When I was young, often at Christmas, the entire family would gather at the farmhouse. There were so many cousins, and such a large range of ages. And this meant that outdoor activities dominated our fun. Sledding, snowball fights, ice skating, and any other mischief we could think up while we were at it. And then there’d be hot chocolate inside, which I never really liked but I would often pretend to fit in. Soaking wet woolen outerwear hung above and beside the wood stove, I can still hear the hiss of snow and wet dripping from them onto the stove. There’d be a point where we’d have gone through the box of gloves and mittens, scarves and hats and we would have to wait for everything to dry out again before we ventured back outdoors. There’d be my Nana, sitting on the couch near that wood stove, knowing full well that I had an inability to know my limits when it came to the cold.She would take my painfully freezing feet and hands in her warm hands and patiently wait for them to warm up. Christmas also brought indoor activities that felt fascinating and new. Sometimes we’d “convince” the adults to allow us to make homemade donut holes. The Mennonite Community Cookbook, the family “bible” of cooking would be brought out, dough mixed, and oil heated to just the right temperature. The house would smell of fried food, the adults would hand us paper bags of powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar and fresh donut holes and had us shake the bags to coat the donuts, the dark stains of the grease showing through the bags so quickly. I don’t think I loved donut holes that much either, but the process was new and fascinating and wonderful.
As an adult, I know what massive amounts of work goes into making a christmas all shiny and beautiful for a child, and I know that adults have their own cares and concerns, thoughts and feelings brought on by being around so many other people. I don’t know what it was like for the adults in my life when I was a child. But boy did they make Christmas beautiful for us!
I like fried food just fine now, and so these are the memories that pop in my head when Don and I make our own traditional funnel cake on Christmas morning.
For the first time in a very long time I felt a bit melancholy on Christmas morning. Thing is, I am usually so busy go go going that the brief and quiet respite of a christmas without people is bliss. So, this time, I think it’s that I’ve got this stretch of not working laying out ahead of me (despite the fact that a huge portion of that is full of Mr. Ink’s family) and I didn’t feel like I “needed” christmas day to be quiet like I generally do. Or, maybe, when Mr. Ink’s mother was still in town and his kids would pop by unexpectedly, that was enough to make things feel appropriately festive. I really couldn’t say. I certainly wasn’t melancholy at thanksgiving! In any case, that was a bit of a new feeling this year. And it passed pretty quickly, as we occupied ourselves with yardwork (Ok, that was Mr. Ink, not me) and a nice long walk during breaks in the rain.
We had a line of storms go through as well, later on in the day. High winds, sideways buckets of rain. The sideways rain managed to get into the doorbell, making it seem like someone was playing “ding dong ditch” for the majority of the evening. Maybe PART of my melancholy was it just not feeling like christmas with the warm, rainy, spring like weather!
There’s been spinning!
All my into the whirled bobbins got finished, and then I plied on Saturday.
I ended up with 280 yards of what I’d guess to be a sport weight yarn. It didn’t turn out anything like what I expected but it is certainly pretty!
I began another spinning project soon after, but most of yesterday’s crafting time was spent on Mr. Ink’s socks. I don’t know why, but they really just were the perfect knitting for the day.
Miss Butterfly comes home today. She and I have some Christmas shopping to do for Mr. Ink’s family. And then tonight we will do our own Christmas. I am really looking forward to that!
I do hope everyone had a lovely day!