On Friday, Dec. 11, we were invited to Becky's Brunch.
(Back - Left to right-Becky, LaRae, Linda, Lela, Tom
Front - Colleen, Julie, Mavis, Jan)
These are my adopted friends, wonderful women that Tom worked with when he taught PE and then kindergarten at Des Moines Elementary School in the Highline School district, south of Seattle. I got to know many of them when we hosted end-of-the-school- year parties in our garden. Many of them had their retirement parties here. Some of them are our regulars at Friday morning breakfast.
On Friday Dec. 18th, we drove south 80 miles to Chehalis to have dinner with my siblings. We met in a restaurant and enjoyed good food and a good visit.
(From the left, my sisters Laurie and Ilene, me, and Tom. In front my brother Hank with his daughter Jordan and wife Cindy)
They will all be with their own families for Christmas day.
It's funny how, as we get older, we tend to talk about the past, even memories from our childhood, and questions about our parents we never got answers to. Only brothers and sisters share those memories.
Saturday the 19th, we went to Tom's sister Jan's house for an early Christmas before she and her partner Ann travel south to be with their families in California.
This was a low key event for tired students and teachers just out of school for the holiday break. Not sure what Tom's excuse is.He did help Ann in the kitchen.
There was more good eating and gifts were exchanged. It was a fun family function.
Today, Solstice Day, Tom and I hosted a lunch for some of the same teacher friends you saw in the first photo. We used to host a Lucia Day dinner, but with people passing or unable to attend due to health issues, and others not wanting to drive in the dark, we sort of let go of that occasion. Mavis, bless her heart, told me when we drove her home after Becky's brunch, how much she missed coming to our home for a Christmas gathering.
So today we had "Mavis's Lunch" also known as Solstice Day Lunch. It was wonderful to once again share our home with these fun and very appreciative guests.
It may have to be an annual occasion. Jan says she's already put it on her calendar for next year!
And now it's time for the final countdown. The cards and letters were sent out weeks ago. The gifts are wrapped, the baking is done, except for the Christmas morning Swedish bread, and the family plans are set. It will be the six of us here at our house for Christmas Eve dinner, and then we six will go to Jill's house for Christmas day. Christmas is where the kids live, as it should be. I think Santa will be overly generous again, and there will probably be a walk while the turkey is roasting.
Wishing everyone a Merry and Joyous Christmas and a Happy Holiday Season. May the love of family and friends warm your heart no matter with whom you gather.