So I'm using my two days to visit Ma and Pa. Not at the old farmhouse, but on The Island. They retired south about 12 years ago, tired of 20 years of shoveling snow and shivering through 6-month long winters in that charming old farmhouse!
Now the house is backed by an entirely different species of pine.
It takes some getting used to, these balmy days during the holiday season. Seeing the familiar old decorations helps.
And, of course, the Christmas tree, with ornaments old and new.
After several years of an artificial tree, then using potted houseplant trees, Mom insisted she wanted a "real tree" this year. Full circle.
Saturday morning, I accompanied Mom to the ReHome store, a resale outlet supporting Habitat for Humanity. She volunteers behind the counter every week, which is good for her and for Habitat. The original concept was as an outlet for items removed from homes by builders, or leftovers, odd bits that homeowners could use for their own homes.
The concept has spread a bit, to resemble other charity-run resale stores.
After meeting some of the staff and volunteers, I wandered, finding some weird stuff here and there.
Stacks of wax, but no hidden gems that I could find.
After a few hours, it was back to the house, a little break for Mom...
Rosie is having a great time. She's not been left alone for a minute since we left Charlotte, which makes her very contented and relaxed. There are lots of brand-new scents to parse in the strong ocean breezes, too.
Of course, you know that for me, home plus holidays has to mean food...in this case, Christmas cookies, a fun tradition I've shared here before, but not had time for in my own home this year. But as I rediscovered, that's the kind of thing that vacations are for!
I always recruit Dad to help with the decorating, as he enjoys breaking the rules of design now and then. We could all use a little more fun in our days. Rosie did not get to help this year, though Dad continued to rise in her esteem by sharing bits of extra dough.
Aside from a trip to the grocery store and a brief tick hunt through Rosie's double-thick coat ("You have too much hair!"), that's what we Flartopians have been up to. Tomorrow I head back to reality, hopefully refreshed and re-energized for whatever the holidays may bring. Or, maybe just relaxed enough to get through these darkest days of winter in a brighter mood.
Happy solstice, y'all!
P.S. My folks' computer is not letting some of your blogs load, and blanking out pictures on the others, so I haven't been able to keep up with y'all as I'd like. In case you're wondering where my trenchant, witty comments have been. ;)