Earlier this year I contributed a short photo essay covering my mother in law’s 100th birthday. That event was special, in part, because it is so rare to celebrate someone’s century mark, and this holiday season I felt like I was participating in two unique events that probably won’t come again.
I prepared an elegant meal in our tiny loft room in the barn and family sat down to enjoy grilled wild duck, garlic mashed potatoes, string beans, homemade cranberry-orange-allspice sauce, brownies, coconut ice cream, and a maraschino cherry. Abundant red wine was passed around. And we found room to squeeze in the space with two big dogs and two cats, while we could hear the donkeys tussling in the stall just below us. A delightfully different Christmas Eve celebration. It probably won’t be repeated; though, since we should be in the new house by spring.
It snowed heavily all Christmas Day, and we just barely reached Libby’s assisted living facility to have lunch with her. Some of the 80 – 100 year old residents were waiting for their children (many of these over 60 years of age) to arrive and pick them up and take them to Christmas dinner or to have Christmas meal with them at the facility in the dining room. Sadly, many could not come because of weather to pick up their parents, and I saw only four other guest families in the dining room during the luncheon. Still, Libby was in great spirits, and I was so happy to be able to spend the time with her. We may not “get” many other Christmases together.