Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holy Days

I took this picture at the neighborhood gas station/convenience store.

This plastic Frosty is the only snowman I've seen so far this year. The hills and passes to the north, south, west and east have been getting snow since shortly after Thanksgiving. We've had a few dustings here on the valley floor but nothing that lasted past the afternoon. Word is though that we are in for a truckload of trouble overnight with several inches on the valley floor.

The irony of this is that yesterday it started raining in the Portland OR and Longview WA area which has been locked down by icy roads for nearly two weeks. This has kept my sister-in-law from driving down to get me and take me to my Mom's in Longview where my sister is in dire need of my help in caring for our Mom as she recuperates from her broken hip and mild stroke. I've been sitting here on edge for over a week, waiting for that phone call with the 24 hour notice that she is on her way.

My sister called today to give me the head's up that our sister-in-law hopes to make the trip tomorrow and to ask Ed to use his knowledge and resources from having worked a shipping dock for seven years to get the scoop on the weather and the roads between here and there over the next few days. And that's when he discovered the forecast for LOTS of snow between Mt Shasta to our south and Eugene OR which is approximately the midpoint between here and Longview.

This means that the Sexton Pass less than an hour's drive from here is going to be nasty. In fact Ed is telling me as I type this that he is online looking through the road cam at an area of the Sexton pass and the snow is falling so heavy he can't make out the road. So I'll probably be sitting here on this edge for a couple more days.

Meanwhile, we had a good Christmas day. We had family, food, fun and felicity.

I got on the tramp for thirty minutes both before and after dinner. It's going to take more than a couple more sessions like that to burn off the calories I shoveled in today. Ed and his Mom between them made enough for twice over the people that came. We're going to be eating on it--the four of us--through the weekend at least. Longer if I end up leaving. There was a seven pound rib roast and a seven pound ham. A savory bread pudding, a green bean casserole, pork and beans, jello and cool whip and cottage cheese salad (my MIL specialty which she makes for every family gathering to her grand kid's delight), mashed potatoes with roasted garlic (and creamed cheese and half and half) then for dessert there was pumpkin pie and lemon meringue pie and sweet bread pudding.

Ed did most of the cooking today and I expected to be doing the cleanup but my MIL told me to relax she'd take care of it. That was actually one of the best gifts I got this year. I wouldn't have minded, I really wouldn't have. I see KP after meals my contribution to this family since my 'help' in meal prep is often not--help that is. Because of my visual impairment and the small space, I don't move around well unless I'm alone in there and even then I've have a few boxing matches with the chairs.

My MIL headed for the kitchen to start putting away the food just minutes after Ed's sister and brother's families left. I was following behind her expecting to be washing up the serving and dessert dishes (she'd already washed up the cooking dishes and the dinner plates earlier) but she told me she would take care of it. I have to admit I was greatly relieved and happy to be able to scoot on back to my room and decompress. Social events are hard on me and I have a reputation for withdrawing back into my room, a book, or a far corner of the yard before it is considered quite acceptable. Today I worked extra hard to stay engaged with the family. I left our room about twelve-thirty and instead of returning here when I got stressed, I went out to the porch and played with, Dizzy, the stray kitten who adopted us (or was adopted by Merlin) last summer, or got on the tramp, rejoining the family as soon as I felt calm again. So by 5PM as the guests left, I was more than ready to withdraw (collapse is a better work) which is why I am so grateful my MIL is putting away all that food and doing up the dishes.

Tonight my task (if I can stay awake) is to get back to reading The Kite Runner. That's the library book I started on Monday evening, taking the risk that I wouldn't finish it before I got the call to start packing. It's 400 page large print. Based on how fast I reached page 70 that first night I estimated it would take me 7 hours of reading. But I have yet to reach page 100. Between holiday preparations and daily post preparations, and the work on the tramp this week I neglected the novel.

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