Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Christmas…… Le Sigh…..

Its time for my yearly blog on Christmas.  When four people who truly love and like each other, descend into the madness of the holiday season.
Last year we left the compound I call Happy Acres and Butch calls Hell on a Half Acre to head off to Massachusetts and family frivolity.   I sat on the steps of my sister in laws house with a delightful 7 year old child, both crying over the insanity.  If she had been 21 we would have been smoking and passing a flask but since she was only 7 we were reduced to a stair step, blankie and candid mature judgmental conversation.  We lamented about how we just did not understand or desire to be in the environment called Holiday Spirt.  The rest of the family raced around like badgers on crack.  I watched a festive moment when someone reached for a kleenex and blew her nose in a baby diaper.  And Yes!  the family book exchange where I, who cannot read, will get a book with no pictures and tiny print called War and Peace but I will gift a kick ass recipe book on food fermentation.  Do ya see where I'm going here.  It took me 3 or 4 months to find my groundedness again.  On the trip home I vowed, "I am not leaving the compound for love or money next year!"

Fast forward 365 days and I am humming John Denver's all time hit:  "Leaving on Jet Plane".  I woke up in a cold sweat four times last night.  Get to the airport and someone hits my car.  Get to the airport and stuck in traffic, missed the flight.  Get to the airport and forgot the backpack.  Get to the airport and forget the tickets.  I walked down and checked the kiln 4 times, returned to bed and had another airport fantasy.  I used to love to fly but don't anymore. I have no desire to take off my shoes or have a TSA agent touch my stuff or wave to the security cameras or be herded onto a plane and wedged into a seat sized for elves or have the elf in front of me jam his chair into recline invading my space.  Besides the way this year has gone I'm pretty sure I would be sitting next to the underpants bomber.  Yes, I support your right to blow your balls off so you can get to those 72 virgins awaiting your arrival but I am now 60 and in pagan terms hoping for a beach and a drink and since I'm already dead a cigarette. My friend emailed last night that while waiting to get his car serviced there was  an elderly man waiting for his car.  The elderly gentleman got up and walked into a broom closet thinking it was the restroom then asked my friend if he was east of Geneva, he could have been talking about Switzerland.  My friend was laughing until the geezer leaned back and showed him his concealed gun.  So friends we are surrounded, whether you stay home or fly.  It's not the terrorists, it's us.  #1 gift request from the Santa list this year, a bullet proof vest with Hello Kitty on the back.  

Sooooo we are driving, to the mountains of Colorado; 1556.6 miles or 23 hours and 13 minutes.   Originally I was going to drive and Butch would fly, this was a banner plan!  Alone in my car belting out tunes to AC/DC and munching on baby carrots, choking occasionally because I am singing Back in Black so hard. I was taking my tent and sleeping bag I was excited.  When I explained this plan to Butch he said:  That is great plan!  I'm coming too and will be in the lodge. I will pick up you up at your tent in the morning so we can eat at the breakfast buffet in the lodge.  But what about camp coffee?  It's in the lodge, he smiled back. Our trip would have been timed perfectly, arriving at the Denver airport just as his flight landed (stop laughing we have done this before).  Together we would continue driving the 4 hours into the mountains to see our darling children who will be waiting with anticipation.  Our darling children have already told us to stop at the first Walmart and pick up tire chains for our car before heading into the mountains.  So much fun…… 

I am now referring to us as the Donner Party because I'm pretty sure I'm going to kill him around Iowa.  If you see this man on the side of the road…… 

Today I am headed to the library to look for books on CD.  I'm not sure I will find a book that has financial planning, adventure and romance packed into a riveting storyline.  Is there a book titled: Who Needs Retirement?  Make a million fermenting bean sprouts in your golden years or Romantic Mushroom Foraging while working for MI5, British Intelligence.  

I will be leaving the security of my sea level home to travel to the mountains of Crested Butte, Colorado.  Elevation: 12,162 feet but the base is 9375 feet so no worries.  Yes, I get altitude sickness like it's my job.  Face down, blinding headaches for about three days…… 
There will be none of this……

I will be under the bed sipping gatorade and eating ibuprofen like tic tacs.  And remembering the sanctity of my kitchen…. forget deck the halls, I will just be decked.  

Yes, darling daughters I am so excited to see where you guys live, work and frolic and I will put my best holiday face on for you guys as yes; WE ARE DOING THIS…… 
 because we miss you and love you. 

I am packing the car with 5 pounds of bacon, a wheel of cheese, smokies from the Slovenian butcher shop, smoked sardines, and 5 gallons of water to hydrate in the thin crisp air of Colorado. 

One more opening Friday night at the gallery and Saturday morning we hitch up the wagon and head west.  Merry Christmas…… again.


  1. A seven year old can give great and deep conversation!

    All the best for your journey..this year we are heading 400 miles North,courtesy of our 60+ bus all we pay is 50p each booking fee,and a ferry ticket each way each. Takes a day,leave in the dark, arrive in the dark...but it will be worth it!! No-one in either family invited us, and friends did...problem solved!!

    We could have some snow problems...

  2. gz! Merriest of holidays to you! Have a lovely ferry ride to friends and OYE on the family stuff!
    Hope you are moved in and settled, I believe you have it down to a science. Here is to a grounded and centered 2016 😊🎄

  3. My hubby, kids and grandkids are trekking south to the city this weekend for the annual Neall family Christmas party (the family, which originally numbered Mom, Dad & 8 kids, 50 or so yrs later, numbers 107!) I am staying home to tend to the farm ... 4 dogs, 6 cats, 2 chickens and a bottle of wine (hmmm - could be a song ;)) .... We will have our normal little family gathering back here at home for Christmas dinner.
    Wishing you and Butch, Happy Trails! .... Have a wonderful Christmas with the Miller girls!

  4. OH, yeah! You need to let him out at a place that he can not find you too quick.
    It will be great, she says, you will have so much fun, she says, because she is not there...
    Merry Christmas!
    And don't kill him.

  5. Meredith! Here's to you and Mark having a wonderful and restful holiday season! 😘

  6. Brenda! Did I read that right???? You will be home, alone, with wine and you animals? 😊 That sounds like heaven! Have a restful holiday! And thanks!

    Hey, I'm tearing into several spodumene recipes after the first of the year! Standby! LOL!

  7. But wait, I thought you cleaned out the stink bugs for them?!
    We had planned to meet our daughter halfway this year which was Colorado, but she decided she wanted to come home, thank God.
    You don't really need to be reading books, you need to write them!
    Hope you have a wonderful holiday!

  8. Tracey Broome! Here's to 2016 and hopes and dreams and wishes....... Have a great holiday with family all under your roof! More small farms, more chickens, more good pots and kids who are little closer to the nest 😘

  9. Now there is a perfect wish list if ever there was one! Oh, and I love the sassy girls photo :)