Day 46, Year 7: Christmas Eve in New Mexico
Date: Saturday, December 24, 2011
Weather: Frigid Night, Sunny Day with Temps in the 20’s
Location: At Home with JJ&Z in Ojo Sarco, New Mexico

What a great day we had getting ready for Christmas. While visiting here, we are staying in Justin and Jo’s bus which is just a short walk from the house. We got up and immediately started getting things ready for Christmas morning. I still had loads of wrapping to do and while working on that, Justin came to drop Ziggy off with us so he could meet a guy bringing a delivery of firewood. Justin and Jo heat exclusively with wood and we are also heating the bus with wood. And with these frigid temperatures, we are going through a lot of firewood. After the firewood was delivered, we all walked to the house for breakfast. Jo was already baking bread and fixing a hearty New Mexican breakfast of eggs and bacon with rice, beans, and red and green chili sauce. It was spicy, but it was delicious. After breakfast, all of us continued wrapping presents and then we went on a walk. Justin and Jo are renting an adobe house on 20 acres of land. The woman that owns the property keeps horses. There are five of them, three male and two female. We walked down the lane between two pastures that are not in use for the winter and then ducked under the fencing to make our way down to the stream. It is tiny right now and frozen over, but at least we got to see where Ziggy goes to pretend fish. He’s calling the area his ice palace right now as all the fields are covered in snow and ice. We also spent a good part of the day, as we did yesterday, having Justin and Jo open boxes of things we brought to them from storage There were toys for Ziggy and all sorts of goodies for Justin and Jo, so it has seemed a little like Christmas Day since we arrived. This evening Jo made a fantastic chicken curry for dinner with bright red peppers and greens making it look very Christmassy. Justin helped with the curry making but focused his attention on making apple and pumpkin pies for tomorrow. Yummy!

111224 Day 46b New Mexico, USA–Christmas Eve in Ojo Sarco

We talked with Heather a couple of times today. She really wants us to fly home, as do Justin and Jo, but we have decided to stick with our not-so-smart decision to save money and go ahead and take the Greyhound bus back home. Since we had to rent the car to drive from Texas to here, we have now spent the almost same amount of money as we would have if we had booked flights in November instead of booking bus tickets. But booking one-way tickets now just costs more than we are willing to pay. So we are going to hope for good weather and leave here early enough that we have extra days in case of a delay. We will probably leave here on Friday, spend New Year’s Eve on the bus, and then arrive in Boston on New Year’s Day. We have to watch the weather carefully and the threat of a big snowstorm anywhere across the country could change Wednesday afternoon. Next time we’ll listen to our kids when they tell us they think we are crazy. And we really appreciate their worries about our choice of travel, but we’ll be fine-we promise.

I’ll end with a grandparent story of joy and pride. Ziggy was tired from a very active day and when it came time to hang his stocking he got very particular about just where it was to be. I thought there was going to be a meltdown, but then he decided he needed to write a letter to Santa. Justin got him a piece of paper and a marker and he and Jo wrote the letter. They then brought in the plate with a huge carrot for Rudolph and some cookies and wine for Santa. Ziggy then insisted on some milk for Rudolph and then all on his own, he took a piece of paper and wrapped a heart in it for Santa. Well, wrapped is a bit of a stretch. He wadded it up and then said he needed a hook to keep it closed. By hook, he meant a ribbon to tie around it. But the whole scene was awfully sweet. And all of his happened while Ziggy was naked. After his bath he absolutely refused to put on the red Christmas pajamas we brought for him even though there was a reindeer on the pajamas and he loves Rudolph and all reindeer. He even took off his diaper. So if you see photos of a very cute little boy with no clothes on writing a letter to Santa, you now know why.

Here’s wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas. And Sam and Jonah, we miss you very much and can’t wait to talk to you tomorrow to find out what Santa brought your way.

111224 Day 46a New Mexico, USA–Christmas Eve with JJ&Z