Sunday, December 30, 2007

Holiday highlights

Sun evening we loaded the car with gifts during the short intervals in which the pouring rain stopped. However, when it was time to put Jordan and ourselves in the car to leave, we all got wet. It was a nasty, cold, rainy night but we were excited by the approach of the holiday.

Mon morning the sun shined brightly as Evelyn, Spouse & I met up with Kerry, Hugh, George, and Kelly for breakfast at IHOP. I gave them each a bag of home baked cookies and Kerry gave us home made ornaments with our names on them. We had a great time catching up on each others lives and talking about our plans for the holidays and the new year.

After dropping Evelyn off at her house, Spouse & I went to Borders bookstore to meet up with my old friend Lisa, who was back in the DC area for Christmas with her family. Lisa & I lived in the same neighborhood and went all the way through school together, from elementary to high school. We were very good friends and shared an appreciation for the offbeat and unusual. While in high school we co-wrote and performed a song entitled "The Sleazy Barroom Blues" in the variety show. After college she taught high school English and drama for 15 years, then quit her job and moved to NY where she became a text book editor for a large publishing house. She and Spouse got along swimmingly right away, which I knew would happen. We had a lovely visit and promised to come visit her in NY in 2008.

Later that evening the family convened at Spouse's sister Mary's house for Evelyn's birthday. After dinner we all sang 'Happy Birthday' and Ev blew out the '7' and the '8' candles on her cake. I was too full from all the baked goodies I'd been eating to eat birthday cake. Then Ev opened her birthday gifts. Spouse & I gave her a handmade glass pendant we'd bought months ago from a local jewelry artist. Then we exchanged gifts with those who would not be present with us on Christmas day.

Tues morning after coffee and conversations in our pajamas, Evelyn and Spouse's brother Frank and the 2 of us went to the Hilton for Christmas brunch. Literally it was the only place open on Christmas day. The food was good and they had a guy playing a keyboard and singing a mixture of Christmas songs and hits from the 80s like 'Lady in Red'. We had a nice time.

At 2:30 Spouse & I picked up my aunt Mary and brought her back to Evelyn's house. We had a little gift exchange with Mary, and then went over to Spouse's sister Mary's house at 4:00.

We had gnocchi and stuffed shells with home made meatballs and Italian sausage for dinner. It was dee-lish! We nibbled on more home baked goodies, which seemed to keep multiplying, and then exchanged gifts. We had a really nice Christmas. Since Mary's kids are older now and less rambunctious and loud, I am really enjoying being around them more. Their individual personalities and senses of humor are developing, albeit prematurely, and they are much more fun to be around.

Thank god, we didn't receive any sheets, shirts, or sweaters this year! Instead we received gift cards, which are always handy.

Wed morning we left shortly before 10:00 and got home shortly after noon. Spouse took a nap and I curled up on the sofa and watch HGTV for a couple hours, then checked my email. At 4:30 Spouse & I went to the gym for our personal trainer appointments. Rather than have them back to back as scheduled, our trainer Rick had us work out at the same time, having us alternate on the same equipment. It went by quickly.

Spouse & I both went back to work on Thurs, then decided to catch some of the after Christmas sales Thurs night. Using our gift cards we bought a Wolfgang Puck counter top Convection Oven Spouse had been eyeing for months. Happily it was $30. less expensive after Christmas. We also got a stainless steel trashcan with a foot pedal that opens the lid, and 10 boxes of Christmas cards that were 1/2 off.

We both worked on Fri and then met up with 'the usual suspects' for dinner. But rather than eating at the Miltonian as we usually do on Fri evening, we decided to try the new Shanghai Buffet that just opened. The food was pretty good and everyone agreed that it was a nice change from our regular Fri night fare.

Sat morning we drove back to VA. We had a sandwich with Evelyn, talked, watched a little TV, then got ready for the 1st of 2 parties that day.

On the way to Marty & John's, we drove through the neighborhood where I grew up. I showed Spouse my elementary and middle schools, the house I lived in from age 18 months to 22 years, and noted all the changes that had taken place in the 20 years since I'd lived there.

We didn't know anyone but Marty & John at their party, but the guys were all friendly and we had nice conversations with several of them. It was really nice to see Marty & John again and show Spouse their unusual contemporary home. We stayed from 5:00-7:45.

Then we slipped up the highway to Ron & James' party where we knew everyone except 1 couple. It was really nice to see these old friends again, and many wanted to know how we liked our 'new life' in Lewes. We stayed from 8:30-11:00, then snuggled into bed shortly before midnight at Evelyn's.

This morning Spouse's sister Mary came over and we sat in the kitchen and talked over coffee for a while, then decided to have breakfast at the Silver Diner. Mary told us about her anniversary 'night out' in DC with her husband, where they celebrated 16 years of marriage. Then we returned to Evelyn's, packed our things and headed home.

Its been a busy but terrific holiday so far. Its not quite over yet though; tonight we're having dinner and celebrating New Years Eve with some friends.

Drag Queen name of the day: Brianna Cracker

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