Monday, December 28
Dan and I are back in Carbondale after enjoying a great week in Chicago with Dan's family. We walked in and were greeted with happy meows from B and K, who were left alone in the cold house, with only a few visits from Kelly to give the entertainment while we were gone.
The house was freezing! With all of the heaters on, it has taken from last night until today at about noon to feel the chill leave the air, and I think that is more from the sun coming through the windows than from the heaters. It felt like camping last night, me wearing my new earmuffs to bed, along with my warmest pjs and slippers (under the covers). I woke up twice and was happy to have two little warm spots in my S-curve: one from Kodak sleeping behind my knees and one from Baxter sleeping by my chest. I told Dan we could either get a heater, or invest in more cats to heat me though the winter. We got a heater this afternoon.
But Chicago! What a great week!
Christmas morning was so fun. The tree this year wasn't just standing in the corner, happily holding ornaments, but actually seemed to be blooming into the rest of the house. I don't really know how Nora and Gus were able to get in to place.
Azusa, Nora, and Lolade were taking turns squeezing the orange juice that went along with the home made sticky buns we had for breakfast. With six people, there were a lot of oranges. And yes, you are seeing correctly. Those are zebra printed socks in Linda and Nora's hands! My mom will be happy to know that socks were still part of my Christmas present, even if she wasn't the one putting them in my stocking.
This happy little Santa is a tradition at the Swift house too. It's a napkin holder. I think it's incredibly clever and adorable.
One of the presents Nora and Azusa gave me/Kodak and Baxter is this pirate ship. I couldn't wait to put it together when we got home. In fact, I didn't even put my stuff away before I had the box open and parts everywhere.
All night Dan and I were being ridiculous, asking the cats if they wanted to go on a voyage or sail the high seas, and what not. The cats love it too, not just the humans in the house.
The night before we left, we met Dan's friends at the Cove. Everyone was shocked that the bar had been repainted, as before I'm told, there was a distinct cigarette smoke tinge that really added character to the place. We played darts, drank beer, and caught up with everyone. Most of these people Dan has known since he was in single digits. He's traveled around the world to visit them when they were off on adventures in St. Petersburg or some part of China. When ever someone comes through Chicago or to Chicago, there is bound to be someone there from the old days to drink and spend time with. This Christmas, I got to meet just about everyone that I've been hearing about for the last year and a half. Mira, Tara, Eranthie, Ken & Mindy... they are all real people now. More than once it was said, "Oh! You're Ariel!"
It was such a nice visit. Everywhere we were, at the family's house or the Santa family's house, everyone was welcome. The more people the better. Grab a drink, have some food. Stay a while. A person couldn't help but feel the community. Merry Christmas all. I hope you have some great memories too.
Posted by Ariel Swift