24 December 2011

Over the River and Through the Woods

We did go to Grandmother's house (well, Schuyler and Willow's grandmother), but our sleigh looked more like a PT Cruiser. Felt like it, too. :-)

We were up at nine, James walked Willow, we packed up the desserts we were taking, I gave Schuyler some millet and Willow some cookies to find. Ordinarily we take the truck down to Warner Robins, but since we had a big box of gifts we didn't want them rattling in the bed of the truck, even if we covered it up with a trash bag. So the gifts went into the back, the desserts in the back seat, and off we went, listening to Christmas carols via my Droid.

Traffic was light except for a mystery jam just north of the I-475 cutoff. We arrived about 12:15 and went out to eat at Olive Garden a few minutes later. There was James' mom, his sister Candy, her daughter Nicki down from New Jersey for the holiday, his youngest sister Sabra, and her fella Lee. We had a great lunch, with a very overworked waiter, and then returned to the house to talk more, open gifts, have the dessert we brought with us (two pies and some Mexican brownies), watch the football games (since apparently the network changed horses in the middle of a stream), and chuckle over the dogs, except for poor Trouble, whose rear legs are now badly askew from arthritis. And he's a few months younger than Willow.

We left just about sunset. I had downloaded a Christmas episode of "The Splendid Table" and of "Travel With Rick Steves," and we listened to those on the way home. We were both tired by then, and it was a long, dark drive with not a ton of traffic, but more than we expected, but thankfully uneventful. Unfortunately it wasn't uneventful for someone headed southbound just as I-85 joined the downtown connector; there was an accident there that blocked the entire six lanes. I hope no one was seriously hurt.

We came home and had something to eat (soup in my case, sandwich in James'), gathered the critters around us, and watched Mercy Mission with Scott Bakula and Robert Loggia. The film, about the pilot of a small plane lost over the Pacific and helped by the captain and crew of an Air New Zealand flight, takes place on Christmas Eve and we usually watch it before Christmas. Now I am enjoying one of my two favorite Christmas movies, The House Without a Christmas Tree. I love this story—if not the DVD release (they tried to ramp up the color and there are faint reddish streaks over many of the scenes). It all seems so real, and the background reminds me of relatives' homes from my childhood. I do notice one anachronism, though: the drugstore Christmas tree has miniature bulbs, which weren't introduced into the US until the 1950s and this takes place in 1946. (I do like the way they subtly indicate that Gloria Cott is a "poor kid," in three days of school scenes, Addie and her classmates have three changes of clothing, and Gloria wears the same outfit all three days.)

No comments: