Sunday, December 19, 2010

Holiday Visit

I saved up two last vacation days for the end of the year, as a pause before the final plunge into the holidays.  Or, as it turns out, a bit of a recovery from the push to be prepared.  Presents are wrapped, some of them mailed, some of them cards done, but the house is decorated, and the tree is up, with Miss Chef's wrapped gifts underneath.  That's good enough to get by.

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 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. ;)


  1. Oh Flartus, I'm so glad you and Rosie got to spend some time with your parents for the holidays.

  2. Me too. Your parents will have been thrilled to bits! As I ,when my sons and their families spent some time with me having an 'early Christmas'. Joyeux Noel to you and yours. xxx

  3. Sounds like a fun visit, especially for Rosie, the Granddog getting to share cookie dough with your Pa. :)
    We have the Habitat for Humanity resale shop here, too, but it doesn't seem to have gone the way of the thrift store yet. It's still basically building supplies for now.
    I got a great screen door there a couple months ago, for my chicken coop for only $30. now I've got go look up trenchant. Makes me think of trench coat. lol!


  4. I can just smell the ocean breezes now. Sounds like you and Rosie are having the perfect couple of days with your folks. Good for you!

  5. "stacks of wax" Love it!

    Rosie is just such a huggable looking dog. She's got to be a great snuggler.

  6. It's great that you got to spend some time with your folks, and share in the old traditions, once again. That is the true spirit of the holidays.

  7. Rosie sure is having a great time!
    It sounds like you are really enjoying yourself. Cookies! Yum! Your Dad sounds like quite a character.

  8. I didn't know Restore had furniture now, I'll have to check out the one in Boone. Pass me a homemade cookie.

  9. It's a treat to spend time with family during the holidays. Glad you got to visit your folks, it sounds like a really nice trip. Hope you pack so of those cookies for your drive back home.
    Merry Christmas, jj

  10. There's nothing like family at Christmas. Sometimes it's wonderful, sometimes it's not so great, but there's nothing like it and when I don't get it I miss it.

    When I as growing up we had The Sugar Cookie Olympics - an evening of fiercely competitive sugar cookie decorating. The highlight was the Sugar Cookie Person category - everyone got one to decorate, and our cookie art works (preserved through the years through photos) reflected current geo-political events (a cookie decorated like Gorbachev won once), fashion trends (punk cookies), and celebrity highlights (Boy George and Princess Di). My dad's specialty was the cookie decorated with a pithy saying, like "Fart" or "Humbug". Gosh, that was a lot of fun, and we haven't done it in years!

  11. Everything looks and smells wonderful...Have a grand Holiday!you lucky ducky!


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