Up early, 3:30 AM on Tuesday, December 21, we grabbed coffee, CPAPs, and carry on bags and drove to Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix. Finding the already paid for parking was a bit of a challenge, but Dan’s navigating skills got us there. The plane left on schedule, and we made it to the Little Rock airport, via DFW, at about 2 PM. Kay and Pat were waiting to pick us up, and we arrived back in the Hot Springs Village about an hour later.
Wednesday was the “calm before the storm” as I enjoyed the massive Christmas decorations Kay had erected, as well as the assorted cookies, candies, and cakes! We had cocktails and dinner with Jim and Ginny Passe, friends who we haven’t seen in two years because of COVID restrictions and travel; it had been entirely too long.
Our family Christmas celebrations began in earnest on Thursday as Kay and I traveled to Memphis to spend a few hours with Jenny and her kids Harper, Linc, and Sutton. It is amazing that she manages a 9-year old, a 2-year old, and a 1-year old as a single mother, but she does. (Kay and I are blessed that all of our kids are good parents.) Watching the kids with their gifts was a hoot. Harper was in shock when she opened and saw the new iPad and cover; now she won’t have to share! Linc loved his trucks and doggy sleeping bag. He had the truck carrier disassembled in record time, and couldn’t wait to crawl into the sleeping bag. And Sutton loved Linc’s gifts too, despite get some girly gifts and lots of pajamas. Back home after almost 7 hours of driving today, we rested and prepared for the next big event.
Christmas with Kay’s family was celebrated Friday, Christmas Eve with a brunch followed by gift exchange at Karyn’s. Again, it was truly fun watching the grandkids. Ridge had a look of disbelief when he opened and identified the new iPad. And then, Kay had wrapped and stacked inside one another, several boxes with a gift paper for he and DD (that’s me) to shop for soccer shoes this coming spring. Aker loved her gifts but was really thrilled to find out she would inherit Ridge’s old tablet. It was a really fun morning with good food and great family time, though we sure missed Kaden and Diana.
Back at home, we enjoyed a brief rest before going to church for Christmas Eve service, a tradition Kay and I began before we were married; we’ve only missed one or two in 21 years. Following the candlelight and communion service, we enjoyed a new tradition started after moving to Hot Springs Village, spaghetti dinner with Jim and Jackie Morris. By the time early evening arrived, we were pooped and ready for bed.
Kay and I opened gifts on Saturday, Christmas morning. We reached the age several years ago where we blessed to already have what we need and want, so there were few surprises. But, it was fun all the same. And then, Christmas was over! And, deconstruction of holiday decorations began. With three large trees and seven smaller ones, it didn’t take near as long for the both of us to remove ornaments and take down and store the decorations.
Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday were spent preparing the house for our prolonged absence, though not a lot had to be done.