Christmas has come and gone for another year, as it always does. As always, it was full of a lot of beauty and a little stuff that wasn't so beautiful, but we'll concentrate on the good, OK? Because I'm sure that none of you were naughty this year.
Or something like that....
The Christmas season for us began, as it does for a lot of folks, on the weekend after Thanksgiving. After an activity-filled Black Friday, we continued with the next day, traveling to my "ancestral" home in Allegany, NY, where my parents live.
This is the house where I grew up -- at least, from June 1981 onward. The house didn't always look like that; when my parents bought it there were no trees on the lot at all, and the house still had its original siding. In those first few years my parents did a lot of tree-planting. That big pine there, the one that dwarfs the house? My parents bought that at my request one day at some nursery when I decided that I wanted a tree, too. They further humored me by planting it right outside my bedroom window. Now that tree is so enormous that you can't even see out that bedroom window anymore.
After that, the holiday season settled into a bit of routine, but it was pretty busy. There were a lot of church functions to attend: potluck dinners, Christmas pageant rehearsals for The Daughter, Christmas parties, and so on. Here's our church's roof after the first big snowfall of the year:
And there was the quarterly Used Book Sale at the library:
This stack is just what I bought for myself. The total I spent on these, plus books for The Wife and The Daughter? Fourteen bucks. God, I love the library book sale!
There was the sudden realization that I needed to buy new work boots:
I spent some time this Holiday season wondering about the aging process. Part of this is natural -- I am almost 40, after all -- but part of it was brought on by an odd lady at the library who actually asked me if I had kids approaching me thinking that I'm Santa. Huh?
I know that a gray or even white beard is on the way, but I'm not there yet! And I keep my beard fairly short. Portly guy plus beard of any color equals Santa? Huh? Should I therefore suspect that if I were to lose a lot of weight, I could look like Jesus?
Well...what else? There was one day when we were driving home and the sunset was behind us:
And there was the day I had to drive home through Bills-game traffic, including a bus destined for wherever "Test Pattern" is:
And of course, no matter how busy the Holiday season gets, one must always take time for kitties.