But, the butt-naked truth is The Nine-One-Four is holiday naked this year.
Few lights. No snowflakes in the bay window. No "Fish-mas" tree in the upstairs hallway.
No lights on the house. No red bows on the porch rail. My Halloween/Thanksgiving arrangement of cornstalks and squash, still standing (I know, lame) and now glistening with frozen fog, is our only external testimonial to holidays of any kind.
I haven't baked or cooked. Well, except for book group, and oh. . . my persimmon cookies.
Instead, this is what Christmas looks like at the Nine-One-Four:
Call it Christmas-in-a-Box(es).
Because we are de-camping Bermtopia this year, exchanging its snow, fog and relentlessly fatal icy sidewalks and parking lots for this:
I can hardly wait.
Arch Cape. It is my touchstone.
I grew up learning its restless tides and watery, rocky mysteries. When I go back now, I am overwhelmed by its seemingly silent eternity.
The Number 1 Son, who along with The Miz, tee'd this up, calls it a "strategic withdrawal," a sensitive acknowledgment of how different this first Christmas will be without Young Bob Flynn in Bermtopia.
But it is also brilliant. Over the years, Arch Cape has been a Thanksgiving and summer destination for our little family. We've weathered rolled ankles, raccoons and power outages, swimmer's ear, leaky roofs and lop-sided sand soccer games there. We've fished and crabbed and beachcombed, read great books, watched occasionally debatable movies ("Sixth Sense" + Frank = Not good), played skee-ball and fed stinky fish to incorrigible seals and sea lions.
In other words. Arch Cape. Christmas. Heaven.
But enough of this dreamy, creative crap. Let's talk about packing up Christmas. And transporting it to the Oregon coast. We have
boxes for Ben (the one you can barely see in the far back with many, many towels). . . for Christmas randomness (recipes, table cloth, Christmas CDs and cassettes, Godiva hot chocolate mix, coffee grinder, cappuccino brewer and blow dryer). . . Young Bob Flynn's boom box because we're pretty sure the place where we're staying doesn't have a cassette player (like most other places on the face of the earth do?). . . and a basketball
a box for the Christmas tree (that shall be another blog) and cooking staples (box already determined to be too small)
a box for Christmas decorations (stockings, lights and a "few" selective ornaments)
|But rumor has it Ben's getting a new l.e.a.s.h. for Christmas.|
|Damn straight, I'm bringing sparklers!|
And finally. . . .
A Partridge (Family) in a pear tree.
You know you want it.