Friday, December 28, 2007

Merry Christmas!

A bit belated, but not much time to blog when you are having fun!

We have been in The Great White North (literally and figuratively) since Christmas Eve, enjoying time with The Thomas and The Parents, among others.

We got a late start on the trip because Mrs. Pion had been seriously under the weather, but a real doctor and some rest took care of that. Fortunately, we had built in a lot of slack in our schedule so we really did not miss anything. Even more fortunately, the weather was even better for our drive north than it would have been on our original plan.

Even better than that, it was all white when we got here!

It is not Christmas in the Pion family without food. Suffice it to say that we arrived at 3 pm, Parents arrived by 4:30 pm (barely enough time for us to unpack the car), and the ham dinner was served by 6 pm. SisInLaw had knocked herself out as usual, with a choice of 4 pies (chocolate cream, pecan, banana cream, and lemon meringue) and banana pudding, all home made, along with Christmas cookies and ice cream. I settled for a half slice of pecan and a half slice of chocolate cream, with ice cream on the side.

Santa arrived while we slept. (The great bulk of the gifts exchanged within The Brother's family are piled around the tree by Santa. They don't accumulate them under the tree during the weeks - or days- before Christmas like we do.) Oddly, Mrs Pion and I were well rested during our trip, so we were first to get up and have breakfast, but resisted the temptation to unwrap and rewrap the gifts. The others were all worn out from getting ready for us to visit.

We were all well remembered. The gift that keeps on giving, a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle, has kept me and their kids entertained for the last few days.

Christmas dinner, a huge turkey and trimmings, was as good or better than the night before. Although I could complain about the lack of sage in the stuffing, I really can't because Mom can't enjoy spicy food like some of us can. Besides, the stuffing was highlighted with the addition of cherries, which add their own special flavor.

Boxing Day was spent on the road, to visit Mrs. Pion's big brother in the even greater, whiter, north woods. Close to Hemingway country, if you know where I mean. We had a special delivery to make: part of our grapefruit harvest. These came from a tree that his wife had started from a grapefruit seed, and gave to us after we had moved south. It rather amazingly has survived enough winters to bear fruit. Great visit, and a beautiful drive through the north country. Once again we were favored by good weather and clear roads.

Finally, we worked in a day for a family dinner at my Parents new home, a townhouse that is part of a wonderful retirement community. I'll have to blog about being Homeless (for the first time in my life, I don't have a bedroom or even a bed in my parents home) some other time. For now, I'll close by being thankful for yet another pleasant evening with family, including a brother who should be immensely proud of how his kids are turning out.

Hope you all had a great holiday as well.

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