Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas 2008 in Snowy Seattle

...and home again early this afternoon, Boxing Day. I drove through several mini blizzards on my way to Seattle yesterday, including one between Port Angeles and Sequim that almost made me turn back. But I got to the 1:15 ferry from Bainbridge Island just in time...not very populated, and snowing and foggy outside.

Winter weather is always tough in heavily-populated areas, and Seattle is so unused to any accumulation of snow, the parking lot at the ferry dock was full of slush, and all of the side streets are even more so. I waited under the viaduct for Hugh and Connie, happy that he said he had put chains on the Prius for the first time ever.

Hugh and Connie are so incredibly photogenic! I wish I were. I know this doesn't seem like much snow to my friends and family back in NY and VT, but for Seattle, it's very very unusual.

Doug and Amal's street hasn't been plowed. After
four or five snowstorms in the last week and a half, there's 8" of slush and one track worn through the middle...we hoped that no one would come from the other direction. It's a considerably hilly neighborhood. It seemed dark and deeper and scarier yesterday.

Serene, who looks different every time I see her,
Thayer, his friend, Sami, from Brown University and Rahmalla, Amal and Doug In their newly-redecorated kitchen, the wine stuck in a snowbank out on the deck.

Thayer and Amal. this one's for Tim. Tim and I visited Doug and Amal the Christmas of 1987 in Jerusalem when she was expecting Thayer. He's grown into an intelligent and handsome young man who travels the world. Tim was in Liberia in the Peace Corps and we spent a month exploring and learning politics first hand in the Middle East. I remember Doug found some kind of desert bush and we four made all the decorations out of scraps of paper. In my first trip overseas I left Montrial in a blizzard and came laden with gifts and yearned-for items from the States for all three of them. It was a Wonderful Holiday!--then and now.

Hugh and Connie, looking picturesque again, in the midst of the post-present chaos. Connie's necklace lights three different sequences and I coveted it! But then there's not much occasion for me to wear such a decoration...perhaps I've been too serious of late.

I remember back to a Christmas in Bradford, VT, in our grandparent's big old house, which was demolished to widen Route 5, so I must have been 3 or 4. I used an old stuffed lamb that my father had as a child for a pillow, and I swear I saw the shadow of St. Nicholas flash across the window in the lights of the cars below. My brother, Steve, would have been a baby then, and we hung Dad's long army socks by the fireplace in the library or parlor...the house seemed to go on and on forever. We always got a tangerine in the toe of the stocking.

You can tell Serene's a true Hastings, taking pictures of the food...then we all got so engrossed in eating and drinking and talking and later in a ten-person game of domino's that we all forgot to take any more family pictures, so no shots of David, Christine, or me...

Take my word for it, it was another great and warm family Christmas, with Sami and Christine adding the international flavor.

It was a good lesson for me in being prepared for and accepting of whatever outcome would ensue. It would have been OK to stay home alone on Christmas, but I'm happy that I was able to be with my family instead. I stayed with Hugh and Connie last night and came home over the water and hills this morning, stopping to stock up on yet more goodies...padding against the cold, although it's going to be in the 40's by the end of the weekend. I saw melting snow uncovering bright green grass in Sequim. I saw a beautiful scene of a cloud nestled in hills covered with trees, each needle and branch outlined in new white snow. As I got back to sea level, I notice the red/purple glow of new buds that doesn't usually show until March in the Northeast.


Three Dimensional Doll Construction will take place in Corvalis, OR, the weekend of May 2nd and 3rd, 2009. Contact: for details. Their doll club gets first shot at the class, but email Terry to see if there is room for more.

These are my angels for 2008, with faces from Teesha Moore and pewter arms from Art Girlz. Each year I do a different one, and some day I'll do a book on the angels through the years and publish the patterns.

I LOVE doing the books, and hope to have the proof of the second edition of PAMELA'S DESIGNING A DOLL AND MAKING FACES INSPIRATION BOOK in the coming week.

This year's snowy and uncertain holidays were a good lesson in not getting too attached to specific outcomes. The scary economy has, I hope, given more and more of us the gift of pulling back and appreciating the non-financial bounty that we all have and can share with each other.

A MOST Happy and Blessed holiday season to you and yours!



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