Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Your Grandfather Would Have Loved This Place

The weekend, promising warmer temperatures, arrived, the warmer temperatures accompanied by rain.. lots of rain.  Of course, this was the weekend that we, Joe and I, were hosting my mother, stepfather, sister, daughter and son-in-law for our "Christmas in Virginia."  The "kids" will be heading to France next week for the rest of the year, so we decided to celebrate early.

Though I knew it was coming, I was working all week and so my Christmas decorating occurred on Friday afternoon and evening.  I examined the boxes in the eaves of the pond house and discovered lots of Christmas decorations about which I'd completely forgotten.  By the end of the evening, I was satisfied that, while not overly decorated, there would be no doubt about what we were celebrating.

Ridiculously Tiny Tree

Joe Cool does Christmas

Ridiculously Tiny Tree
Loaded Down
with Toyland Characters

Saturday morning and afternoon I spent cooking the food we'd later enjoy. At 3 PM it began raining, and raining hard.  I stirred the chili in one crock-pot and the kielbasa/vegetable soup in the other.  I checked the ham in the oven, and I started baking the brownies, and seven layer cookies.  Time crawled by as I waited for everyone to arrive.  I was all alone at the pond house... no computer, no TV, no books.... while it is nice to have the space to entertain guests, since we have moved out of the house, there are not a whole lot of "time-passing" items still there.  So, I kept looking for more things to cook or bake.

Finally, at 6PM they all arrived... Jenn and Benoit from Madison, VA and Mom and John from Adelphi, MD... they all pulled into the driveway at EXACTLY the same time.  Before long, Joe arrived from the farmhouse, where he'd been working all day, preparing for the change in weather. Over the next seven hours we enjoyed visiting, eating, laughing, opening gifts to each other, and generally enjoying each others' company.

Jenn and Ben Modeling a Snuggy

Jenn and Ben, Unwrapping Gifts

Judy and Mom

Joe, Showing off his new Wrist Magnet!
Jenn and Ben Looking at a Gift
Everyone Eating
At about 1 AM, we called it a night, with plans for day two. 

Sunday, after church, I arrived back at the pond house to find my sister had arrived from MD and Jenn had heated up left overs from the night before for everyone to eat for lunch.

Serving the Soup
We enjoyed a filling lunch before piling into three cars to make the hour drive to the Virginia Choral Society Christmas concert, in which both my son and daughter-in-law were singing.  Joe and I sat in the balcony of the church, met and enjoyed a conversation with the pastor of that church, and successfully recorded the concert.

Virginia Choral Society
It was pouring again when we left the concert heading to the restaurant for supper. The restaurant we'd chosen for the meal was The Pub. Everyone was SOAKED by the time we got from our cars to to our seats at the table.  And we waited for Jenn and Ben to arrive... they'd left to get gas before coming to the restaurant.  We waited, and we waited.  Finally, I suggested we go ahead and order.  Jenn and Ben still had a three hour drive home, so they'd appreciate we'd already started the process of getting served.  Of course, I was also worrying they'd had an accident or something, given the awful weather.  Eventually, my cell phone rang.  Jenn was on the other end.

"Hey Mom," said she.
"Hey Jenn, where are you?"
"We're here on Water Street, are you here?"
"We are here in The Pub, at the table.....wait, Water Street?"
My brain was trying to wrap around the address and make sense of it.  "Jenn, The Pub, at the Coliseum Mall..."
"the Coliseum Mall? ... Ohhhhhhhh..... I thought you meant the Pub in Yorktown..."

So, the long and short of it is that, on this rainy, rainy, "Christmas in Virginia" night, we enjoyed our meal in two different "The Pub's" twenty miles apart!

Enjoying Dinner at The Pub

More Gift Giving

Sunday night Mom and John returned to the pond house to spend the night.  Everyone else had to work Monday morning, so returned to their own homes. Joe and I returned to the old farmhouse.  Our plan was to bring Mom and John to the old farmhouse before they set out to return home on Monday morning.

Monday morning we awoke to SNOW....

Snow on Deck
Nevertheless, we followed through with the plan.  I drove to the pond house, helped Mom and John  pack up their luggage and treasures and led them back to the old farmhouse.  Now, even under the best of circumstances, these two people do not move around with ease.  Still, despite the snow, they enjoyed a short visit here.  Sitting in lawn chairs in the giant garage, surrounded by boxes and building supplies,we shared cups of coffee and tea, and more conversation, as we enjoyed the warmth from the wood stove.

Garage Chat
Before they left, I took Mom over to to actually look inside the old farmhouse, at the broken beams and floor joists, at the massive amount of work still awaiting us.  I was surprised by her response.  She said, "this is what my father wanted -- what your grandfather wanted -- but Mother and I talked him out of it."


"Yes, he always wanted a place like this... just enough land to make a little farm to provide for the family's needs..."

And my mother explained that the land, the ancient farmhouse. the sheds, the "life" of this place is EXACTLY what my grandfather wanted.

We said goodbye to Mom and John just before noon, as the snow was tapering off.  Armed with directions back home, they headed down the long driveway to the paved road, their flags flapping from both sides of their car's roof.  I had to laugh.  My mother would HATE living in a place like this, but she's right, my grandfather would have loved it!

Flags Flapping as they Make Their Escape!

Your Grandfather Would Have Loved This Place


Sharon said...

Thank you for sharing your family Christmas celebrations with us! You have a very lovely family and your photos show all that!

Love your decorations and....

Yes, your Grandfather would have loved it there!

niels said...

sounds and looks really great, my mom also accepted to have celebrations when people were available and not necessarily on the proper day, and it also sounds as if your overalls symbolize your taste for farmhouse and your mothers distaste !:)

mixednut555 said...

Very nice pictures and post, Judy. Your Christmas celebration sounded wonderful. Hope the rest of your holidays are just as nice.

WV: hoessedi

Nekkid Chicken said...

Heck I love your place. Merry Christmas,

Nekkid Chicken said...

OH and now I can say I know of someone who owns a Snuggy. Something my daughter and I talked about before she left for a visit to her mom. Neither one of us could think of no one who owned one. :O)

Canyon Girl said...

Judy, that is so nice. Your wonderful time with your family shines through every word.

Judy's Corner said...


It was interesting to look at those decorations again. It had been several year since I did any Christmas decorating and had honestly forgotten about most of them.

Here at the old farmhouse, the weather provides the only Christmas decorations... snow!

Judy's Corner said...

LOL Neils, my mom is a city person... something I don't think I could ever be!

And yes, I'm happy to celebrate when people can get together, even if it is not on "the day."

Judy's Corner said...

Thanks Kat... we will have another family gathering on "Boxing Day" at Dad's, so you might say, this is the SEASON of Christmas.

Hope your Christmas is a special one.

Judy's Corner said...


I have to confess, I am the one that gave the snuggy... (what on EARTH possessed me???) At least we got some fun photo ops!

Judy's Corner said...

Thanks Inger... we are a little scattered so getting together is always fun for me!