The Rest of the Christmas Update
*Not that I don't like the restaurant, by the way--I do! It's just that she loves it kind of as much as Miri loves Carlos.
Thursday morning, Christmas Adam, we hit the road, fueled by Starbucks, and drove to upstate New York. On the way, we noticed this odd, peeling sort of tree at a rest stop in MA. Anyone know what it is?
The weather wasn't great, and thus neither were the roads, but as we all knew, It Could Have Been Worse (ICHBW). We made it safely to Grandma's well in time for the wine hour, which is really what counts. Nice evening with the family, then off to the motel to settle in for the night (kind of early, but I was beat).
Christmas Eve was mostly a day in (at Grandma's, not at the motel). We had lunch, then hung around the afternoon chatting and watching TV and knitting (well, that was just me). In fact, I finished the socks I was working on (which I started there in October)(photos to come, of course), and had to run back to the motel for more yarn (I was farseeing enough to bring it on the trip, but not enough to bring it with me to the house as I neared the end of the raspberry socks). Once I had the Socks That Rock Lightweight to hand, I started the next pair:
And by Sunday evening, got to here:
And went on to the heel flap and started to turn the heel. Lots of knitting time, yes, but still, good progress! I'm pleased, at any rate. I did have to rip out a tiny bit tonight: not only had I started the heel and lost track of where I was, but I could see a mistake in the heel flap a few rows back, so I frogged and redid part of the heel flap, and am ready to start the heel when I have time to do it all through without stopping. (I have time tonight, but not the energy, I think.)
After dinner (yum), the adults went to church and left the kids to do the dishes (yes, the kids are 42 and 46; so?). This task is much less onerous with a dishwasher in the house, and we had time to relax, too. Very peaceful.
Oh, and we opened presents! Which was great fun, in both the giving and receiving. More deets to come, when my brain returns.
On Christmas, we had a lazy morning at the motel, then arrived at Grandma's before lunchtime. Around 1, we* left for the house of the cousin who "hosts" Christmas every year. The family makes a point of mostly all coming every other year; then whoever can and wants to come, comes the "off" year, which this was.
*except Grandma, who finds it too much for her, and prefers a peaceful afternoon at home
What that means is that there were about 15-20 people this year, roughly half what it is the other every other year. (Follow that?) I would have liked to see some of the people who didn't make it, but it is a little more low-key and laid back on the off years, and I appreciate not having to make complicated plans in order to move from room to room.
The company was good, the food awesome, the sense of belonging where you are priceless. I knit while watching the swap, which really is just about as fun as taking part, and looked through their Christmases-past photo album for the requisite trip down memory lane.
Really, the only unfortunate part of the day was that coming home, I started to get a headache. I lay on the couch at Grandma's for a while, then Mum packed me into the car and took me back to the motel. An early night (together with Alka-Seltzer, and a heating pad on the back of my neck) cleared things up nicely by morning. We took it easy getting ready, and arrived back at Grandma's on Sunday just as the carful of cousins pulled up, ushering in a long, fun, crazy day of food and family and presents and cards and probably more things I'm forgetting (that holiday blur effect, aka holidaze).
And that was it for the visit, as the next morning we left from the motel for the trip back. The traveling conditions again weren't perfect, but ICHBW. We drove back to an area that had had hardly any snow when we left, but got 18 inches while we were away. Since we were surrounded by snow on the trip, it didn't seem that startling to return to it, and fortunately we missed the actual snowfall driving delays, plus the driveway had been plowed and the steps shoveled out in our absence. Yes, it sure CHBW. We unloaded the car and relaxed for a while before heading out to dinner, visit number 4 to Mum's favorite restaurant. After that, I managed to stay awake just long enough to watch the Bruins win in a shootout, then crashed hard.
Tuesday, I again didn't have to work, which was wonderful. We had a pretty relaxed day, with Mum meeting an old friend for lunch while my brother and I ran some errands (first stop the car wash, to rediscover the dark-blue car under the layers of gray muck). (Also, how nice to go to Target and be able to get into the parking lot: good-bye, Christmas.) We had a really good dinner at Bertucci's, and a quiet night with the travelers getting all their packing completed.
And Wednesday morning, away they all went again, and the cats and I are finding our way back to normal. I had a really good holiday, and I'm not as overwhelmed as I remember feeling after last year's, but still it's time for the routine to reassert itself. This weekend is going to be largely devoted to mental health: I'm meeting friends tomorrow for dinner and a movie, but we're not making it a late night, and the rest of my weekend will be devoted to getting myself back on track, mentally as well as logistically. Basically, instead of "places to go, people to see, things to do," it's going to be things to do, no places to go, no people to see. Sounds just about perfect.