Finally the snow has melted away (at least in my part of town) and I think my friend Kelli Estes is probably still digging out. Her part of the area (and my mom’s as well) got hammered with more snow on Christmas to the point where many people lost their power and are still stranded with unplowed streets and limited access in and out. That is one of the vagaries of Seattle weather. Right now the wind is howling and the rain is pouring down, but I called my mom who lives 35 minutes away and she has blue sky and patches of snow in her yard. We have, according to the weather experts, some of the hardest weather to predict because of all the forces that converge over the Pacific Northwest and specifically Seattle (we even have a “Convergent Zone”).
Our Christmas was definitely memorable–the snow and more snow, and even more snow made it so. My dad drove up from Roseburg, Oregon in just horrible weather. I have to give him huge kudos for making the trip. I adore having my entire family in the house on Christmas and look forward to it all December. I plan out the big dinner, shop, cook and plan obsessively, and then it all comes together like a beautiful dream. I’m not bragging, it is just one thing that I am good at–putting on a big family meal and having it all come together. I watched my mom and my grandmothers do it year after year, and I itched for the time when it would finally fall on my shoulders. Well it did about 10 years ago, and I live for the holidays. I feel so close to my grandmothers when I have the entire kitchen running–oven packed, all the burners going, family dodging around me, kids eating too many cookies and crackers, someone’s spilled punch. I mean really, does life get any better?
Now my family would probably describe it a little differently. I also don’t share the responsibility any more than I have to, and I cringe when someone offers to bring something. Please don’t, it makes the control freak in me sort of crazy. Okay, a lot crazy. Unless it is my mom offering to bring rolls. She bakes killer rolls.
Well, as the days progressed toward my perfect Christmas, Mother Nature decided to give me a lesson. Instead of thawing as I thought it should, the weather just continued getting worse. I spent my time living in front of the local weather reports. When you are stuck at home with the kids and no way to get out, the weatherman is your lifeline. I sat in front of King 5 begging for help. “Come on, Jeff Renner, give me some temps over freezing.”
But alas, the weather kept my mom and brother and his family stuck–which just made me so sad. I’ve only spent two Christmases away from my mom in my entire life, and I was starting to feel a little heartbroken. But my dad, God Bless him, went out of his way to make the day fun. He played video games with the kids and had them laughing until the house rang with it. And that is what Christmas is all about, isn’t it? Great joy.
I ended up cutting the roast I had bought in half because we didn’t have enough people to eat 15 pounds of roast beef. (Did I also mention that I cook enough for a entire village?) As it happened, Matthew’s aid, Kelsey and her boyfriend had mentioned that they weren’t doing anything for Christmas, so I invited them over, because they are a wonderful part of our family and I knew they could get to our house. And to make my day complete, I discovered that her boyfriend eats. And eats and eats. He polished off every bit of leftovers and practically licked the plates clean. My grandmothers were certainly smiling down.