It was a tough decision for us, but Liz and I decided to visit Valparaiso for a brief Christmas evening with Bob and Julie.
I’ve tried to do some of these in my spare time, outside of work. Sadly, I’m a bit behind and it’s been harder to keep motiviated the further behind I get. I also realize that my “outside of work” relaxation involves code for imaginary problems that don’t exist. It’s technically me “unwinding from work,” but kinda not?
Today and tomorrow are a bit weird, in that I’m staying out in Valparaiso, IN but commuting in to Chicago. I rode in with Bob early in the AM (he came in to work on our place while I was at work), but took the South Shore line back out to Valpo at the end of the day.
Bob got involved in the Facetime chat, asking Audrey some questions as she tried out the “lie detector machine” we got her as a gift. Apparently, it dings when you tell the truth but shocks you if you lie.
Liz and I got the idea to get Bob a cake as a Christmas gift. And since we were in Indy, we decided a stop at Heidelberg Hause – the place where my family got nearly every single birthday cake for me and my sister, as we were growing up.
Mid-morning today, I was down in the basement with Kirt helping to set up the Super Chexx machine. For all the time I’ve spent playing this game, this was my first time actually touching the puck (pretty cool).
Liz got some solar-powered Christmas lights over the weekend, and set up the front porch with them. It’s a pretty great approach, though we’ve had several overcast days… so I’m not sure how much light these, er, lights are actually getting.
I know this is someone looking to give away some Christmas decorations, but a part of me likes imagining someone creating a special shrine – as a way of invoking the season to remain, despite the days.
After over 10 days away (visiting three families in three different cities), we finally arrived back home. I thought it was funny that in the kitchen, we still had Christmas wrapping supplies on the table.
We were in the midst of preparing veggies and things when everyone arrived. So much of the time, we all just hung out in the kitchen – cooking, drinking wine, and visiting a bit.
I love the symmetry of this gift. A long while ago, the husband created this slide for his wife. And many years later, my wife created a print of that slide for me. I’d like to think that we are furthering a tradition here, and will continue to fill that little house with love.
Candle service, close to midnight. The lights go dim, and everyone sings “Silent Night.” There’s a part of me that wishes I could record this moment each year, as it’s quite lovely. The whole room darkens, and the candles flicker their light against the walls… and everyone sings softly, as we near the midnight hour.
Going out for a big meal like this is not something we normally do. But then again, an 80th birthday isn’t something that happens all that often, either.
Late in the evening, several of us took turns in the basement to wrap up Christmas gifts. With three families to celebrate with, we’re doing Christmas slightly early here tomorrow, so tonight’s the big night.