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Our family has left to return home in my car, full of pork, chicken and vegetables, canned and frozen to supplement their budget as they finish the last couple of weeks of first semester.  DIL#1 has only one more to her BFA.  Son#1 returns to work and spends any time he can budget to work on his PhD.  Grandson#1 plods along as a reluctant 4th grader.  He is so bright, but such a footdragger.  It was so great having them here for more than a night or two and look forward to a few more nights with them here at Christmas.  Not having Grandson#1 rough housing with the pups or begging for someone to come to the basement to play ping pong with him is already missed.

They always appreciate the good food that we grow and I prepare for them.  Son#1 always gets a few tasks done that we either can’t do or find difficult.  This trip we got the weatherstripping back up on the garage doors, he does most of the work, I am the gofer and holder.  He reconnected a downspout to a gutter that gets damaged every time we have accumulating snow.  Come spring, the end of the snow and the restaining of that section of the house, we will have to hire a real gutter person to come and fix that whole section, putting snow spikes on the upper roof at the same time.  That is yet another error on the contractor’s part, not making the upper overhang longer than the lower one or at least putting the snow spikes on that upper section of roof.  Son#1 and I got the load of firewood stacked and this morning, he, Mountaingdad and I switched the futon from the loft to the basement and brought a double recliner up to the loft. Having the futon in the loft gave us an extra bed before we finished the basement and added the 4th bedroom down there and the loft is where I sit and knit or spin and Mountaingdad watches TV and writes.  Having the seating here and the extra bed in the basement greatroom made more sense, we can put 4 people down there and 4 on the main floor of the house, so two of our kids with their families.  If we have all three kids and families, we will put the adults in the bedrooms and have a great sleepover for the 5 kids in the rec room with pads and sleeping bags.

When our daughter lived at home, she made a rule that I couldn’t begin to decorate for Christmas until the day after her birthday which is November 29th.  Sometimes that is only two days, sometimes a week.  I would comply except to maybe put up the outdoor wreaths.  After the kids left, I pulled out the first couple of boxes of decorations and put out the holiday linens, the wreaths, and my miniature village.  There are two large plastic boxes of Santas that each must be unwrapped, the shelves thoroughly dusted, statues places and though I love them, I dread that and later putting them away after Christmas.  We will wait to get a tree for a few more weeks and then decide whether to to go to a cut your own location or try to find a live tree that can be planted after Christmas.  We have a small grove of them between the house and the barn from Christmas past.  Until we decide, I always put up a 2 foot artificial tree with Hallmark mini ornaments and lights on my jelly cupboard between the dining room and living room.  The decorating will continue for a few more days, saving the tree and enjoying the rest.

Love my family and our mountain home.