Monday, December 24, 2012

Wrapping and Relating

It's Christmas Eve. And I'm back home with Ma'ikwe after a quick weekend visit to the suburbs of St Louis to see my son, Ceilee, my daughter-in-law, Tosca, my granddaughter, Taivyn, my grandson, Connor—AKA Bobo, my eldest granddog, Zeus, and my ex-partner and dear friend, Annie (who doubles as Ceilee's mother). It was the first time that particular configuration had been together in more than a year, and it was delightful to see everyone in good health. (A year ago Taivyn was battling a serious C diff infection that made for a more cautious and exhausting holiday season. See my blog of Nov 16, 2011, Granddaughter Down, for more on that.)

Starting two days ago, pretty much all semblance of work has ceased. Now is the time for relationships; for suspending our regularly scheduled lives to be with loved ones. As such, it's one of my favorite times of the year.

After experiencing balmy weather yesterday in St Louis (nice enough that I needed neither hat nor coat on a 1.5-mile late morning walk in the neighborhood), today I witnessed winter's return as I drove north. In the process of gaining about 150 miles in latitude I started out with no snow on the ground whatsoever, and ended up on rock roads that were 100% snow packed. While I left Ceilee's with temperatures hovering near freezing, it was 20 degrees and dropping by the time I got back to Rutledge midday, and rendezvoused with Ma'ikwe for a final foray into town for last-minute gift purchases, festively accompanied by snow flurries. In northeast Missouri it will definitely be a white Christmas.

Ma'ikwe and I were pleased to have the car unloaded and all of our driving done by 6:30 pm, so that we could turn our attention to hearth work (which, interestingly, also turned out to include heart work and health work): cranking up the wood stove, taking an infrared sauna, cooking for tomorrow morning's Christmas potluck brunch at the Milkweed Mercantile, and wrapping presents.

This year, the Moon Lodge Christmas contingent includes Ma'ikwe, Jibran, Marqis (an ex-partner of Ma'ikwe's & Jibran's dad), Adam (the visiting 17-year-old son of a different ex-partner of Ma'ikwe's), and me. As I compose this holiday paean to seasonal traditions and the primacy of relationships, Ma'ikwe is taking her turn in the wrapping room and Marqis sits next to me grinding pan-roasted fenugreek and black mustard seeds with a mortar and pestle—to be added to the mixture of turmeric, cumin, coriander, and cayenne, yielding a distinctive home-made curry for the chicken salad dish we're bringing to tomorrow's potluck. The aromas are wonderfully aromatic!

While the curried chicken salad is a new recipe, we are also bringing with us a Schaub family tradition: Famous Wafers and Whipped Cream (see my May 17, 2011 blog for more on that). With a dessert that essentially features cream, chocolate, and vanilla it's hard to go wrong. (If Santa ever got into one of those logs while dallying during a delivery he'd never got back up the chimney—this is not a low-cal concoction.)

While Ma'ikwe, Jibran, and I are rather casual about hiding presents from one another and don't insist on having everything wrapped, it's too much fun to bah-humbug the whole thing, and we carefully reserve a portion of Christmas Eve for the wrapping ritual. Now that Ma'ikwe has finished with hers, it's time for me to wrap up this blog, and to get more present with my presents.

With apologies to Clement Moore (who more famously wrote about the night before Christmas 190 years ago), I want you to hear me exclaim (before I disappear from your sight): Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!  

1 comment:

Travis said...

Always enjoy reading your blog Laird.