Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve

It's snowing here. Again. For about the 7th time in a week and a half. We have about a foot, with something between one-half and four inches predicted for today. Our buses haven't run since last Wednesday. Really.

Day one: It snowed all day. Big beautiful flakes that Ukiah fell in love with. "This the snow I've always wanted," he explained. We ran giggling through alleys to friends' houses, played at the playground and of course, sledded to our hearts content.

Day two: More snow and sledding. All fun and games until Aslin and Ukiah borrowed an inner tube from some friends and rather taking it down the hill into the pillowy nest of the now frozen wading pool, they plowed right into a basketball hoop post. Ukiah rolled, the tube popped, Aslin crashed and a crowd of adult-strangers pulled out phones, 911 on speed dail. Meanwhile, a crowd of child-strangers returned to sledding. Aslin's recovery was aided by hot chocolate at home.

Day three: Realize that there will be no Christmas gifts, for anyone, that don't come from within walking distance of the Owlhouse. Spend hours on lovely urban hike, note ice accumulation on side walks. Stop for afternoon wine and coffee before picking up as many groceries as can be carried down steep hills of ice.

Day Four: Bake fantastic ginger drops and almond cookies with intention of sharing with neighbors and possibly the mechanics who fixed the truck last week for no charge. (Truck does not handle snow, sorry mechanics. Maybe new year's cookies?) Loan wooden rail sled to neighbor who needs transportation.

Day 5: Wonder if it's too late to mail order gifts for assorted friends and family. Reality check, $15 priority shipping is too much for a t-shirt. No mail delivered for next two days. Get crafty. More sledding with improvised sled surfing. Cocktail hour with neighbors.

Day 6: Wonder if it might be time to shovel the steps and sidewalk. Wonder if we'll make it to Tacoma for Christmas. Wonder if the mail will come today. Walk to the international district then down town. Get a ride home with friend. Spend more than an hour traveling approximately 26 blocks by car. Appreciate quality catching up time, no longer hold so much frustration about lack of buses.

Day 7: Finally mail a handful of cards. Sparkly little penguin cards bringing cheer to the holiday season. They'd have gone out earlier, but I wanted to include a picture of the kids. Of course, not having planned ahead, we didn't have a proper holiday photo. Not "proper" in having them dressed in complimentary outfits posing (naturally candid) in front of an evergreen tree, merely "proper" in that they are both smiling and in focus. You know how this story goes. I waited, sure that the right photo opportunity would present itself. Then, we would find addresses for friends we'd lost touch with and send wonderful best wishes/catching up greeting cards, complete with lovely photo of the ever talented/interesting/charming children. I forgot, remembering only occasionally and always at the least opportune moments.

So, we looked back at the year's photos- thinking a collage of sorts, delived as a pdf file, might make up for the lack of planning. Pictures of spring and summer camping are sweet- the beach, the river, the campfires... The kids dressed up for the B and A's wedding ... The kung fu performance...

My personal favorites of the year include the box series, accordion evening and choir concerts ...

In the end, we didn't find the perfect photographic expression of our year and the formatting of the would be e-card would not cooperate. So, we walked through snow to the drug store to print wallet-size copies of this gem...

Ukiah and Aslin in Santa's chair at the Christmas tree farm.

And if you didn't receive a sweet parade of penguins sliding down a snowy hill, please know it's solely due to our complete disorganization. Love and wishes for the new year!!