The week seemed to evaporate from the time we took grandson Nathaniel to the airport until the day John drove David to New York. A lot of laughs and a few photographs later, the house was totally quiet except for the dripping of faucets. We saw zero on the thermometer and thought keeping water moving through the pipes was a good idea. We did the same thing once before, so we don’t really know if the pipes would freeze or not. They are wrapped but hang down below the house where there is no heat whatsoever.
Sunrise –The sun rose every day, but I took a picture only one time. John and I saw the mountain looking north as the sun hit it. At the same time, the house we were approaching seemed to glow. Only when we turned to look behind us did we see the glory of the sky.
Hush puppy — We discovered a new barbecue place near church the day before Nathaniel went home. He was so full he couldn’t finish his hush puppies, so he brought one home. As we drove toward the airport, he remembered he’d left it sitting on the counter. I assured him we’d take care of it. David had the idea of putting his hand in the picture as a measure of its size. He and I split it for a snack.
Barbecue — John’s cousin Pete and wife Debbi from Illinois came for a few days before going to a gathering of dulcimer players at Lake Junaluska. One of our meals was at Dickey’s, the closest barbecue place that is one of my favorites. I’m not sure how much my rating is influenced by the free soft ice cream to which you help yourself at the end of a meal.
Christmas Pudding — It doesn’t matter how I strive to make a tiny Christmas pudding, we always have leftovers. I begrudge it refrigerator space in January. Thankfully, Debbi and Pete were game for the ritual of flaming it and eating it with brandy hard sauce. Be forewarned: the next guests will probably be subjected to a repeat until the remaining little ones are gone. I know what I should do. I should make signs and put them on the two pudding containers that John loves them and will gladly give them a warm home.
Packing Box Labeled Miscellaneous — In making more room in the closet for David, John opened a box that purported to hold miscellaneous items. I wondered what was in the bottom when he brought out a tray of serving items – little spreading knives, silver sugar cube tongs, Norwegian knives, and various spoons. I had gone to bed when David brought a small stack of books to show me. Yes!!!! My long-lost cookbooks were there! I had mourned them for over two years, and there they were in all their faded glory. I knew I had packed them myself, because John wouldn’t have been near them. David snickered when I said, “I’d get up and hug them if I could make myself sit up.”
Two of the books could have been replaced, but they wouldn’t have been the same. I had notes and comments scattered throughout, as well as a check mark in the index by each recipe I had tried. I considered four of them to be irreplaceable. Of historical significance, there was the sturdy ledger with recipes written in my grandmother’s spidery hand. (She was born in 1880.) There aren’t many entries, making me wonder if she had another book that we never found.
Snow We had about six to eight inches of snow, along with everyone else in the eastern US. I took one photo while the snow was still coming down.
Another picture was taken after the skies had cleared.
I went outside with David, because no child, even a 21-year-old, should have to sled alone. There was no way I would have used a sled, but I could stand in the back yard with him and the old oak tree.
About that time Shawn texted back that Logan (6) would come over. Things really got off the ground when I invited neighbor Joyce to join us. “Really?“ She wanted to know. I wrote, “Look out your back window.” She came, dragging a blue plastic sled. It was one of five that had been left under her house when she bought it. Logan said his run was better, so we trudged across the street where I caught a picture of three of the four generations in attendance. The temperature was in the single digits, so we didn’t last long and soon retreated to our kitchen for hot cocoa.
There is one last photo with train cars on the porch. I figured the snow that had blown in was about in scale with the cars.