and yet... and yet, the essential goodness of taking time to be with people, eating, talking, relaxing, enjoying company and warmth is still there. and that's good.
jovino is generally not a big fan of xmas. I can relate, and this year particularly so. We decided to have an especially low-key year, and it was really quite lovely.
On the 24th, our housemate Usa offered to make us dinner, so we chilled out at home, enjoyed her excellent cooking, and exchanged a few gifts. The next morning we set off to visit Jovino's mom, who lives near Sacramento. We travelled via Amtrak, which took about as long as driving would have but was far more chill. The train was very pleasant and we enjoyed each others' company and the passing landscape.
When we arrived we had a veritable xmas feast. I loves me some roasted turkey, and everything was truly delicious. Jovino's mom made sure there were plenty of veggie dishes and awesome pies - not to forget her signature fudge - so we were all stuffed to the gills. She is a super sweet, friendly and energetic woman and always a real pleasure to be with. She and her husband also made a point of sending us off on our trip home with a huge bag of food, including fresh tangerines, grapefruit and lemons from their backyard trees, tons of yummy xmas dinner lefties, and even frozen peaches and cherries, harvested earlier from the backyard. How rad it must be to have lovely productive fruit trees right outside!
They'd declared *no gifts* so no pressure there. :-)
Instead we ate, chatted, lazed around enjoying hearth and home and took part in a lively and entertaining card game organized by Jovino's stepsister. Later in the evening, we drove out to a town called Franklin, where there is a house with an extensive light display every year. It's put up by a rancher (it takes him almost two months to rig the whole thing) in memory of his daughter, and was lovely, inventive, fun, and incredibly thorough.
This place is truly amazing and I wish we'd thought to bring a camera. It was his last night with the lights on for this year and we got there just in time to see it, though not quite in time to add to the Memory Trees, unfortunately. I'd really have loved to add hearts for both my mom (who died on xmas day in 1993, in Germany) and Allison. Nevertheless I was glad to get to see the beautiful lights, and I thought of them and sent them love. If they are out there, I know they know I am thinking of them, and how much I miss them.
Last night we stayed over and then came back on the train today, after stuffing ourselves once again on xmas dinner lefties for lunch and visiting Old Town Sacramento, which was just as touristy as you might imagine, yet still really genuinely cool. There's a lot of vintage architectural detail - something that I particularly enjoy (as does Jovino) and it was very pleasant wandering around.
Then we took the train home, had a LOVELY and HOTTT "nap" (saynomore!) and now here I am, on the couch writing this, in an old grey silk sweater, with my warm furry clogs and my santa pants (red velour tracksuit with white furry stripes) - all completely perfect for the occasion, if I do say so myself.
Life is good. Yeah, good. :-)
Next, to get ready for Twiggys (we have *2* days!)