we had a nice christmas. as usual I was awoken by my siblings at an ungodly 6:15 am, made coffee, admired the tableau of presents under the tree, opened said presents, donned all my new clothes at once (fuzzy socks, new sweater, the all-important fancy new compression running tights), and went out to play ball with our black lab, max, who gets a few new fetch toys in his stocking each year.
after the morning's festivities there was french toast to make, and wrapping paper to clean up; the dining room table to set; toys to momentarily play with before company arrived. (we had particular fun with the remote control sumo wrestlers). then my aunt & uncle and cousins got here. there was eating, and more presents, and some sipping of ridiculous, insanely expensive, moderately good coffee. there was some dreamy browsing online for a pair of tall riding boots, subsidized by a christmas gift card. there were kids running around yelling excitedly.
there were, as always, chickens.
(chuck, charlotte, & peepers)
the rooster, by the way, has honed his intimidating death stare.
and had not crowed much in a few weeks, but did rise to the occasion when I threatened him by wearing a puffy white coat, flapping my wings, and strutting around with my beautiful red comb:
we ate dinner at my grandmother's, fourteen of us at a table crammed so tightly into her small living room that in order to get up from our chairs, we had to climb over furniture. there was pie. and ice cream. pretty much I'll probably never eat again after the last four days.
today was much more of the same: a morning spent in blankets on the couch, then a trip to western maryland to see my aunt, uncle, and cousins, whom I was very close to as a child and whom I hadn't seen in a year. we watched football, ate too much lasagna, and probably scared my cousin's new girlfriend. the next generation, ages 2 to 13, ran through the house with various toys. this is the holiday for me: messy and loud, with too much eating; lots of reminiscing, teasing each other about stories from our past. we have an ever increasing number of small children in the house, and the kids' table, once ours, gets filled with other faces. there's a lot of coffee, and everyone's tired, and on lucky years, it's snowing just enough to be pretty but not enough to be meddlesome. by the end, you're overstuffed and you've laughed too hard and you probably need a nap.
yesterday -- christmas day -- was day 101. I ran a mile and a half in my new tights. today is my first day off since september 15. if I really wanted, I still have 40 minutes to get in a run, but I'm forcing myself to stop. this, then, is where the streak ends. and I am sad. tomorrow once again is day one.
merry christmas, everyone.