Friday, December 26, 2008

It's Over!

Okay, as promised, here's the recap on Christmas this year.

Thank God it's over!!!

Not necessarily the statement I utter forth each December 26th, but for this time it is absolutely an understatement. Let's see, where to begin. How about the weather we had. By itself, not bad. We ended up with about 18+ inches of snow on the ground. Cool right? It would have been except it meant my older brother Gene and his family weren't able to drive up from California. The mountain passes were socked in with the white stuff and the Portland area roads were an absolute mess with packed snow and ice. As a result, they made the wise decision to stay home and be safe rather than risk getting stuck somewhere along the way. We were pretty bummed, but all knew it was for the best. The up side to this part of the tale is that they might still get to come up here next week.

Next. . . On Christmas eve, my mom's furnace decided to stop working. Oh yeepee! Not that there's ever a good time for this to happen, but the day before she was expecting a whole house full of guests for Christmas dinner, was less than perfect timing. A couple of calls to some heater dudes resulted in a promise that at least one of them could come out, but not until the 26th. Probably just as well though, cause a service call on Christmas day would have cost several arms and legs. The good news part of this, is that mom has a wood stove in the living room and about a three year supply of wood out in the shed. My brother mark took it upon himself to be the official fire master and kept it going throughout the day yesterday. For some reason though, he kept feeding the damn thing like he was intent on making anyone within ten feet of it feel like they were on the outskirts of hell's inferno! I darn near broke a sweat just sitting in the living room. Well, the other good news is the repairman came out today and found a reset switch hidden from view that had been tripped with all the power outages.

This brings up the next little guffa. Mom's power kept going out for a few to several hours at a time. Can you feel the stress yet? We started to make contingent plans to shift the shindig over to our house, but decided at the last minute to chance it at mom's. Fortunately, the power remined on for the entire day. Whew!

The pesky cold that reared its ugly head a few days earlier, was in full swing by yesterday too. My throat felt like someone had walked all over it with a pair of golf cleats on and my head felt about three feet thick. Yep, I was a pretty happy camper. (riiiight)

But you know what? In spite of all the crap that happened on and around Christmas this year, I am still a very blessed man! From a God who loves me, to my wonderful family, to all of you, my dear friends. . . I am a rich man indeed. So, you may ask, "Did iI get what I wanted for Christmas this year?", and the answer to that would be yes, because what I asked for was love, and I got an abundance of that.


Finding Pam said...

Jeff, sorry that your brother had to miss all the fun with the snow and all, but better safe that stuck in snow. At least that is how I would feel.

How many kids does your Mother have? That is so great that the power stayed on for the day at her home.

What would the holidays be if we did not have some mishap? Maybe next year you will be able to laugh about it all!

God is an awesome force in our lives and I am thankful that even after all the problems, you know that you are a blessed man. A man that is loved dearly by God, his family and friends.

So when are you going to post any pictures of Christmas? Many blessing to you, Jeff, and your family. It is great to hear about your Christmas. Thanks for sharing.

Jeni said...

What a great post this is, Jeff. We had our share here of a few little glitches now and then this past week, but overall, I think your words sum it all up quite well for us too as we definitely also received an abundance of love! Amazing, isn't it how you can take some things that by themselves may not be too nice to have happen and turn it around into somewhat of a blessing in the end..

goooooood girl said...

your blog is feel good......

Mel said...

Awwwwwww.....small wonder it was a screwy holiday without Gene there to keep you in line! ;-) No worries, I'm sure he'll make up for that one.

And what a cool thing how it all fell into place--even if it wasn't as you'da called it.

Yup--it's all good! Well, cept for the cold, which is a royal pain....

Feel better soon, I hope!

Jay said...

I had friends travelling the Portland area over Christmas - they very nearly didn't make it. Your brother made a wise (if disappointing) decision.

Sorry for all the stress you all endured, but you're right. The important thing is the love. Sounds like you have a great family!

Akelamalu said...

It would seem that the weather over there this year has been the cause of many a disappointing get together.

Still it would seem you made the best of it and enjoyed the day.

I'm happy you got the love your asked for m'dear. x

Dana said...

And not only did you get love, you gave it in abundance!

BJ Roan said...

I finished reading with a tear in my eye. Although a snafu or two can cause stress, they make for a more interesting tale. Very well written holiday story.

buffalodick said...

As you read my post, I think you know I understand perfectly... This is the kind of Christmas we'll always remember..

Jeff B said...

Pam- Three boys of which I'm the youngest. How she managed to keep her sanity all these years is still a mystery.

Having God's love helps to keep it all in perspective doesn't it?

I actually too very few pictures this year. Lisa snapped some though, maybe I'll borrow some of hers.

Jeni- Making lemonade out of the lemons, best describes it.

Girl- ummm. . .ok?

Mel- Hopefully he'll make it up here next week and the snark fest can still happen.

Jay- I'm one of the lucky ones to have a family that is very close to one another. Thanks for the visit.

Akelamalu- I think we all would have enjoyed the weather a bit more if it had come after Christmas rather than before. Oh well, such is life.

Dana- I suppose I did. Thanks for pointing that out to me.

BJ- All the circumstances caused us to rally together once again. That perhaps was a gift we received that had never been put on anyone's list.

Buffalo- Amazing how our perspectives can change given the "obstacles" placed before us.

Desert Songbird said...

Amen, my friend, amen. You topped that one off perfectly.

Let me say for the record, however, that currently we are under a freeze warning. Yes, Virginia, it DOES get cold in the desert in winter.

Sandee (Comedy +) said...

Love is always the bestest gift of all. Glad you got lots of that.

I'm glad it's over too. Yesterday the tree and inside decorations came down and were put away. Today the outside lights come down. It's time for spring if you ask me.

Have a terrific day Jeff. :)

Jules~ said...

Boy hasn't the weather been amazing? I am so sorry for al lthe problems you had but good for you for keeping your eyes on the important things. Can Gene and his family come up for New Years instead? I am hearing of so many families that are doing Christmas this weekend and next weekend. My folks live out in Boring Damascus area on a hill. they were so snowed in! We went shoping Christmas Eve for their groceries and ventured out their way. Our 4x4 got us most of the way and then we loaded up our sled and hiked the rest and spent the night out there.

Jeff B said...

Songbird- I saw Vegas had snow and wondered if you were getting any of the cold weather affects too.

Sandee- I always like turning the corner around the solstice, that means more sunshine is heading our way sometime.

Jules- That's the plan. They should be here next weekend. Glad you were able to make it to your parents place. Sounds like quite the trek to get there.

Dianne said...

too warm even though the furnance isn't working, that kind of sums up how your post made me feel - with all the snafus it was all GOOD

you and your family are lovely

hope that cold goes away for good :)

Dr.John said...

In the end family is what it's all about.

Jeff B said...

Dianne- We're a pretty tight bunch. It makes for good times even when life throws us a curve ball. The cold is finally on the losing end of the battle with me. Thanks

John- I wish everybody had as good of a family as I do. I consider myself very fortunate.

Gene Bach said...

We were real sorry we missed everyone...except you. All I really wanted out of you was the cheesecake anyway.

Ron said...

What a FABU post, Jeff!

And your last line so brilliantly summed up the whole experience...

Knowing that you are LOVED...puts it all in perspective, doesn't it?

It's the greatest gift realized!

And please know that I am insanely jealous of all that SNOW your getting, because today here in was 60 degrees with 100% humidity, which made it feel like FREAKING 80!!!


Oh that's right...I shouldn't BITCH, because I must always remember...I AM LOVED!!!


Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Bud!

Later gator!

gabrielle said...

18 inches of snow in Portland! No worries. Sounds like your family has its own intrinsic furnace.

Warms the heart. It truly does.

All the blessings of the season to you and your family.

Anndi said...

Knowing family is safe and sound is a wonderful present.

Jeff B said...

Gene- When you come up this weekend, I'm going to make a special cheesecake for you. Think I'll use blue cheese in it!

Ron- Got up this morning and looked out the window to see it mostly green again. Just a few little spots of snow left here and there.

Gabrielle- It was the largest amount on the ground in over forty years. As beautiful as it was, I'm glad it's gone now.

Anndi- It truly is!

Travis said...

Well, I guess the good news is that you had a safe and relatively sane holiday.

Kelly H-Y said...

Oh my goodness ... when it rains, it pours ... or would that be 'when it snows ... ', well, you know! So glad that all ended well ... and hope you are feeling much better ... no fun to be sick on Christmas Day!

nitebyrd said...

I'm glad that your Christmas was wonderful even if your brother didn't make the celebration. It's a good thing to be loved.

Have a peaceful, prosperous New Year!

Dianne said...

Hey! The Sound of Music is on right on. Isn't that your favorite movie?

Jeff B said...

Travis- Kind of a all's well that ends well event.

Kelly- I remember one year as a kid being sick on Christmas. That was a real bummer.

and three cheers for the big thaw!!!

Nitebyrd- Thanks, and we'll be celebrating with him and his family this coming week, so it'll all work out after all.

Dianne- ARRRRRGH!!!!!!

My lovely wife pointed that out to me today as well. I can already hear the sound of cats fighting now!

Bond said...

You took the struggles hoisted upon you and still made a wonderful day filled with family and love...

most excellent!

Lady in red said...

I always think it makes for a more interesting time when things go wrong plus it gived you that feeling of pulling through together.

I am glad you had a good time with the family you did have around you.


katherine. said...

I had to laugh about the missed reset switch...Gene would have found

Despite what 2008 has wrought I am very blessed this Christmas also. Your tales of family and your life are so fun to read.

Hope you are feeling hale and hearty...