Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Long Distance Christmas E-Cards

After all the years that I was able to take an extended vacation to Utah/Arizona/Nevada and then Idaho during Christmas breaks, it has been interesting to NOT for this particular holiday. Having Thanksgiving is one thing, but Christmas is another. (In all honesty, it was ... better to have a break this year. I needed it.)

Thankfully, with the immediacy of modern technology, I can still experience it in more real-time than my poor grandmothers could not that long-ago.

A few branches of the tree came together for an early Christmas. Grandmary and Grumpa were able to spend time with the Nevada crew before Kelli and the Kids peeled off to see the paternal step-side of the family.

Grumpa reports with his iPhone photos:
Jed was at work but after soup and crackers we opened the gifts from you, mom, and Idaho family. The following are just a sample of what we saw. Cannon was running a fever, but staked out his spot and spread out. [Your] sunglasses were a hit. Drew loved all your little items and will be using them as soon as he can. After things settled down, I caught one of the cat lover. 
 (I'm sorry Grandmary, but the squirmy twins look like they want to bolt.)
I missed the initial FaceTime request while the parentals were there, but I got to FaceTime all of them much much later that night. I was already make-up free and ready for bed, so we had a FaceTime chat where I had my sunglasses on. (I wear my sunglasses at night, so I can, so I can ...)

Sarah and Cannon got sunglasses from me because Sarah had spent so much time when I was there in November wearing mine - I had to! (And if you get one twin one thing, you better get the other one something similar.)
Oh, the smudgies I had to get off of my glasses.

On Christmas Eve, Grumpa sent me photos of the parentals' present to themselves and their neighbors to the south. A HUGE 110ft long fence, so you couldn't see out the back of the house, down directly into the neighbor's pool, hot-tub, and house. They've been planning this and some xeriscaping for years, but somehow they saved enough money on their mission that they were able to afford. Add in some of the exterior/interior renovations they had to make because of the burst pipe, it just made sense.
It's imprinted on both sides, so as Mr. Frost is attributed: "Good fences make good neighbors."

Just so I wouldn't be left out, on Christmas morning, he sent around photos of how the house was decorated this year. They may be making up for last year's apartment-sized Christmas. (Hey, I don't even decorate THAT much, so their decorations can count for mine.)

Actually (as Nathan would say), the exterior decor, particularly the tiny tree by the door, is more for the lady, Doris, across the street. Because it came from her, so it has to be put to use.
 Every year there is loot under this tree, and every year Pop makes comments about how "we weren't going to do this" and "it's all for your mother." But then he's happy to have the loot. Every year. TRADITIONS! (But there was no, I hope it's not what's in the box insider family joke.)

Per Pop:
Mom reading the role of grandparents before seeing the goofy picture of ME. (Good gift, family!)
Dad's gifts. It seems that if you repair a zipper pull with glue you get two new fleeces to cover the mess you make. I am trying to get through the Book of Mormon again and got two large reading books to distract me again.*
Mom's gifts. One of which has to be exchanged for 24" size. Thanks to the little birdie for the suggestion.
End of event! "Beagle" for breakfast and then to get ready for lunch in Zion Park.

[You are welcome, Mom. I listen. Next time Dad, we'll find out the right sizing. But I have to be subtle in my information gathering.]

On "returns" Monday, there was a replacement for the "you know, one of these days, I'd like pearls" half-off-handed comment. 
With interest.
Apparently there was no "next size up" available. Oh shucks darn shoot.

The folks then took themselves to the Zion Lodge at Zion National Park for Christmas Day 2015. While I had to turn on my a/c, there was snow in them there hills.

From Pop:
Just outside the Zion Lodge

There were a lot of visitors from around the world, and lots of people who didn't know what snow was.
 With just enough white to make the red rocks stand out and red/white/blue for Mary.
They took pictures from the car of a the canyon and of a snowstorm coming in through Springdale.

Aside from some complaints about speed limits, needs for new connectors to by-pass around the valley closer to their house, and meal prices, I THINK Dad had a good time. Even though he said he needed a Christmas Day nap.

Who doesn't need a Christmas Day nap? I think it's part of the day.

Hope you enjoyed this Long Distance Christmas E-Card.

~most photos via Grumpa

*Hey, I just realized. I didn't get one single reading book for Christmas. Odd. That has to be rectified.

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