Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Comforts, Quirks, and Company

Hoosier Winter
This Christmas is very much a working holiday. I'm striving to complete my final dissertation chapter by December 31, so I'm not indulging in nearly as many movies, walks, or visits as I normally do when visiting Indiana. However, even while racing toward my deadline, I have been able to appreciate many of the good things about being here, in my first of all homes:

1. Kind Inquiries from Federal Employees: As I stepped onto the porch to retrieve the mail on Tuesday, the postman stopped and shouted, "Well, how is Baby Bear? Get good grades this semester?"
2. Things that Do Not Change: For more years than I can remember, my mother has used the same wrapping paper to wrap my presents. I suppose when you save a certain paper for one person, it can last a long time.
3. Creature Comforts: Writing a dissertation is much more pleasant with a purring cat curled up on my lap (or, less conveniently, in front of my keyboard)
4. Other Things that Do Not Change: My parents' Christmas tree will always be, in my estimation, the best of all trees.  Every ornament has a story. I especially like the angels made from aluminum foil, which Mama made when she and Daddy were first married.
Grocery shopping with Mama
5. Deliciousness: On Wednesday, Mama made eight casserole dishes full of homemade party mix. As far as I am concerned, this is our Christmas feast.
6. Quirks I Did Not Realize Were Quirks until I Left Home: On our living room walls, my parents have maps of Narnia and Middle Earth, but there is not a single family portrait to be found on any wall in the house. 
7. New Delights: Daddy is reading Harry Potter for the first time (he's just started the sixth book), and I love hearing his first-time reactions to the stories.
8. Quotidian Grace: Mama and I spend quality time together by running errands.
9. Sartorial Redemption: The Helping Hands thrift store in West Terre Haute, Indiana yields many treasures.
10. Good Company: Miscellaneous college and international students are in and out of the house at all hours.
11.  Ties that Bind: I spent last night and most of today with Lennon, Amy, and Andrew--kin by so much more than blood. (Amy, by the way, is a fabulous baker and blogs her creations here. If you're in central/southern Indiana, you should hire her to bake you a cake!).

Lennon, Amy, and Andrew with "Aunt Bethany"
A more typical glimpse of our time together.

Where are you this Christmas? What are some of the good things about being there?

1 comment:

  1. I'm at Max and Ken's house in Farragut, TN. A quiet evening listening to NPR and jazz. Ken prepared the dinner and his special turkey gravy (great gravy!). I learned about their family Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions, listened to some of Ken's car stories (we both shared stories of owning a utility vehicle [his bus, my van]) and I had the privilege to drive Ken's new Chevy Volt. Now its time to return phone calls from family.