I've always said that (thankfully) time moves a little slower here, so having a delayed Christmas was nothing new and certainly did not diminish our celebration. The Kids started arriving just as I was finishing in the barn. Taking the milk up to the house, I was told not to take off my boots...we were going back out again. Okay. There, in the back of Deb and Craig's car, was a covered crate. I'll bet I'm the only kid on the block who got a new rooster for Christmas! He is a gorgeous white Silkie and his name is Musashi, after a famous samurai warrior. Deb researched the name with Terry, Craig's mom. Craig calls him Bob. We were anxious to let him out of the cage after his long ride, and I forgot the first rule about introducing a new member into the flock. Setting him free in the Silkie pen, the girls ignored his magnificent presence at first, and then Yuki, the self-appointed chief chicken, took him on. There was the pecking and flying up to strike. I grabbed up Musashi, crated him again, and tucked him with food and water into the feed barn until after dark. I can't wait to get pictures of him this morning.
While Deb, Craig and I were playing chicken whisperer, Dave, Larry, Susan, and Taylor were loading my porch with firewood (what a kind thing to do), and then we were all free to play poker! We took a break to eat big bowls of chili verde, our traditional Christmas dinner, and then open gifts before going back to the cards. My family is not materialistic in any sense of the word. All gifts are from the heart. There is one gift that I have received for thirty years and it touches me in ways I cannot describe. From the time I left home to marry at eighteen, my father gave me a box of See's candy every year. The Christmas after he died, my daughter handed me a box of See's and said, "This is from me and Grandpa." Deb does this every year, and every year my father lives again.
I'm not going to list the many other funny, beautiful, delicious gifts I received, but I should mention that the "Wells-Fargo Wagon" had brought a DVD set of the PBS series of the much-loved "Anne of Green Gables" from a new friend, and the mailman had brought a book of Julia Child's letters, "Always, Julia," from an oh-so-dear old friend, as well as a package with a tee-shirt autographed by Clint Bowyer (my NASCAR driver) from my YaYa cousin.
A word about books: Deb showed me the Kindle she had just received, and I was amazed at the technology. I think it is a wonderful invention, and perfect for someone who lives the busy lifestyle as she does. I am old school. It's not just the content of a book for me. I love the physical feel of the paper, the way typeset can influence the story, the weight of the book in my hand. I like the act of turning the pages. Browsing a list is not the same as running your fingers along the books on the shelf, recognizing old friends, searching for a beloved title or author. My rooms are filled with bookshelves and stacks of books nearly ready to fall over. I'm not ready to join The New Age. I live in a different time zone.