Day 47, Year 7: Super-sized New Mexico Christmas
Date: Sunday, December 25, 2011
Weather: Gorgeous Day, Daytime Temp Above Freezing
Location: At Home with JJ&Z in Ojo Sarco, New Mexico

After spending the last three Christmases on Windbird in Thailand (2008 and 2009) and South Africa (2010), it was wonderful today to be back home with family. And it was an unbelievable Christmas. We all knew we had gone a bit overboard when it literally took all day to open presents. But some presents take more time to “open” than others. Justin got Jo a horse for Christmas, so we all took time out to go outside to discover the surprise and then watch as Jo and then Justin rode Max. Max is a beautiful Haflinger draft horse that is trained for riding as well as light draft work. And he is especially good with children. Jo has always wanted a horse and she was absolutely speechless. She already knows Max as he is one of the horses that lives in the stable here on the property. Along with Max came a plow and all the tack needed to put him to work. Justin also got Jo an iPhone and Jo got Justin a hunting bow and arrow. When he opened the bow, Mark and I were more than a little surprised. Hunting is about the last thing I would ever expect our vegetarian, peace-loving son to want to do. But he has changed. He and Jo are trying to eat locally which means they have adjusted to eating what is grown here. And much of what is grown here is meat. There are elk in the mountains just behind the farm, so Justin hopes to be able to learn to use the bow to hunt elk. Ziggy was very excited over the stocking Santa left for him. Santa also wrote him a letter and left directions for a bit of a treasure hunt to find his vintage Fisher-Price playhouse and garage, along with lots of F-P Little People, cars, and furniture. But the biggest surprise of all was the gift of a piece of paper from our kids to Mark and me. It was notification of e-tickets for a flight home on Sunday. Heather had tried all day yesterday to get us to agree to a flight she wanted to book for us, but we kept telling here that we wanted to take the bus as the flight would be just too expensive. Then after we went to the bus to sleep last night, Justin and Jo got online and just booked a flight. It was tremendously thoughtful and we deeply appreciate the gift. We hate that they spent so much money, but I can’t say that I will miss riding a Greyhound bus for two days. We will now return home on New Year’s Day. That should give Mark four days to rest before his surgery on January 6.

We talked to Heather today and also got to talk to Sam for a few minutes. They had a fantastic Christmas in Maine. Heather got a yogurt maker from Justin and Jo and she got a beehive from Mark and me. She has talked and talked about keeping bees so she can have her own local honey, so we decided to get her started. She’ll have to order bees locally in early spring and she said that today she was just dreaming of the honey-flavored yogurt she would be eating this time next year. Sam and Jonah got saucer sleds from us, but there really wasn’t enough snow in Maine for sledding. So Jed invented a new sport-saucer spinning in the living room. The boys loved it.

We ended our Christmas day with a huge dinner. Jo roasted the locally grown turkey with great care and we feasted on a full-blown traditional Christmas dinner. After dinner we were able to reach Mark’s family by phone but I couldn’t get my family. I’ll try again tomorrow, but I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas. So Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight.

111225 Day 47 New Mexico, USA–Christmas Day