A convocation of birds and Glad people.

Meeting my great-grandaughter Lori for the first time was surely a highlight of this Christmas. Her family drove in two days from Washington state, and stayed a week. I had been to her parents’ wedding in 2017, but this was also my first chance to spend much time with her dear mother Izzy, and that too was a highlight.

Truly, it has been ten days of countless overlapping highs and lights such that at this stage the brightness confuses me, and there don’t seem to be points of focus. Also, several of our party were not feeling well in one way or another; I caught one of their bugs that is making me dull. But there are pictures!

Many weeks ago I had told my contractor that if we could just get the “floors and doors” on the new rooms, I would be content to receive my guests. That was barely accomplished by Friday evening the 20th. Primer and/or paint had been applied in some rooms; the painters worked till 11:00 p.m. Then I spent hours moving stuff around to accommodate the thirteen extra sleepers, and made multiple rounds with dust cloths, but the dust was settling for days after the drywallers had left, so that effort was disappointing.

Soldier and family had come from Colorado and were staying with Joy’s parents’ nearby. He and Laddie and Brodie came over on Saturday to put up my tree and decorate it with me. Sunday and Monday the rest of the family arrived.

In addition to Colorado and Washington, family traveled from Washington D.C., Wisconsin, Oregon, and two towns in California. Fourteen of us spread out among six rooms including the living room; 28 total were feasting together and catching up over two days. Two older grandsons didn’t make it down from the north, but a cousin joined us for a few hours. We had four children under two among us, two of whom were just six and seven months old. Several of the children were jet-lagged and a bit distressed by the noisy crowd, but a dozen aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents were on hand to rock and comfort them.

I myself started sleeping better as soon as we crossed from “Before Christmas” into “When the children arrive.” Pearl organized us all into cooking teams, and before that I’d done most of the shopping. Everyone pitched in with everything, including whatever I hadn’t done, and overlooked the dust.

I made the future sewing room into a wrapping room, for all those people who had shipped packages here unwrapped. The crib had been re-assembled Sunday afternoon and it went back and forth from that room into the new guest bedroom, along with a Pack-n-Play. Those rooms had no real window coverings, and there was ample sunshine for more than a week. What a blessing that was. In various groupings people went to the park, on a hike, on a creek walk. The conversations were compelling, and I had to force myself to go to bed while all my favorite people were still talking and laughing, and showing their wonderfulness.

On Christmas Eve Day Pippin made a list for me of all the birds we had seen that day, several of which she had identified for me.

Mourning Dove
Scrub Jay
Tufted Titmouse
Anna’s Hummingbird
Townsend’s Warbler
Red-Breasted Nuthatch
Ruby-Crowned Kinglet
Lesser Goldfinch
Pine Siskin
Black-Capped Chickadee
White-Crowned Sparrow
Field ? Sparrow
Song Sparrow
English Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
House Finch
Nuttall’s Woodpecker

I was thrilled at the abundance of birds! Once I was carrying Raj around in the garden trying to calm him down. It was cool and sunny, and we looked at plants and flowers, and he had become quiet. I was talking in a low voice as we walked on to the patio, and suddenly realized that a song sparrow was busy at the feeder not two feet away. When we got yet closer it moved to the other side of the feeder but didn’t fly away. Close as I was, my picture is blurry, I suppose because I was holding a 30-lb child in my arms while shooting it.

On Christmas Day Kate and I took Raj and Rigo to church. The boys were surprisingly attentive and well-behaved… until they weren’t. So we had to go home a little early. In my neighborhood I scowled into my camera to get this shot, not realizing I was in the picture with the shepherds.

The last seven guests departed today, including three of the littlest ones. As far as my house is concerned, we are mostly now in the “After Christmas” period, when remodeling work is supposed to start up again. But I have a feeling things will be pretty quiet until 2020 arrives, and that’s okay, because I have lots of debriefing to do with myself, and processing of all the love and good deeds and good wishes that flowed into the house and all over the place. And a few more Days of Christmas during which I will make some plates of cookies for the neighbors, and watch the Iceland Poppies bloom.

Christ is born! Glorify Him!

18 thoughts on “A convocation of birds and Glad people.

  1. your Christmas sounds like mine!! Seeing the “product” of 50 years attentive parenting and grand parenting is most satisfying. Gratefulness to God to be present to both participate in and witness to the results makes bubbles of joy rise in the deep wells of salvation!

    Happy debriefing!!


    Sent from my iPhone

    Liked by 2 people

  2. That sounds like a wonderful Christmas howbeit a stressful one. In a good way, but still…
    Sorry about the bug that you caught. I hope it goes away quickly.
    I spend Christmas Eve in the ER with my DH who had been getting over the flu but suddenly was very sick. We came back home in the wee hours with a prescription for antibiotics and he’s slowly mending.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a houseful if joy — and apparently everything else! I can’t imagine all the last minute prep when your home was barely ready to receive all your loved ones! Glad you have much to treasure in your heart for days to come.
    Merry Christmas, friend!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Look at all your big, beautiful family! I love the groupings of children there. We had only 3 “kids” and one grandbaby, and that was lots of work — how in the world did you do it all? even with help? It is so rich and rewarding. I often feel too old to do it. I understand your remodeling! We need more space too.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thank you so much for finding my blog and leaving such a lovely comment, because it led me to yours. Your Christmas looks just the way Christmas should be — filled with family and children and great joy; lovely goodies on the table, beautiful ornaments and so much more. Your own little Lori is the real gift, isn’t she. Although your family is so handsome and lovely, I think they are all a great gift. I send you good wishes for a happy new year and successful remodel!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. In the way of the internet world, and maybe all the world, we wander through and find and lose and find again. I happily reached your blog this morning through a comment you left on a friend’s blog. What a delightful Christmas you had! Blessings upon your new year. Looking forward to staying better in touch through your blog again. *Rachel from Indiana*

    Liked by 2 people

  7. What a pleasure to spend a little bit of time with your family during this past holyday season. That’s an impressive list of birds seen in one day. And flowers blooming in December! Thank you for sharing this glimpse into your life with the rest of us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Complete strangers like you — as much as a fellow human being can be a “complete stranger”! — if they read my blog, do get to spend time with us in a way that many of my closest “real-life” friends who don’t read blogs miss out on. And when you take the time to leave a thoughtful comment — well, I know you know — it means a lot. There are many people who read my blog all the time (so I hear) and rarely or never comment. That’s not bad overall, but I miss out. 😉

      I understand the danger of some people losing touch with the real world because of all their somewhat unreal virtual “friendships,” but the little connections between fellow-bloggers I find very nurturing. They don’t substitute for having friends in my daily world, but they certainly enhance my life. So, thank you again.


  8. I am glad you had a blessed Christmas with your beautiful family. Congratulations on your great-granddaughter! I can’t believe how time has gone by. I want to wish you a Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

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