My nephew treated us to a late Christmas celebration, and a beautiful lodge getaway. He wanted a family holiday, together, in the snow, snug in a mountain lodge. He's been planning this for a while, and it was a present to all of us. He is a real good kid, and all of us were in awe of our retreat for the weekend. At home, on Friday, Amber and I gathered our presents and a small amount of luggage, and headed for Welches Oregon. Only an hour from home, the drive was easy. Easy in part because the snow Johnny had hoped for did not happen. Therefore the roads were on our side, and in good shape. A winter wonderland it was not, but a time to feel gratitude for family, for what matters, for gifts, for presents, and for love it was.
We arrived around 5:30. I figured the place would be nice but had no idea it would be this cool. A five bedroom rustic lodge is what we came upon. Three floors, a huge fireplace in the middle of the front room, pine paneled walls, and wood floors, real cozy, real plush, real special. The folks that rent the place left up the Christmas tree ( A family before us had actually spent Christmas here). Underneath the tree some gifts already made a home. I brought my presents in a laundry hamper. This is how my grandmother always did it, and I consider it honoring her, and her memory. We put our presents under the tree, and got settled. Gordon has a sense of family (his extended pack) and was full of vim and viger. He was full of love for his pack.
We ate dinner together in our new winter home, something families should do more of, without distractions, at a proper dinner table. I brought a ham and some scalloped potatoes. A family at the dinner table is a many splendored thing. Mom sat to my right, Amber to my left, Tim and Chris and Johnny, across the table. I felt mom was feeling some anxiety, and knew this entire trip was a little out of her comfort zone. Our whole family deals with anxiety issues. I was grateful she braved the trip and was with us. It would not be the same without her. After dinner we hung out for a bit, decided to be up early to go out to breakfast and then went to bed. A good first night.
I slept like garbage, but was up and at em early. Made some coffee, and joined my mother in the front room. She slept horrible and had been up since 4 am. My brother Chris was out walking (he's been taking care of himself and losing weight.) So mom and I had a visit. We talked about sleep, and meditation, and panic attacks. Panic attacks also seem to run in the family. We both talk to our panic attacks : "Ok I know what you are, and although you make me uncomfortable you will not hurt me, and you will pass. I have nothing to fear."
We went to breakfast, and the coffee was horrible. I would call it hot water with a stale old drip coffee maker taste. The French toast however was real good. Mom got the same, Tim got steak and eggs, not sure on the rest of the orders, but I think Chris ordered biscuits and gravy (gravy he wanted on the side, but it was not to be) When we got back to the place I took a nap, and it was needed. I did miss something monumental, Gordon jumped into the hot tub. Gordon's legend grows.
When it came time to open presents, Johnny started a fire, I put on an Elvis Christmas record, and we all took our places in the front room. Johnny (being the youngest) passed out presents. We open presents in order of age, youngest first etc etc. We did a pretty good job of sticking to this, but it did get a little loose here and there. The magic this night is really just sitting together and feeling the joy of family. Our history's are all linked. We have known each other since the beginning (mom of course has us all beat here, but you get it, we all go back pretty far with each other.)
We finish presents and listen to more music, and before you know it it is all over. We all stay up a little later on this night. We talk, and razz each other. We look at our gifts, ones we have given to each other, and ones we have received. We go to bed and all sleep a little better. ln the morning some of us drink coffee (Johnny has never warmed up to coffee.) We dream aloud about winning the lottery and being able to have a place like this. Deep down we know we are probably not going to ever have that kind of money, but we are a successful family, we really have won the lottery. Who knows, maybe I get a song placed on a cool movie, and my music career takes off. Then I can treat next time, and maybe the time after.