year--just Mimi, Tim, Eleanor and John and since M/T/E had a 4:30 flight from Bradley Airport to go see his parents and brother--who haven't seen Ellie for 6 months:
we had Christmas 'brunch".
Bern out did herself and overdid the food--a salad of watercress, beets and grapefruit; quiche Lorraine, ham, grits and corn and hot pepper souffle, blackberry bread pudding. Entirely too much food! But great.
M/T/E left at 2:30 and the house and many, many pots were clean and straightened by the time they took off for Florida.
Eleanor is a marvel. She can count to 12 at 16 months. And she counts as she drops things into something else--plastic spoons into a pot, like that. And if she says 'one' and you say 'two', she says 'three' and will alternate but not repeat. And she laughs and laughs and laughs and says "Hi-E" every time she sees you even if you just walked out and back into the room--or she did. So amazing and loving and Tim and Mimi are #1 parents.
The rest of the day scarcely felt like Christmas or Monday. Eating left-overs and staying warm and missing them all--the ones that were here and the ones that weren't.
I wrote Bern some poems and a story about Bela's Christmas Dreams for her real present.
She painted me a picture called, of all things, 'Under the Castor Oil Tree' with me sitting under the tree in my blue "We're Still Here" baseball hat (the Liberal answer to Trump's red "Make America Great Again" hats) reading a book. Which is what I do these days. Two books in three days is my average, but sometimes a book a day.
And at Christmas, I always remember those I'll not see again: my parents and Bern's and her sister, Angie and many, many friends.
It is a day of joy and a day of remembrance and a day of longing and sadness.
All rolled into one.
Joyous Noel to to you all.....
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