Friday, December 25, 2009

New and old friends brighten day

Maddie met a new friend, Theo, a Golden Retriever.

Theo wants to show who's boss.

Carolyn tries to get the dogs to focus.

Last night my kids were at their father's for a Christmas Eve sleepover into Christmas Day. After my first round of illness, we all did Hanukkah and Christmas here, but it didn't work out very long, so we went our separate ways again. Last year I was in the hospital, so that didn't count.

I knew I would miss the kids, so it was nice that my friend Korby invited me over for Christmas Eve. It was a little far, about 45 minutes, but I'm glad I went. I joined Korby and husband Pete and family and friends for a wonderful smorgasboard. (I'm still eating the dessert that she sent home with me.) The fire was warm and the company, mostly her relatives who feel like family, was very comfortable to spend time with.

When I got home, the house was dark and quiet. I went to sleep pretty soon after but woke up several times with this odd feeling: the house was quiet. It was as though it was not breathing. I tried to remember what was wrong, and then I realized it was that I was alone.

I guess I will deal with this again when Katie goes to college next year (waaaaaah, don't want to think about it) and the house will be strangely quiet for a long time. But anyway, I got up this morning ready to do something.

I put Maddie in the car and met Barry in Springfield at our friends Carolyn and Chip's house to meet their new Golden Retriever, Theo, who is about four months and an adorable bundle of fur. We ate bagels and drank coffee and playied "watch the dogs," a game similar to "watch the babies," where you just sit and move your eyes around trying to keep track of "the kids." Two of the Chipkins' three lovely daughters, Laura and Deb, were there and joined in the puppy focus group. A lot of people, including me, can do this for a long time.

Then Barry and I walked Maddie around the neighborhood's Forest Park. It has an annual event, Bright Nights, that routes traffic through 2.5 miles of the park decorated with lights arranged into shapes on a variety of themes. Part of it is Dr. Seuss characters, because the characters' creator, Theodor Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss), lived in the neighborhood.

It was interesting to walk under the unlit lights early in the afternoon. We let Maddie run around. She met two Springer Spaniels and we had an interesting discussion with the owner. Then we went back to say good-bye to Carolyn, Chip and Theo.

I headed home and did a few things. I was kind of waiting for the kids to get back. I wanted to cap the day with a traditional Jewish meal – Chinese food on Christmas – but I didn't know if they'd eaten. They came in a couple of hours later and yes, they did want Chinese food.

The house woke up. A couple of hours later, Joe ordered it and got it. We ate it while watching "A Christmas Story." Gotta love that movie.

We got it all in. Food, family, friends, Christian traditions, Jewish traditions. Wrapping paper still on the floor, presents and serving pieces still to put away, and candy and leftover desserts on countertops and tables. Makes it still look festive. I think everyone likes it like that...for a few days, anyway.


Trish said...

get used to listening to the radio or the tv a lot more when the house is quiet. might drive the electric bill up, but it'll cut down the suggestion of valium or albuertol for your "breathing" problem.

Theo is ADORABLE! Nothing quite like golden pups. breathe in all that puppy breath while she still has it!

am glad you all mixed traditions with chinese food and Xmas story. Chinese food and a movie---traditional Jewish fare for the day!

Ann said...

The pictures of the fur babies are great. Now I want a puppy. It sounds like you had a nice holiday with family and friends which is all any of us could ask for. :)

Susan C said...

I never get tired of that "watch the dogs" game. When we had two airedales, I never got tired of watching their antics.

Sounds like your energy level is good.

chip said...

great photos, even though there was much squirming at the time..(and the dogs wouldn't sit still either) was certainly our treat to have you and barry over for the Jewish Christmas...sounds like the start of a tradition...regards and love from theo and all the chipkins

Nelle said...

OMG that puppy is so cute I could watch for hours also. Glad that you had a nice few days of the holidays. Many of our neighbors celebrate both holidays and I love the mix of it all. Wishing you an early happy and healthy new year!
Holiday hugs,