Life After Windbird, Day 135: Wonderful Christmas Day
Date: Sunday, December 25, 2016
Weather: Bright and Sunny; High Temp 47, Low 28 degrees F
Location: Back Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

What a wonderful Christmas Day I had. I was with Heather and family on Christmas for the first time since 2007 which made it very special. The last time we were together was Sam’s first Christmas when Uncle Justin, Auntie Jo, Mark, and I traveled to Boothbay, Maine, to spent Christmas with the Goldstones. Mark and I were last with Justin and family for Christmas in 2014 and spent last year with my sister and brother-in-law in Nashville. I really missed all of them today, but thoroughly enjoyed being with the three Goldpebbles for the very first time. We were up at the crack of dawn and the boys wanted to dig into their stockings first.img_5437 The amount of excitement over just a pencil was quite refreshing. But when they opened their Santa presents the real excitement took over—a bicycle for Ollie,img_5460 a drone for Sam,img_5466 and a remote-controlled motorbike with a built-in camera for Jonah.img_5453 The boys were over the top, but unfortunately the euphoria didn’t last long. Both Sam and Jonah had technical difficulties with their gifts. There was a bit of a meltdown, but they bounced back and managed to have a good day even without their gifts from Santa. This is the second year in a row Heather has had to return Santa’s electronic gifts to the boys and she is thinking this is a sign that they should not request electronics from Santa again. Those darn elves must not know just how to put together high tech toys! But there were tons of other presents. I got Ollie a John Deere remote-controlled train,img_5483 Sam a beginner’s model train set,img_5478 and Jonah a soccer goal trainer.img_5488 All three were big hits. And, of course, there were lots of books and even Manchester, England, soccer shirts for the boys which they wore proudly all day.img_5507img_5494 I got all sorts of goodies, but my red sea glass earrings from Justin, Jo, and kids, and the promise of handmade set of pottery soup bowls from Heather, Jed, and boys were my favorites. The neatest thing about the earrings is that that Justin and Jo know the person who found the red sea glass and the person who made the glass into earrings. The neatest thing about the pottery soup bowls is that I can go see examples and custom order what I want from Heather’s neighbor, Sarah Caruso. Special, personal presents. After opening presents, I got a call from Justin. We did a Skype video call and the little cousins all got to see each other and Ziggy and Coco got to tell me all about their Christmas presents. Coco was holding her present from Santa which was a new puppy, a toy Yorkshire. What a cute little fur ball with his princess mother.part_1482681018167_img_05551 And Ziggy was excited by his robot gift from Santa, the Lego train from me, and the luxurious yard at the new house with lots of green grass.img_0541 A little later in the afternoon, Justin called again, this time from their new home, and I got a video guided tour via Skype. What a lovely place they have purchased. The house is very large, with four bedrooms and a huge living room and kitchen. And the two-acre lot is a tropical paradise. There are lots of banana trees bursting with bananas, mango trees, an avocado tree, a cinnamon tree, a mulberry tree, an ylang ylang tree, and even their own starfruit tree.img_0533 It was super exciting to talk to Justin, Jo, and kids, and share the wonders of their new home.

Mid-afternoon I had to return home to pick up the Rock Cornish hens I had bought to fix for dinner and Heather headed out with the boys to ride their bicycles. Only Ollie was new to a bike, and with training wheels on, he took off like he had been riding forever. He had never really been on a pedal bike before as he has used a Strider until now. But he made the move with no problem and actually biked for two straight hours. After an hour of riding, the other kids headed home, but Ollie was still at it and Jed had to come take-over for Heather who was freezing by this time. At sundown, after we lit the second Hanukkah candle, we had a decadent treat. We had chocolate fondue with fresh fruit as dessert before dinner. We dipped pieces of pineapple, strawberry, kiwi, banana, orange, apple, as well as raspberries and Hanukkah sugar cookies in the chocolate in the new fondue pot I got Heather for Christmas.img_5514img_5515 And then the real treat of the day was dinner. We each had our own roasted Rock Cornish game hen cooked with Jed’s special touch, Heather’s delicious kale, corn-on-the-cob, and a Goldstone version of kugel (a classic Jewish pasta dish). The table looked festive and we all really enjoyed the Christmas dinner.img_5516 Unfortunately, we had to eat without Ollie. He was so tired after his two-hour bike ride that he literally passed out on the sofa, and there was no getting him up. He’ll just have to have his Cornish hen for lunch tomorrow.img_5518

My nephew Rex called today, Ed and Lynne Kirwin sent a very nice holiday text message, and I had a nice long phone conversation with my sister Patsy. Thank you to all who are doing their best to keep me happy throughout the holidays. And a special thank you to Heather and Jed for hosting such a special Christmas for Oma. I have one more day with them before they head to Maine on Tuesday morning, so I will go there to visit after going to the gym in the morning. Christmas is over and it is time to get in shape for the New Year!

Life After Windbird, Day 136: The Second Day of Christmas
Life After Windbird, Day 134: Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas to All