For our first Christmas (1997) we flew to California in the afternoon, landing in Los Angeles the wee hours of the 26th. We rented a car and drove up the coast to San Francisco stopping to see sights along the way. I recall that our most expensive overnight was in Big Sur and our room there had the least amount of amenities – no phone, no TV, and a bad radio!
The following year we were in New Orleans. We attended midnight mass at the St. Louis Cathedral, the oldest Catholic cathedral in continual use in the United States. Prior to the service we enjoyed traditional carols song by the choir. I remember the temperature being a little nippy while we were standing in line waiting for the doors to open. It felt like Christmas yet we didn’t have to concern ourselves with snow.
One Christmas was spent in Toledo OH with Rick’s son, Jon, and daughter-in-law, Kari. She was finishing her residency at one of the hospitals there and we drove out to see them. I don’t recall any storms either going or coming back home.
A few years ago we spent Christmas in Sheldon, my hometown. My mother was still alive but my father has already passed away. I’m thinking it had to be a white Christmas since it was northern Wisconsin. However, latitude doesn’t guarantee that the ground will be covered with snow at Christmastime. It’s not this year.
In 2005, we were welcomed to St. Charles IL where Rick’s son’s in-laws and their extended family celebrated the holiday. We still tease Winnie, Jon’s mother-in-law, about how she roasted the oven mitt that year instead of the turkey!
Notice that TWO cans of whipped cream AND ice cream were needed
to satisfy this crowd during the dessert round!
There was at least one Christmas in Madison during our years together. A friend invited us for a get-together on Christmas Eve and then we attended the 11:00 candlelight service at Immanuel Lutheran Church. It was snowing gently when the service ended.
Most of our Christmases have been spent with Rick’s family. Two of his sisters have hosted for a number of years and his family likes to have a theme for the celebration.
One year the theme was "The 60s." I'm not so sure that Rick's car
shirt was something he would have worn during that time. However,my earrings and necklace were definitely part of my wardrobe back then.
This year Rick’s grandson, Kellen, who is almost 20 months old was the hit of Christmas Eve. His language is understandable and he’ll imitate anything you say. He was in seventh heaven with a houseful of “new” playmates to keep him entertained. And we were delighted with the entertainment he provided!
A man travels the world over in search of what he needs, and returns home to find it. ~George Moore