The weekend of Thankgiving, the Christmas decorations went up and despite warning that included I have "lots of stuff" and my seeing a lot of boxes for the seasons in the basement, it turns out that there really isn't that much. Plus I like them. Double plus, the dining room has all my menorahs on display. As BC would say, "Balance."
Last Sunday we took The Kid to her riding lesson. While she rode we drank of coffee behind the plexiglass watching her talking about everything and occasionally one of us commenting on her form. After that we went off to procure chocolate making supplies, reviving an old tradition of BC's. I went off to the library to search for a few books on Chanukah to read to The Kid. As I was skimming book after book, a young girl, maybe 10-12 years old came up to me, handed me a book saying it was a favorite of hers. It was one of three I came home with and it was the first one I read to her, all of cuddled up in her bed.
Monday The Kid was sick, staying home from school, poor thing. In the evening she felt a bit better so we did some chocolate making in the kitchen. Molded chocolates, chocolate covered raisins, pretzels, and peanuts as well as a handful of dipped apricots. Once again we piled into her bed and read another Chanukah tale. Tuesday she stayed home from school as well but we still had company for dinner, an old friend of BC's who is very sweet and is passionate about her art. Nice. That night she was too sick to do any reading, poor baby. Wednesday she went to her other mother's house for the next five days.
By Friday it seemed like BC might have succumbed to whatever it was that The Kid had, but it was shorted lived, thank goodness. It was the first night of Chanukah and based on BC's response to one of the stories, we moved the largest menorah into the dining room window so it could be seen from the street and lit it for the first time together.
Saturday morning we left fairly early to drive to Middlefield because BC's niece, who is in fifth grade, was playing her first basketball game. Ever! So sweet. Middlefield is a large Amish community, which became clear as we passed a number of horse and buggies that day. I had no idea I would have fun at the game but I did. As some of you may know I am not a big sports person but there I was shouting (okay not really loud, especially compared to BC who could have easily been mistaken as a coach with all her directions to the players, but loud for me) and cheering. It was a bit of nail bitter as they were tied for awhile but ultimately our team won 16-14.
On the way back I noticed a sign talking about alpacas, but I didn't catch where the place was or even what exactly it was. We were about to make a turn when BC caught a sign saying "Alpacas and Gifts 1 mile". Sweetheart that she is we made a little detour and discovered a sweet shop with four very cute, friendly alpacas out front. If only could remember how to get photos off my phone! The four females were in back and much shier but one was this incredible chestnut brown color with the longest lashes ever. Fields of Grace Alpacas is a sweet little shop and the owner Patti Zebrowski was friendly and informative. Those guys were so cute. We bought yarn for someone on my LBGT knit list who just found out she needs to start chemo next week. Plus I bought some of Lincoln's fleece that had been processed and will make something for BC using it. Really cool to have an image of him while I knit with his material.
Last night with a tiny bit of assistance from me BC started baking her holiday cookies. The kitchen smelled delightful with pistachio and orange biscotti wafting through. We invited our friend Deb over for a veggie dinner I whipped up, we hung for a long time talking, nibbling on the broken biscotti, drinking coffee on a chilly early winter night. Tonight she made almond/orange scented pizzelle as well as chocolate ones. We have a long list of people to give/ship cookies and chocolates to so these kitchen activities will continue over the next week and a half.
As I review all this, time with The Kid, taking turns cooking dinner, going to the middle of nowhere to watch a niece do sports, baking for the holidays, planning for a Chanukah gathering on Tuesday I keep looking on from outside myself thinking, "Wow, this looks like a family." Or "Huh, how did I get here (music cue here) where I never thought I'd be." But more often I think "I could get used to all of this."