Two days, four visits, and lots of driving. That's what we've been up to the last couple of days.
It started Christmas Eve with a drive up to Wisconsin. We stopped first at my friend Liz's house to exchange gifts with her and chat for a couple of hours. We also got to watch the birds (and squirrels) feeding in their backyard. Their neighbor puts out corn for the deer, so there were a few of them around too.
Mid-afternoon, we said farewell and drove to my parents' house. My grandmother was there too (since she lives with them now), and one of my nieces was already there. My brother and his family came by right before dinner. Afterwards we exchanged gifts and had cake and tea. Eugene made his infamous flourless chocolate cake; half a slice was rich enough to satisfy me. The highlight of the evening was watching Heidi, my parents' toy poodle. She got two presents this year: a package of Snausages from me and a new toy from my parents. She wanted to play with her toy right away, and she kept chasing it until we finally had to put it away before she exhausted herself. Then, after getting a treat or two, she sat sphinx-like and stared at the can of Snausages as if she could will it to open and give her more goodies. She tried pawing it a few times but only managed to startle herself. I'm told that the next day she was still staring at the pantry where we keep her treats, waiting for more.
Christmas morning was private time for us. Eugene made a special apple puff pancake for breakfast, and I prepared fresh-squeezed orange juice. Then we exchanged gifts. He gave me four books; I gave him two books, a DVD set he wanted--and two cans of soup (in case he tried shaking the box). Hey, the soup was an improvement on the cans of dog food he put in my gift one year. (No, I didn't keep them.) Eugene even found time to make an apple pie to bring to our next hostess.
The visiting started again with a holiday lunch with Jan, Eugene's dad's vet partner. They've been together so long she's part of the family. Afterwards, we spent the afternoon and evening at Eugene's parents' house. His dad was born on Christmas, so it was a combination Christmas/birthday celebration. Lots of family came over in the evening, and there were plenty of kids to run around and remind us what the holidays are about.
It was nice seeing our families, but I have to admit I'm glad I have today off too to recuperate and catch up on some things around the apartment. Maybe now I can get back to editing again.