I spent the longish Christmas weekend in Southern Oregon with my family. Here are some of the highlights:
• My grandpa’s annual outburst. My grandpa is famous for saying wildly inappropriate things during holiday meals. His most famous gaffe was a few years ago when he pointed out how chubby I am and asked if I was pregnant again. This might only be considered rude had I actually been pregnant before, but I haven’t. I can only suspect he had me confused with my sister-in-law. Well, this year, he redeemed himself when he complimented me on my hair and told me I look “just like that blond gal from ‘Marley and Me.’” Yep, he thinks I look like Jennifer Aniston. He may be showing signs of early dementia, but I’m taking that one with me to the grave. I choose to believe it’s the honest truth. I look like Jennifer Aniston. My grandpa said so.
• The dog fights. My oldest schnauzer Barley (the silver one) is 28 pounds, but he’s the only one who isn’t aware of this fact. On two occasions over the weekend, he got in fights with my dad’s 80-pound dog, Auggie. The first scuffle was over a dog cookie. The second was because Barley was so jumpy after the first fight that he attacked Auggie when they were in too small a space together. When a lesser dog would back down, Barley doesn’t and occasionally, he gets in a tussle he can’t win. Fortunately, I’m always supervising him and I stand at the ready in case Barley’s moxie can’t be matched by his brawn.
• My dad’s gas. Since his religious awakening several years ago, most of my dad’s best qualities have disappeared (it’s a long, ugly story), but one thing has been so far unaffected by Jesus: his farts. My dad is a wizard at farting. He tried to squelch it for a while (apparently farting is un-Christlike? Hmmmm.), but it didn’t stick. Over the holiday weekend, he was in rare form. It warmed my heart to have a small bit of my original dad back, even if it was through such a stinky medium.
• Christmas Jello. My family never met a Jello salad it didn’t like. This one is among my all-time favorites. It’s squares of red and green Jello suspended in a semi-hard concoction of lemon Jello and sour cream. It’s amazing and festive. My grandma makes it whenever I’m in town for Christmas.
• Hikes with my stepmom. We went on two great hikes while I was in town. For both, we made it above the fog line, where the weather was incredibly warm and sunny, and the views were spectacular. The landscape in Southern Oregon is so vastly different than here, it’s nice to have that change of pace. Plus, I love hiking with her. I’d be her friend even if we weren’t related. We’re planning a trip up Mount St. Helens this summer. She is in incredible shape, so I fully expect her to kick my butt up the mountain.
I hope you all had a great holiday! More later.