This time of year is so busy. But, I love it. Once the splendor of fall is behind us, I start looking forward to the “holidays”. It starts with Halloween (which I don’t really like though I do love watching my children get excited about it) and All Saints Day or Dia de los Muertos, which we celebrate at our house. Then, its on to Thanksgiving, quickly followed by Advent and the Christmas season.
I love the good feelings these holidays conote: family, good food, friends, love, sharing, graciousness, giving. I love the family time (even though it can be stressful), cooking baking, present making. I love decorating with nature as well as with the old ornaments and the semi-junky ones my children make (they are precious to me).
This time of year is always very busy for my soap business and this year seems extra busy – a good problem to have. Craft shows, farmers markets, on-line orders – it has been a little crazy. I’ve been working at night after the children are in bed, some nights at the business, some nights crafting gifts for my family. And, I still try to through in those nights were I go to bed early! I’ve not had much time to write here, but I think about it.
We spent Thanksgiving in Elizabeth City at my mother’s house and with my side of the family. Lots of little cousins brought a sweet and slightly chaotic feel to the celebration. It was fun to visit with so many little ones and a blessing to see them all playing together happily. I was glad that the generations in my family stay in touch as the family gets more extended.
And, the girls set the Thanksgiving table using their knowledge gained from two years at Manners Camp.
We biked everyday on our mini-vacation. This is a special activity that we love in Elizabeth City because the landscape is so flat (as compared to our very hilly, somewhat steep land around our house). The kids LOVE it! William also took the little ones out to fly a kite on one windy, cold, brilliant day. The wind was so strong that near the end of the kite-flying session, William tied the kite around Hythe’s waist because otherwise the kite nearly blew out of his grip. I was slightly worried the kite might lift Hythe off the ground. But, he stayed put.
We also had many games of classic pinball – thanks to my mom getting the old pinball machine fixed. One night, we went to the small downtown lighting ceremony, then visited with Santa in one of shops, had hot chocolate and took a sleigh ride [Note: “sleigh” was a wagon pulled by a tractor]. Very sweet and easy – quite different from what you have to maneuver through to do something similar in Asheville.
On our last morning, William and I ran a 5K race, and my very first race ever. My mother brought over our children after we finished, and then the three older ones ran a 1 mile race. I was impressed with our children’s determination and speed, and I was happy that I got to run with my husband and finish in the top 50. I was also impressed that almost everyone could eat multiple doughnuts and drink coffee (at least William for the coffee) right after running a race. Evva and I only made it through 3 bites before we felt sick.
It was a beautiful weekend – very busy – and I was quite exhausted by the end of it. I always find it a little sad to leave that place I was born. Not necessarily the house or neighborhood, but the landscape of sky and water, of flat fields and pine forests, of old farmhouses and backroads. There is something in me that longs for that place. There is a beauty there that speaks to me and calls to something deep in my soul.
But, I also love the home I am in now – and most especially the family that is there.
Each visit, I never get to see everyone I hoped to see or visit all the old haunts or beautiful spots, but we’ll be back.