Christmas Past...only one day gone, though. And that doesn't at all mean that Christmas is over for us Armstrongs; we celebrate Christmas heartily through Twelfth Night (January 6th).
All our kids were home by Sunday last. I've hauled out all sorts of Christmas china and crystal and silver from the china cabinet, squirreled away my normal everyday dishes and silver, and we have been dining morning, noon, and night in grand holiday style. We've had lobster bisque, crabcakes, and oysters (Christmas Eve); bacon, grits, and eggs (any given morning); leg of lamb; cornish hen and assorted sides (Christmas lunch); a breakfast cooked by College Boy Graham: he described it as what any of the ten track runners in his house might make when feeling tired and poor. Let me tell you - it was terrific: potatoes, onions, sausage, bacon, eggs, cheese, topped with hot sauce. (Maybe not so healthy for a 50-year-old, but when you're 21 and you run 10 miles a day...anything goes?)
We have hiked the Kansas River, XC-skiied in our newly-powdered field, we have run the rural Kansas roads en famille. We opened gifts yesterday morning. Santa delivered duct tape and air compressors all around. I received a really nice French cookbook, and Haikubes (cubes which can be thrown together will-nilly to make haiku poems, and everyone knows I love a haiku!) Another great gift: College Boy Graham took a lot of our old VHS recordings from long ago and made DVDs from them. The other night we watched babies and tots from our lives in East Lansing. Two little ballerinas dancing the Nutcracker! What a fun time.
And so here we are, only beginning the Christmas, and what a fabulous week I have enjoyed! I hope all the family is in agreement. Daughter Gillian went back to her home last night so that she could go to work at the Nelson-Atkins Museum this morning. Lo & behold (and a big BOO here!), the snow prevented the museum from opening today. So, Gillian COULD have enjoyed a couple more days of homestyle Christmas, had we any of us been able to foresee winter Kansas snowstorms. In any event, she went XC skiing in Kansas City just as I was out with our pups, doing the same. Although her XC ski course was more picturesque, mine was a little more untamed and activity-ridden:
I went out before the sun was up, took my skis and two dogs and headed out to our pasture to XC ski in the new-fallen snow. It was really windy out, from the north-north-west. 26º and windy, windy. I skiied for 1.5 hours, and it was lovely, until the last 15 minutes. I crossed the field diagonally with Bloodhound right by my side and the Bouvier right behind me. The wind was at my face. As we approached the corner gate I looked up, just as Bloodhound did, too. And just as the coyote in front of us did, as well. Uh-oh: it seems the coyote jumped the fence into our field and did not see, hear, or smell us (we were downwind), until all our eyes met up at once. Coyote threw himself backwards into the fence just as I gasped and just as Bloodhound spotted the motion ahead of us. Coyote freed himself from the fence just as Bloodhound bolted from my side and disappeared. The chase was on, and a very silent one. I could not discern where the coyote or the Bloodhound were, down in the creek bed. I was not happy, not happy at all, because there were two quandaries in my mind:
A) Beau the Bloodhound, What in the world will you do once you catch the coyote?!
B) Omigoodness, is this going to mean a big vet bill to repair our stupid hound dog?!
Happily, Beau the Bloodhound found his way home (After I had told our kids that he must be in the next county by now.)
Tonight held XC skiing with that Spouse o' Mine (and the pups), and the College Boy Graham running a lot of miles in the cold, cold snow.
And now I must go serve the Lamb Stew. Christmas! I love it.