With all my babes away I have so much quiet time, free time. Snuggled up this New Years Day on an unexpected reprieve from work, I thought I’d write a late Christmas Post. This year, for the first time in several, we celebrated Christmas just us. The previous weekend we enjoyed a visit with Tim’s parents and neiphew from NH. It was so fun to have a full house and they were such good sports when we lost power and had to play lots of cards and board games and cook on the woodstove.
Here is Tim’s Mom Kathy reading with Shep and baking cookies with Owen.
Our breakfast was delicious made even better by the soft light of the candles and oil lamp. Omelet and toast with Tim’s homemade bread was just the thing for a cold and icy winters morn.
For Christmas itself we had expected my mom but a stomach bug and snow storm kept her away. It all worked out though- after a sweet Christmas Eve and morning here we packed up and drove down the Coast to my parents house to celebrate with my brother, sisters and Mom. We missed my Dad who was working this year but a nice email volley made me feel he wasn’t too far. The picture in my last post of Tommy rubbing sleepy Shep’s foot was taken on that trip down coast.
For grown up family gifts this year I filled canning jars with various delights: 44North Coffee for my sister, Oatmeal for my other sis and Barley for my Brother. Wrapped up in these sweet linen bags and garnished with a homemade spoon that Tim carved and Owen polished I think they came out looking lovely.
And their were thrummed mittens for Tommy, Owen and my sister. They are so soft and lovely and warm.
Do you remember this old Fisher Price Record Player? Its a music box really, no batteries and tough as nails (Tim’s mom say the one that lives at her parents house has spent time in the bathtub and still plays.) We found one for Shep and he likes it very much. Other gift highlights were the new/old ironing board Tim found for me. He replaced the top and now it just needs a nice fabric cover. Tommy was pleased with his new life vest and plans for summer sailing. Owen got his jump rope and recorder which were high on his list along with an origami book so he can make blow up boxes like his friend Caden makes. My mom finished the boys quilts that I wrote about here. They look beautiful.
Perhaps my most exciting gift was heavy and hard and wrapped in a pillow case. By feel I hadn’t a clue what it could be. I unwrapped it and discovered…
An enamel drain board. It was a familiar enamel drain board… I’d seen it this summer at Jeff’s Treasure and Trash barn atop a lovely aproned farmhouse kitchen sink that I wanted so… but we were in the throws of the bathroom project and Tim couldn’t be persuaded. Jeff said, twice he’d been offered a big sum for the drain board alone but he insisted it stay with the sink. With the sink? Hurray! With a twinkle in his eye Tim revealed that the sink has been on the front porch for two weeks under a packing blanket and some sleds. Between the old electric stove that sat on the porch for a week before failing its trial on craigslist and going to the dump and a few weeks later the old washer and dryer who followed the same fate, I’ve become practiced this winter at ignoring refuse on the porch, pretending it’s not there. So in this way I missed the kitchen sink hiding in plain sight. The most amazing thing about Tim giving me this sink is it means that perhaps he wasn’t so exhausted by the bathroom project that he’ll never tackle a big job again. It means that I might get my new/old kitchen, fashioned after the Keepers House on Burnt Island that I’ve been scheming about ever since I first laid eyes on the MillstreamPocket’s Kitchen. Tim buying the sink is a sign that winter will pass, spring will come and with renewed energy and enthusiasm we’ll move on to the next project, hopefully truly “improving” as we go, taking the house back in time while making it functional and livable in ours.
The solstice has come and gone. The light will be getting stronger as the weeks pass. Tim tells me that Shep is doing beautifully in his big boy sleep routine. The older boys are having fun skiing down Grandma’s back hill and being ferried back up on the snowmobile. I’m glad they seized the chance for a winter holiday in the winter wonderland that is Grandma and Grampa’s. I miss them. I’m getting used to the cracks and groans the house makes at night. I did not expect to get engorged after 24 hours without nursing but I did. Cabbage has been my best friend, the leaves are cold and help dry up milk. I’m really tired of smelling like Saint Patty’s Day super. I wonder if those 17th century ladies planned ahead with cabbage packed in their saddle bags when they left on their weaning trips?
Whatever the New Year brings to you, whether it be a fresh white kitchen sink or less literal signs of hope, may warmth, peace and joy abound! Happy New Year to you from the Millstream Pocket.