This Christmas was the first one without my dear, little mother and, even though I knew it wouldn't be easy, I had no idea how very hard it would be! I had plans - oh, how I had plans - but we didn't do any of them. Instead we did some other things. New traditions, perhaps. Good things with family that helped all of us celebrate time together.
Mid-December found my sweetheart and I traveling to the South Coast of Oregon to visit my dear cousin and her hubby. We visited them early in December last year and had such a good time. During that visit she and I became aware of an annual event in their community that we wanted to do. We missed it last year so we started planning to do it this year. And we did! A gorgeous, old silent movie theater in her town has been restored. The original pipe organ that was played during the silent movies era is still there! It was in need of restoration and many long hours have gone into restoring the pipes and bellows, the miles and miles of connections and cables. One Saturday afternoon each December a free Christmas concert is presented to the community by two organists who know the old organ very well. And that's where we wanted to be on that Saturday this December! We arrived early enough to choose good seats. I played some pipe organ in my college years and I knew I wanted to be where I could see the organists hands and feet and watch as keys were played that made the music resound through the pipes high overhead. There is nothing quite like the sound of a pipe organ - unless it is the opportunity to play one! There is was. The Mighty Wurlitzer!
Soon after our return home we began to prepare for more travels out of town. Our son and daughter-in-law had invited her parents and the two of us to share a vacation rental home in the central part of our state. What fun we had for three days with our dear ones, including four of our grandkids plus our oldest grandson's best friend. The home was wonderful and just perfect for us. Five bedrooms. Four bathrooms. A living room. A game room. Huge kitchen. Something for everyone. Room to spread out and relax. We stayed in the room with the bay window on the left.
This vacation rental home is part of a large resort. This home sits along the golf course and nearby are other activities - swimming, racquetball, a full-sized gym, fitness rooms and more. The teen grands spent a lot of time in those activities and the younger grands enjoyed swimming and a short game of golf on a smaller course.
And just after daybreak, a familiar sight outside our winter retreat home. Deer! Two, at first, and then many. All watching us and not afraid as long as we kept our distance.