The lake finally froze over during the day on Christmas. It has been cold enough to do so for some time now, but until now very windy with the water always in flux. Today, the day after Christmas, it has begun to snow. I have stayed in my pajamas all day, and lain on the couch in front of the fireplace, reading The Voyage of the Narwahl by Andrea Barrett. As it involves an expedition to the arctic and a ship that must overwinter after becoming trapped in the ice, it seems a very fitting story for my own housebound state on a wintry day.
It has been a lovely holiday. On Christmas Eve we were joined by Jemesii and her husband Jamie as well as our dear neighbors Harold and June. David had been simmering a ham for the entire day in Madeira. I prepared green beans with ginger and poached some pears. It was a festive meal, but I retired not long after dinner, as I had been on my feet too much and my ankle was quite swollen and sore (just as I was beginning to think that maybe I would be able to ski after all this season).
I needed to arise early in the morning to make a coffee cake using my mother’s recipe and my Grandma T’s bundt pan: always a sentimental task. Peter has recently discovered the joys of sleeping in, and also exhibits all the Christmas morning restraint of someone who is almost 13, so he set his alarm for the reasonable hour of 8 am. Of course, once he’d awakened, he did his best to hurry us all in to the tree and the presents that lay beneath.
Going through our stockings and opening our gifts is always a good deal of fun, as Santa and company tend to make some fun and quirky selections. Among this years favorites were an old stadium light bulb mounted on a stand that Jem and Jamie gave me, and a fabulous mechanical bank that Peter found for his dad at the local Goodwill. It is a very irreverant take on the tale of Jonah and the Whale: Jonah is tossing a nun into into the mouth of the behemoth. My gift from Peter was a wonderful fish that he carved from stone in a class at school.
In the afternoon, we made a quick trip down the road to our friends Mary and Raleigh. They constructed their home many years ago from the salvaged remains of two barns and a house, and it sits like an enchanted cottage at the end of a long driveway. Raleigh, who has a snow white beard and hair, sported a red t-shirt with SANTA printed on the front. After a toast in Swedish, we ate pickled herring on crackers and drank frosty aquavit.
After we returned home David prepared a dinner of fresh lobster (he loves to cook, and does it very well). Today he made us lobster rolls for lunch with the leftovers.
Now we are drinking a glass of wine and soon Jemesii and I are going to watch L’Iceberg, in sticking with the general theme of the day.
I’ve said it before, and I’m going to keep saying it…I’m having a great time at this party and I’m hopeful I won’t have to leave anytime soon. Life really is great.