Christmas day was filled with baaaad driving, lots of family---including my Alaskan cousin and his new son Ethan--and that's not even counting the dogs. Let's just say Nigel was quite the rambunctious beast after being stuck in the back of the pickup truck all day.
Alas, Christmas plans for Szechuan at Tea House were foiled (thanks, beautiful White Christmas and freezing rain) -- so we had make-your-own pizzas for dinner. And ohmyGOSH Duff's Meat's Italian sausage is incredible!
Now, I gotta say...I do like the chill Christmases of the older years. Spending Christmas Eve watching Food Network at midnight drinking is quite the different experience. And I really like it. And eventually, I look forward to Christmases full of little children again, but as the eldest I have a bit of time before that happens.
As the only wine drinker in the family, I took the liberty of drinking a bottle of Riesling left as a gift for my parents. It's kind of nice--every time I come home there's usually one or two more bottles in the pantry next to the extra cans of Michelob, bottles of Corona, cans of key lime soda, and cranberry juice. I went upstairs to grab another sweater, for even the booze doesn't warm you up when my house is so cold. I stopped, and I really looked at that space at the top of the stairs. Sounds kind of funny, but there's a lot of history there.
First called the playroom, with an old brown and black striped sleeper couch where my cousins from California would sleep when they came to visit. The room was always carpeted with toys...and then my little brother was born. The room went through several incarnations as a room for each of us kids, and when I moved out it became an official sort of "guest" room.
From the furniture to the people that have walked over this carpet, from friends to people I haven't seen in years and years, some whom I have absolutely no desire to see again, these rooms have seen time move forward. My brother's old bedroom is filled to the gills with my grandmother's old furniture, books, china, my life in plastic containers (yeah...you heard right. It's pretty epic. I wasn't a scrapbooker by any means, but I had this personal vendetta after I graduate from high school to package up every bit of my life into 6 large plastic tubs. And then I did. Everyone thought I was crazy, and now I'm pretty sure I think I was crazy, too)
A lot in my life has changed. And it's more apparent as I travel between two places I call my home, neither of which are absolutely and totally home. There will always be friends and family that are missing from where I live, and no amount of perfection in where-ever I live can make up for that. Thank goodness for the internet and cell phones...and thank goodness for cheap plane flights that make visiting home and friends easier.