Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Home and Away

Ah, Christmas.  It evokes memories of home, and visions of traveling there, perhaps in equal measure.  For "home" is a concept that shifts as the proverbial sands at the seaside.  I type this from our log home, and yet I will write in a moment about returning home to Ohio, my birthplace.  Numerous posts about the UK, my second home, populate this blog.  In the final analysis, home is where your heart takes flight!  I am grateful for all of my homes, past, present and future.  

This week, I am linking up with LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color.  She has nurtured a fine group of bloggers who will make you feel at home with their I Like Thursday posts.  Check it out!

Christmas brings me such bonhomie that my "likes" could approach War and Peace dimensions.  That might reduce your enjoyment, so I will resist that temptation!  Without question, the arrival of winter and the "white stuff" holds a prominent position on my happy list at the moment.

Snowshoe rabbits are on my "naughty" list in the summer, but it is hard to get irritated with them when they are scrabbling for food through the winter.  

AND, while I don't have a picture, Spousal Unit spotted an Ermine outside the house this week, and for just a few moments, we giggled while watching it pop in and out of the snow.  I found this video on YouTube and this will give you an idea!

Some of my likes are not from this week, but they are just too good not to share!  In November, I flew to Ohio with the main purpose to join #1 Daughter, her bridal party, her future mother-in-law and my sister for wedding dress shopping.  I mean, who doesn't like being pampered and trying on a bazillion dresses that make you feel like a princess?  I can't share the dress with you, but trust me that it is BE-YOO-TI-FUL on her.  She wears the dress rather than it wearing her ... October 14, 2023 will be one special day!  My sister will design the flowers, and during my visit, the two of them sat down for some planning - I was a third wheel!

We visited the gravesites of my parents, and Wyoming Florist (previously owned by my sister and now passed on to the next generation - her daughter-in-law and her son) generously provided these simple bouquets.  If you look closely, you will notice that both of them were born in December - I think of them often in the run-up to Christmas each year.

No trip to Ohio is complete without Skyline Chili, so I made sure to enjoy some before I returned to Montana!  (This picture greets you at the airport, near the baggage claim, and tempts you when you depart!!!)

On the plane, I began reading "The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World" by Laura Imai Messina.  I wasn't sold by the style at first, but it pulled me in and I highly recommend it, especially for anyone dealing with fresh grief.  On December 6, we were devastated by the loss of Spousal Unit's only aunt.  

"Later, Yui realized that she had learned another thing ... that silencing a man was equivalent to erasing him forever.  And so it was important to tell stories, to talk to people, to talk about people.  To listen to people talking about other people.  Even to speak with the dead, if it helped."

We soldiered on and harvested our Christmas tree from our own property.  Who knew a tree could be so heavy?  Normally we have kids here to help with this process!  We recruited a neighbor to hold the tree upright while I judged its position and Spousal Unit locked it into position.  So grateful for our generous neighbors!

"A famous citation from the American psychotherapist Virginia Satir (1916 - 1988) reads: We need 4 hugs a day for survival.  We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance.  And we need 12 hugs a day for growth."

Our kids have trees of their own this year, and they were proud to send us pictures of them.  It didn't take long for fur-baby Ruby to hide within the tree branches at #1 Son's apartment - carrying on the fine tradition of Maggie and Josie!

With our closest neighbors, we had a progressive Christmas gathering last week.  So many delectable dishes and drinks!

The moon was bright and we didn't even need flashlights to walk from house to house.

And I saved the best for last - a mighty shout out to Spousal Unit - AKA Head Chef and Man with Hat.  He can now add another pseudonym to the list - Man with Wings - he completed his check ride this week and obtained his private pilot's license!!!!  He studied hard and persisted despite many obstacles.  I am so proud!  

"(Yui) told her about the frame man at the shelter ... (explaining) that the whole world was cut up into frames: big windows, small windows, keyholes ...  Hana, already lying in bed, lifted the frame to her face and carefully observed her bedroom ceiling, where there were hundreds of stars twinkling from the projector her father had given her earlier that evening.  Then she brought it down to examine Yui's face.  "Even the most enormous things can be cut up into tiny parts," Yui whispered.  "Even the biggest problems.  You can fit anything into a frame."


Linking to Mosaic Monday


  1. Hello Angie,
    Congrats to your hubby on getting his pilot license, that is awesome! I am sure daughter # 1 is excited about picking out her wedding dress. Pretty winter landscapes, love the cute rabbit and the Ermine video. Your Christmas tree looks beautiful. I enjoyed your post and photos. Take care, enjoy your day!

  2. ...home is where the heart is.

  3. What a delightful post to read, full of Christmas and winter season celebrations. Congrats to your SU on getting his wings!

  4. Oh what fun to go wedding dress shopping and start all the planning. A Fall wedding...lovely. Congrats to your new pilot! Hats off to your children for carrying on with their own trees! Lots of fun in this post, Angie. Walking from neighbor to neighbor for a progressive meal sounds so wonderful. Those drinks look so festive. Cheers!

  5. To me home is where the heart is :)

    A lovely post, so nice to read and catch-up with your news.
    The Christmas trees all look lovely and well done to 'spousal unit' on getting his private pilot's license.

    Enjoy your December days.

    All the best Jan

  6. That is a fun bunch of magical moments and congratulations to your hubby for getting that private pilot license!

  7. Such pretty winter views from your log home! Sounds like a lovely visit back home, too. I love seeing people's Christmas trees - yours is beautiful!

  8. Home is definitely where the heart is (or where you hang your hat ;-) ). Excellent Christmas trees. I, too, enjoyed the moon this week. (I even saw a few shooting stars!)

  9. what a truly wonderful list. Wedding dress shopping! a rite of passage and one I watch on tv often. Your tree is so pretty in your new home, and neighbors are so much nicer than ours. Congrats on your husband's accomplishment! The sky is the limit now for sure. Never saw an ermine in the wild, how cool

  10. Dear Angie, you are right, home can mean many things - I have felt "at home" in many places. After our trip to Costa Rica in November and December, I had a particularly strong and new feeling: I felt especially at home in my bed! (Really! Maybe it was because we had to spend a cold night on an airport floor...)
    I'm happy about the many nice experiences you've had lately. Buying a wedding dress with your daughter is certainly a very special experience!
    Yes, I noticed that your parents were both born in December. And also that they both died in April... (By the way, your father's birthday is the day my mother died...) Even if we think about them more intensively on some days than on others: we will never forget them!
    It must be delightful to see an ermine in the snow!
    I also wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas!
    Hugs and happy weekend,

  11. Hi Angie! Thanks for joining I like Thursdays again! I can't imagine anything better than shopping for a wedding dress with my daughter!!! So many good things (congrats to hubby for passing the certification!!) on your list. Going to buy that book for a friend of mine who lost her husband. Anyway, have a great wonderful holiday! Hugs!

  12. So nice to see you on I Like Thursday! It must have been so fun to shop for your daughter's wedding dress. Love your Christmas trees! So many great likes in this post!

  13. Hi Angie. What a perfect post! I so enjoyed reading it all. Beautiful daughter and a wedding is the absolute best of family happy events. Congrats to hubby for earning his wings. Lovely neighbours to celebrate the holidays with and a tree from your land. It all is so wonderful...thank you for sharing!!

  14. So many lovely things in this post - wedding plans, pilot's licence, Christmas trees, and snow - mixed with the sadness of loss of loved ones. Life really is a mixture of both joy and sorrow.

  15. Wonderful Christmas trees! Merry Christmas!

  16. Hi Patricia! I have never seen an ermine! How fab that you were able to see one nearly in-person. How fun that you were able to help your DD select her bridal gown. Those months will go by so quickly. How exciting for your DH to have completed his pilot lessons!! That has always been a dream of mine. {{Hugs}} a bunch. ~smile~ Roseanne

  17. Hi Angie - thanks for visiting my blog. Nice post with some kitchy christmas trees (hahah)- but you like that over in America. I wish you a good time and Merry Christmas

  18. You've packed a lot into these last few weeks. I know you've enjoyed your travels and it's neat to link in to Lee Ann's Thursday post! Happy holidays to you and your family. Hugs Diane

  19. First ... my congratulation for your houseband to his pilot licence. Wow, thats fantastic news, Angie, too with an other marriage.

    And Yes, I agree home is where the heart lives. I read with joy again here.

    An irritating year passes now and we hope for better time in 2023. Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas and a healthy good year.

    Thank you being part on MosaicMonday ... by the way it`s open till 31th December. With another words: you can link twice.

    Warm hugs from Bavaria, Heidrun

  20. Congratulations to your hubby!


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