Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Back to normal


Well, another Christmas has come and gone.  I'm back at work today after having a 3-day weekend.  It was a very simple affair for us, and I enjoyed it more than many Christmases that I can remember in recent years past.  I think it may be that I had no expectations this year.  None at all.  That's quite different for me, as I consider myself "queen" of the expectations.  I have a habit of visualizing the "perfect" holiday in my mind and then the reality of everything hits me and leaves me feeling very let down.  However, that was not the case this year.  Our festivities began a week ago with a day of walking around in downtown Portland, window shopping and viewing of Christmas lights.  We met my husband's brothers and their wives at a little Italian restaurant and enjoyed a wonderful evening with them.  The following night we attended the Nutcracker Suite Ballet.  It was wonderful!  I have wanted to see this ballet for many, many years, and I was not disappointed.  The costumes were astounding, the music enchanting and the dancers divine.  We loved it!

Last Friday evening after work, I stopped by our favorite Chinese restaurant and ordered take-out.  It was amazing!!  We ate out of the boxes in front of the television and it was a very nice evening.  Sabbath morning we woke up early, and headed to church.  Usually, I fuss and worry over what to wear because I have so very few "nice clothes".  This morning however, I heard a friend's voice in my head..."I just go".  So, after showering and having a cup of coffee, I threw on some black slacks, a sweater and a neck scarf and away we went.  We listened to some beautiful Christmas music on the way and I was only a tad late for greeter duty.  Afterwards we listened to the sermon, enjoyed singing and headed home.  It was a beautiful day!  Christmas Eve day had dawned bright and sunshiney - what a blessing!  We grabbed a quick breakfast/lunch and preceded to make up cookie gift boxes for some friends.  We spent the afternoon delivering cookies and visiting with some wonderful friends and got home in time to bring the horses into their stalls for the evening (wonderful hubby had taken care of stall duty earlier) and head to my sister's house for an evening with my family.  The festivities of gift exchanging, the annual name draw gift exchange game and dinner were finished by the time we got there.  My sister had arranged for an early afternoon rendezvous because a family member had to work Christmas eve and Christmas Day.  So, we ate leftovers while visiting quietly around the kitchen table.  This worked out perfectly for us.  My family isn't exactly spiritual in any way, and Christmas doesn't seem like any other family get-together outside of the gift exchanging.  We said our good-byes after a few hours and headed home via some country roads and took in some beautiful light displays on the way.  The air was cold and crisp and the stars shone brightly.  Peaceful and beautiful.  I loved it.  My hubby gave me his gift.  It was a beautiful rain chain for our house.  When it rains, the water cascades down the chain and is visually beautiful, and the sound of the water is enchanting...I love it!  I gave him his annual gift of new socks and underwear, along with a few music CD's.  Then we headed off to bed.

Christmas morning we slept in.  We had nowhere to go.  What a blessing!! We had coffee by the fire and then fed the horses in their stalls. They enjoyed their hay and some treats of carrots and oats.  Back inside, we fixed a breakfast of french toast with homemade boysenberry/whipped butter compote and smoked ham.  It was delicious!!  We lounged around the house listening to music and noshing on cookies for most of the day.  We were totally lazy and it felt wonderful!  Later on in the afternoon we headed out to do the stall cleaning and listened to some beautiful Christmas music in the barn.  It was peaceful and relaxing.  After we finished the chores, we headed back inside where we enjoyed an afternoon nap.  I woke up feeling luxuriously refreshed, enjoyed a nice warm bath and got dressed in (real clothes) for the first time that day.  We went to the local theater and watched the movie War Horse.  It was very well done, beautiful cinematography and I cried most of the way through it.  It was just too barbaric, way too gruesome and just plain painful to watch for this horse lover.  I spent a lot of time covering my eyes with my sweater and worried that I might need to leave.  I left with a headache and even shed a few tears on the way home.  The only saving grace of the movie for me, was the human kindness and compassion of some people throughout the story.  Without that, it would have been a total wash.  I liken this movie to "Schindler's List" (which I also couldn't watch), but with horses being abused and sacrificed instead.  War is brutal business.  When will we ever learn?

I had Monday off and that was our day to catch up on housework, laundry and chores in general around the house.  It was overall a wonderful Christmas.  I am thankful for my husband, our warm and cozy home, beautiful friends and family, our dogs and our horses, more food than we need, and jobs to support ourselves.  Life is good.  God is in heaven and all is well within our hearts. I'll probably always miss my mom and and my dad, especially around Christmas, but this one was peaceful and I was content; and for that too, I am so very thankful.

Blessings everyone, and may 2012 be a good year for all of us...

Lorie @ Cingspots

10 comments:

Grey Horse Matters said...

It sounds like a peaceful laid back Christmas. Wish our was. We seem to have so much to do each Christmas. But like you we took yesterday off and didn't even get into real clothes. Today everything is back to normal, laundry, dishes, grocery shopping etc. Happy you had such a nice holiday.

Happy New Year to you and yours, may it be peaceful and healthy.

Kate said...

It sounds like you had a lovely, peaceful, holy Christmas with family and friends and horses - you are blessed indeed.

Have a wonderful New Year, one and all!

fernvalley01 said...

Sounds like a lovely day. And thank you for that "real review" of War Horse , I am afraid to see it in Theatres as I am quite sure I will be devastated. Hoping to wait till it comes out on DVD and watch it at home where I can take a break if I need. Everyone is say what a powereful and wonderful movie it is , and I am sure it is all of that too, but my poor heart doesn't accept that kind of pain well

Annette said...

It sounds like you had a really nice Christmas. You sealed it for my on War Horse. I was leaning towards not seeing it as I don't do well with gruesome in general and animal gruesome in particular. I will definitely not be seeing that movie -- although I'm sure it is very good. Not my cup of tea.

Lea and her Mustangs said...

I wish I wasn't at the top of making expectations. It is always such a let down. We did Christmas Eve with our kids and their kids so they could stay home christmas if they wanted. They seem to buzz in, eat, open their gifts and buzz out. After church on Sunday we came home and I did very little until supper time when we went to our oldest sons. I could not stand the loud TV ect for long. (Love him lots but hate their lifestyle. Bob helped Katie and Cam move on Monday and I never got dressed. Sounds pretty pathetic to me.

I want to see War Horse but on DVD. I don't handle that kind of stuff well but had heard a lot of good reports. Yours sounds more like I suspected it to be.

This sounds like an awful comment on your so positive post. Sorry, Lori, I loved your post, made me feel silly.

aurora said...

Glad you had such a wonderful and enjoyable Christmas! Your rain chain sounds lovely, what a nice gift. The sound of anything water is soooo soothing!

C-ingspots said...

Sorry, didn't mean to scare anyone away from seeing that movie, but I'm just being honest. I'm a total sucker for just about any horse movie, but this one was just too painful for my heart. In contrast, I highly recommend "Buck"! To say it is fantastic is an understatement...go see it!!!!
And Lea, please don't apologize for being honest here, with me. Life isn't always sticky sweet and we need to share honest emotions when we have them. I'm the first one to complain when I am in that mind frame. And, that's my complaint with my family. I love them, just can't stand to be around then very often, or too long. Totally don't like their lifestyles.

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

Sometimes it really pays to just slow down and enjoy the moment. Glad to hear you gave yourself that chance. Our Christmas was very low-key. I think my MIL thought we were being a bit tooo blase', but MH and I just didn't feel the need to do too much this year. Some years are just like that and now that the kiddos are grown up, we don't have to force it when it is. I enjoyed cooking with the MIL while she was here and doing some sale shopping after Christmas with the kiddo and a friend.

My husband asked me if I wanted to go to War Horse and I told him...'No Thanks! I read the book and that was hard enough.'

Happy New Year to you and your family. Hope 2012 is a great year for you all.

Carolynn said...

So many people elected to scale back this year. I'm glad you had a happy, peaceful celebration. Happy New Year.

panthercreekcottage said...

Why isn't it we never get together for our birthdays? I hope yours was beautiful. In cali with my sis for hers, but soon as I'm home I will be a callin' on you!! Love you