Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve in Iowa

We're holed up all cozy at the in-laws' house in Sioux City, Iowa, where we are having three days of blizzard conditions. They expect twenty inches of snow, winds around fifty miles an hour here. Driving over from the airport in Omaha we passed dozens of cars that had slid off into the ditches or overturned. Right now we have a mixture of new snow falling and clouds of snow-dust blowing off the roofs and trees. There are no kids outside playing in it.

Indoors, we have brownies and wine and the house is warm with the smell of corned beef cooking. Some of my wife's relatives just dropped in to say Merry Christmas and swap stories, catching up on who's married, who's died, whose kid has turned out badly, who got a new dog and how cute it is, scooping up snow in its cone while it heals from some surgery. The husband is in the agriculture department at Iowa State, and we talked about Russians and computers and other things we both had something to say about. I had never met him before but he's good people.

It's Christmas Eve and we're far away from our home. There's so much to miss while we're out here in the Midwest, but it is important and good to spend some time with our extended families; the kids -- who are hardly kids any more -- need to hear their surviving grandparents' familiar old stories again while they can. We'll be back to our new home soon enough, to new friends and the new things we love to do. I hope you all are getting to spend some time with family during these holidays, getting some time away from work and worry, recharging the batteries before we jump back into unimagined adventures in the coming year.


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