Friday, January 1, 2010

Christmas Week, part one

Our first family Christmas happened on Saturday Dec. 19. We were set to fly out the next morning so we had a mini gift exchange. It really didn't seem that early as we've been thinking about Christmas since Halloween.
Dave and I stayed up late the night before and decked our tiny tree and stuffed stockings.
Then we cleaned house. That was the challenging part for me. I usually don't like doing dishes, but once I start, I usually do OK loading and unloading the dishwasher, but the counters and sink drain get put off for another time. However, since I was leaving for 11 days I couldn't justify any procrastinating and as the boys were put to bed and Dave click-clicked away on the computer I faced one of my greatest fears: finishing the kitchen. First, I asked Dave to please empty the skanky compost bucket which was "soaking" with swill. Thankfully, he got up and dealt with that so I wouldn't feel so alone. Then... I started. I kept going, fighting all the way. I ached to be done, to do something fun and creative, but I kept finding things I couldn't deny: dust under the table, grime around the burners, food caked in the cracks of the woven place mats. ...Through mental kicking and screaming, I finished.
Dave hugged me an hour later. "Thanks for finishing the kitchen." I still pouted, "It was so hard!" I'm such a rebel.
Then, the next morning for one of the first times, we left a tidy house, newly changed beds, and no dirty laundry.
The drive to the airport was nerve-racking through a blinding blizzard. The blowing snow even covered the tail lights of the car in front of us so they were elusive. Once at the airport we stood in line for an hour to ticket our bags then wormed our way through customs and finally: the dreaded security where everything ground to a halt. When we finally made it through we had ten minutes before our plane was to LEAVE and that's when I realized I didn't have my bag. I looked back at the scanner dude who said it had to be checked. Dave went ahead with the boys to the gate and I waited, and waited. The inspector said she had to wait for her supervisor who was laughing with another officer over against the wall. I tried to be patient. Something in my bag was setting off an alarm. The supervisor asked to see my boarding pass but David had taken it to the gate. To make a long story short, I was there another 10 minutes with David running back to goad the officers on, my bag was searched two more times and my entire body patted down before I sprinted to my gate fighting back tears, only to sit on my small plane for another hour before take off.

Thankfully, we made it to Oregon and I could smell wet pine trees in the air. Mom and Dad drove us to the beach through familiar Oregon rain as we ate juicy hamburgers from Jack in the Box. We finally landed at Seaside and all the boys could think of was the pool.
We swam in the pool under cold rain and wind from the surf, but the best part was the colored lights in the water.
The next two days we spent doing puzzles, games, walks on the beach, and even a drive to Astoria where Dave showed us his old home, school, and steep streets. The climb up the Astoria Column made my thighs ache, but it was a good adventure. Dave and Weston especially liked the huge bridge to Washington.
I love the ocean. It's so important. Our last morning there it was so sunny. We had a long walk on the beach and the waves were bigger than when we visited in August.
It was tough to keep the boys out of the water, but this was the day we were leaving and it didn't make sense to have wet feet the whole day. (Of course the day before they went in winter coats and all.)
So, that's the report of the first few days of our vacation.
More to come.

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