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All the kids took off into the night to walk the dogs into the deep woods. They returned telling tales of coyote tracks and blood trails.
But all returned home and the head count that returned matched the number that had left. There were no injuries.
Just a freaked-out Mom here and there.
As the night wore on and the kids started to wear out, the snow outside started to fall again. We settled down at the dining table for our second Christmas Feast.
Our second night of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, yams, and cranberry sauce.
As we sat sipping coffee, the little-ones and big-ones alike reminded us that we had not yet achieved our primary objective. We had not yet exchanged gifts.
The chaos of family gift exchanges can never be truly well documented. It is more like an eruption of paper and ribbon sent miles into the air by young hands ripping cardboard to get to the gift inside.
And when the ribbon had cleared and the paper finally settled to crumpled piles on the ground, I found that I been presented with a home made gift from my cousin Jenny – one of my pseudo-big-sisters.
It is a hand made snow globe. Inside sits a picture of me, in my car, being towed onto the farm by Uncle Fred’s tractor. If you turn the key on the bottom, I believe it plays “Let It Snow”. On the other side of the picture, Jenny had written in gold ink: “Don’t be afraid of a little snow, Freddy”.
I damn near cried.
But I was cool.
My little family stayed the night, while the rest of clan headed to their homes in Kitchner, and
My little girls are about 3 years younger than Sarah and Rene’s two little girls. My little girls revere both Justine and Paige as much as they do Hannah Montana. This is truly the only real sleep over my little girls have ever had. It’s a big deal.
Big huge flakes were falling; covering the ground and roads quickly. To the kids; it looked like heaven.
To me, it looked like lousy driving weather.
It would have been grand to stayed with Sarah and Rene another night.
But we were not prepared.
We did not have another change of clothes.
We did not have either Darlene’s or Ashley-Rae’s prescriptions.
And Rene’s family were coming that afternoon. Sarah and Rene were going to throw the exact same party all over again.
They certainly did encourage us to stay. They almost had me sold. It has been some time since I saw his mom and dad, his brothers, his family.
But this was their Christmas day together. It was their time to exchange gifts. The table was set to fit their family members.
Little girls would not be understanding when presents are being exchanged that there are no presents for them.
But not before both Alannah and Ashley-Rae cried. They wanted to stay. They wanted to play. They wanted to live there instead.
Once on the road, the four-wheel drive of our jeep got us easily out of the snow, and the snow turned to simple rain just a few miles south of the log cabin. The enchantment of the trip was gone. It was just a rainy December drive home to
But next year, next year maybe we can plan this better. Plan this differently. Let the girls stay and play longer. Let them get to know their cousins better.