Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The snow lay on the ground

For years, my fondest wish has been for a white Christmas. And just for the record, a white dusting doesn't count. My ninth Christmas in the Blue Ridge Mountains, it finally happened.

The alarm clock jostled us into the world of fa-la-la-la-la's at half past six on Christmas morning. Talk about early. The older my family has gotten (read: the baby of the family is thirteen this year), the later we open gifts. This is fine with me, as Midnight Mass usually keeps folks up until two in the morning anyway.

This year, however, we were spending Christmas morning with Drew's much younger family (read: the youngest member is two). Our usually inquisitive felines wouldn't even leave their cozy nests to greet us at such an unholy hour. Toting bags full of presents, we crept out into the chilly morning. We saw a few flurries dart past the windshield as Drew steered the car towards the nearest gas station. Tank full, Drew and I headed to his parents' home, where we were joined by his siblings and a handful of nephews and a niece for a present opening extravaganza. As the wrapping paper pile grew, so did the snow. Drew, knowing how much the white stuff excited me, kept pointing towards the window. "See the snow? See? See?!"

By 9:45, we had hit the road. I was worried that if we waited too long, we wouldn't get to the second stop. My parents' home is only twenty minutes away (Drew's sister Mandy and her family were heading up to Nashville, while his brother Russ and his wife were driving to Gauley Bridge in West Virginia - we definitely got the short trip!). But what usually takes fifteen minutes ended up taking us an hour. Honestly, I can't believe we made it on the white, slippery roads. On the last leg of the trip, we almost got hit by an oncoming, careening car that ended up in someone's front yard. Our cats are still very disappointed that we weren't snowed in with them. Luckily, they don't hold grudges for long. Trixie was miffed for all of twelve seconds, while Tupelo - at twenty minutes - nursed her grudge a little longer.

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