Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A Holiday Medley And A Happy New Year!

Things were so crazy before I left for the holidays that I never got to say THANK YOU/TUSEN TAKK to all the fun folks who came out for Glögg Fest 2015! We ate, drank, and were merry, and it was the perfect send-off for my time back home in the Minnesota snow globe.

Only there was no snow in the snow globe. It looked like Tim Burton Christmas when I landed in Minneapolis, and jackets weren't really even necessary when we had our family dinner at Murray's a couple of nights before Christmas. Everyone in Minnesota seemed pretty happy about this ... I was not. Minnesota is not supposed to be brown in December. Sorry.

We did all the usual running around leading up to Christmas ... shopping, meeting up with friends, seeing Star Wars, taking in a Minnesota Wild game with the Nelsons ... all the usual good kind of madness. It was nice then, to take a moment to appreciate the silent and calm night when we finally sat down for the Christmas Eve service at Mindekirken. It was so beautiful that I cried and could barely sing ... as usual.

Christmas Day found us enjoying the fun and chaos of Christmas at the Hendrickson's, where it was a joy to catch up with everyone, and see how much bigger the kids had grown. We had a Christmas miracle when we got just about everyone gathered around at once to take our Spartan Christmas photo! Always a classic ...

The party went pretty late on Christmas night, late enough for us all to see it begin to snow, and I mean SNOW! It continued on all night long, and the barren trees were quickly transformed into branches of confectioner's sugar, all sparkling and perfectly white. I was so happy I couldn't contain myself, and my brother Paul and I soon realized that we had to stay up all night long, walking around in it all. Bur first, we had to get our Mom outside to take photos of her with the snowstorm swirling around her. Because, of course!

We're very lucky that our Mom is such a good sport. The kind of Mom that not only thinks it's great that you're out capturing beauty in the middle of the night, but will have hot chocolate waiting for you to warm up with.

Brother P and I both agree that it was one of the best walks of our entire lives ... all flawless perfection, surrounded with the kind of silence that only comes with a true snowfall. Magic.

I raced around doing all the holiday in Minnesota greatest hits ... Fa la lattes at Caribou with friends, a birthday skating party at The Depot for Kate ...

... A Vikings game watched with leftovers and best friends ... a visit to the Walker for the great Hippie Modernism show (where you could lie in hammocks and listen to Hendrix!).

I decided to stay in Minnesota for New Year's Eve this year, without even a hint of a plan. For years I've been hearing about how Woodlake Nature Center lines the winter pathways with luminarias on New Year's Eve, for people to ski, snowshoe, and walk around the candlelit nature and reflect on the year behind and to come (that's what I wanted to do, anyway), and I was all over that.

It was so beautiful you almost couldn't stand it ... but it was also super, extra cold, and I for sure couldn't stand that. We didn't make it all the way around, but long enough to appreciate how gorgeous it was outside, and how good it would feel when we got back inside.

Inside was a wonderful crab legs dinner at my dear friends', The Krsniks, house. Everything was absolutely perfect ... best friends, delicious food, wine flowing ... and then a horrible feeling of nausea passed over me at the same time a burning sensation began in my throat. Oh, NO! All the putting off of a cold I'd been doing before the holidays had finally caught up with me. I was in bed by 10:30 pm on New Year's Eve. Great.

My Mom got me up to see the ball drop. I nodded, said a muted "Happy New Year!" and was right back in bed. I flew back all super sick, and just today have ventured outside of my room for the first time (reluctantly, but work calls). It wasn't my ideal way to start a new year, but I'm not mad. It's all uphill from here!

I have mad library books to read (and books to write!) so it was all good, especially when I saw a lovely first sunset outside my sickbed window.

I might say this every year, but I really have a good feeling about 2016. Sweet '16! Oh, the stories we'll tell! Fittingly, my horoscope this morning contained a quote, "No one else sees the world the way you do, so no one else can tell the stories that you have to tell." - Charles de Lint

Exactly. Looking forward to sharing them all with you in this exceptional new year. CHEERS to us all, everywhere! Happiest New Year.

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