Two day before Christmas my son, Parker and two of his three childrens showed up in the rain to cut a Christmas tree for their house. It was a pleasant surprise as I did not expect to see him at all over Christmas. We traditionally cut a tree together earlier in the month of December and that date had past.
He invited me to his house for Christmas dinner, so I accepted.
Here is their tree. Not bad for a wild tree, just the right size for the space they wanted to put it in. Parker lives in a very well appointed middle class suburban type house, which his wife Sandra always decorates for whatever occasion comes up. They are, unlike me, a sociable pair. This meal was their third Chrsitmas event. They hosted the office party of the staff of Sandra's work, The Children's Aid Society, about a dozen or so. They then hosted the staff of Parker's school, about 60 souls, for their staff party. Now they are hosting me and Sandra's mother and two of her aunts. Normally there would be about ten others but this was a small group this year.
It was a typical Christmas meal: turkey, potatoes, carrots, broccoli, stuffing, rollls, garnishings and pecan pie for dessert. I got the leftovers , from the 28 pound turkey, (about 12 pounds,to take home . There will be lots of turkey sandwiches for a few days.
The bones are busy now preparing a broth for soup, "Waste not want not!" one of the many aphorism I was raised on.
For the kids, skating was the order of the day.
This is their backyard rink. Every self respecting Canadian father, if possible makes a rink for his kids. This is a good one with improvements made every year. The boards around the rink are new this year and their is floodlighting for night skating. We had a two day warm spell with rain and our snow was reduced by about half. It seems they had enough ice made to not have is all melt. It won't be long before we get more snow until a bank of snow will suround the rink.
I remember, when we returned to Canada from living in the US, I made a rink in the backyard of my fsther's house so Parker could learn to skate. He was a little behind in his skill level with the other kids, but he soon caught up. I was the "zamboni man" clearing and flooding the ice nightly.When we moved to the farm I made a rink directly behind the house, and did so after Parker went off to school for a couple of young friends who spent a lot of time at my house.
I am one of the few Canadians who cannot skate. My father never made us a rink. I embarassed myself on skates once and when we went to skate on the 2 mile long rink on the Credit river, I could not stand the cold and the pain in my ankle. Those are my three reasons for not skating. So far they haven't rescinded my citizenship.
There have been attempts to learn over the years.. When I was 18, my mother bought me skates for one last effort to get me skating again. They hang in my basement becoming antiques without almost never having been worn. When living in Boston I even tried myself by sneaking out a couple of nights to try unseen skating on a local pond. The pain, oh! the pain, I couldn't get the skates off fast enough. I resist trying once again on Parker's rink, although I wistfully think what fun it would be to glide and swirl about the ice. . . . . .then I remember the pain! So I watch the kids enjoying themselves.
Here is Parker tightening up Olivia skate. She went out to skate and shoot hockey pucks three time in the short time I was there. She and the boys have all played organized hockey. Dylan and her were on the same team for a couple of years. She didn't play this year as she was involved with the swim club but she is talking about doing hockey again next year.