Plenty of Room at the Inn!

Nicola3 Happy Boxing Day, everyone! I have very few photographs from when I was a child but I have managed to find a photo of the family that was taken by my grandmother on a sunny Christmas Day. You can see the balloon decorations in the window! I'm the smallest person in the picture, with a cute hairband. I love my aunt's glamorous 1960s mini kilt and my mother's tartan dress! And the boy with the cat is my cousin Neil who I hero worshipped!

My parents divorced when I was about five and after that I rarely saw my father but I did spend one memorable Christmas with him and his new family when I was about nine years old. My father was the sort of man who might be called a raconteur – he was a great story teller and I often suspected that those stories had received a considerable amount of embroidery and polish. But after my experiences that Christmas I never doubted him again.

On Boxing Day, December 26th, we all set off to drive to the English Lake District for the day. It was Scafell_pike beautiful sunny weather, cold but clear, and my father fancied a bracing walk on the Fells. The Boxing Day walk is a British tradition. We arrived in time for lunch at an inn in a village called Ambleside and most of the adults then went off to climb the mountain Scafell (in the photo), leaving me with my step-cousin Wendy and her mother for the afternoon. By the time that they returned some five hours later it was dark and very cold and the beautiful clear day had turned into a snowstorm with huge flakes falling. We set off for home but after about an hour we had barely gone a half mile. Then we drove into a snowdrift and were completely stuck. It got colder and colder. I remember my father wrapping me in a rug before he and his brother in law went off to fetch help. After about three hours we were rescued by a farmer on a tractor who dragged the car out and towed us back to the inn at Ambleside, where they revived us with Scotch Broth soup and mulled wine (very exciting and intoxicating for a nine year old!) The landlady put me to bed in a huge fourposter with a fat mattress and five hot water bottles. And when I got home the next day and my mother asked me how I had got on, I told her it had been the most exciting Boxing Day I had ever known!

Have you had a Christmas experience that didn't quite turn out as planned?

Wench Memo:

The Word Wenches will be giving away a fantastic prize on January 1st 2011 – a Word Wenches Library containing a book by each of the Wenches! For a chance to win, all you have to do is comment on one or more of our December blog posts. We'll gather the list of names on January 1, 2011 and pick a winner! (If you've already posted in December, you're already entered — comment again for more chances to win!) Good luck to all and Happy Holidays!

105 thoughts on “Plenty of Room at the Inn!”

  1. What a wonderful story – and I love the old picture! As for Christmases, very few of mine ever go off as planned – but they always end up just right.
    Margay

    Reply
  2. What a wonderful story – and I love the old picture! As for Christmases, very few of mine ever go off as planned – but they always end up just right.
    Margay

    Reply
  3. What a wonderful story – and I love the old picture! As for Christmases, very few of mine ever go off as planned – but they always end up just right.
    Margay

    Reply
  4. What a wonderful story – and I love the old picture! As for Christmases, very few of mine ever go off as planned – but they always end up just right.
    Margay

    Reply
  5. What a wonderful story – and I love the old picture! As for Christmases, very few of mine ever go off as planned – but they always end up just right.
    Margay

    Reply
  6. Beautiful story! Ambleside is beautiful, but I’ve only been there in summer.
    My Christmas last year didn’t go quite as planned. My (British) husband and I live in London and went to California to spend Christmas with my family. My brother worked on Christmas day, so my family decided to celebrate on Christmas Eve. They’re all really laid back about when to celebrate, but my husband has very particular ideas about how it should be celebrated, and Christmas Eve is not an option. He was a bit moody when he and I ended up spending Christmas day at a Japanese restaurant and at the cinema.
    This year we’re at home in London and I’ve let him organize everything. He’s loved it.

    Reply
  7. Beautiful story! Ambleside is beautiful, but I’ve only been there in summer.
    My Christmas last year didn’t go quite as planned. My (British) husband and I live in London and went to California to spend Christmas with my family. My brother worked on Christmas day, so my family decided to celebrate on Christmas Eve. They’re all really laid back about when to celebrate, but my husband has very particular ideas about how it should be celebrated, and Christmas Eve is not an option. He was a bit moody when he and I ended up spending Christmas day at a Japanese restaurant and at the cinema.
    This year we’re at home in London and I’ve let him organize everything. He’s loved it.

    Reply
  8. Beautiful story! Ambleside is beautiful, but I’ve only been there in summer.
    My Christmas last year didn’t go quite as planned. My (British) husband and I live in London and went to California to spend Christmas with my family. My brother worked on Christmas day, so my family decided to celebrate on Christmas Eve. They’re all really laid back about when to celebrate, but my husband has very particular ideas about how it should be celebrated, and Christmas Eve is not an option. He was a bit moody when he and I ended up spending Christmas day at a Japanese restaurant and at the cinema.
    This year we’re at home in London and I’ve let him organize everything. He’s loved it.

    Reply
  9. Beautiful story! Ambleside is beautiful, but I’ve only been there in summer.
    My Christmas last year didn’t go quite as planned. My (British) husband and I live in London and went to California to spend Christmas with my family. My brother worked on Christmas day, so my family decided to celebrate on Christmas Eve. They’re all really laid back about when to celebrate, but my husband has very particular ideas about how it should be celebrated, and Christmas Eve is not an option. He was a bit moody when he and I ended up spending Christmas day at a Japanese restaurant and at the cinema.
    This year we’re at home in London and I’ve let him organize everything. He’s loved it.

    Reply
  10. Beautiful story! Ambleside is beautiful, but I’ve only been there in summer.
    My Christmas last year didn’t go quite as planned. My (British) husband and I live in London and went to California to spend Christmas with my family. My brother worked on Christmas day, so my family decided to celebrate on Christmas Eve. They’re all really laid back about when to celebrate, but my husband has very particular ideas about how it should be celebrated, and Christmas Eve is not an option. He was a bit moody when he and I ended up spending Christmas day at a Japanese restaurant and at the cinema.
    This year we’re at home in London and I’ve let him organize everything. He’s loved it.

    Reply
  11. What a cool photo. Just wish it were in colour.
    Snow in the mountains can be so unexpected and dangerous. Even though my own mountains are small and tame compared to other places, we still get a few kids each year who go out hiking and somebody has to go in and pull them out when the weather changes unexpected.

    Reply
  12. What a cool photo. Just wish it were in colour.
    Snow in the mountains can be so unexpected and dangerous. Even though my own mountains are small and tame compared to other places, we still get a few kids each year who go out hiking and somebody has to go in and pull them out when the weather changes unexpected.

    Reply
  13. What a cool photo. Just wish it were in colour.
    Snow in the mountains can be so unexpected and dangerous. Even though my own mountains are small and tame compared to other places, we still get a few kids each year who go out hiking and somebody has to go in and pull them out when the weather changes unexpected.

    Reply
  14. What a cool photo. Just wish it were in colour.
    Snow in the mountains can be so unexpected and dangerous. Even though my own mountains are small and tame compared to other places, we still get a few kids each year who go out hiking and somebody has to go in and pull them out when the weather changes unexpected.

    Reply
  15. What a cool photo. Just wish it were in colour.
    Snow in the mountains can be so unexpected and dangerous. Even though my own mountains are small and tame compared to other places, we still get a few kids each year who go out hiking and somebody has to go in and pull them out when the weather changes unexpected.

    Reply
  16. Great story, Nicola! Makes me c-cold just thinking about being stuck in that snowbank for a bit! I love reading these Wench Christmas memories, and I’m thinking hard about my own turn later in the week.
    We’re currently awaiting an east coast snowstorm that seems to be passing us by, as we’re just on its outer fringe. And I was hoping for at least a dusting of snow for the Christmas season. Well, the week’s not out yet. . .
    Susan

    Reply
  17. Great story, Nicola! Makes me c-cold just thinking about being stuck in that snowbank for a bit! I love reading these Wench Christmas memories, and I’m thinking hard about my own turn later in the week.
    We’re currently awaiting an east coast snowstorm that seems to be passing us by, as we’re just on its outer fringe. And I was hoping for at least a dusting of snow for the Christmas season. Well, the week’s not out yet. . .
    Susan

    Reply
  18. Great story, Nicola! Makes me c-cold just thinking about being stuck in that snowbank for a bit! I love reading these Wench Christmas memories, and I’m thinking hard about my own turn later in the week.
    We’re currently awaiting an east coast snowstorm that seems to be passing us by, as we’re just on its outer fringe. And I was hoping for at least a dusting of snow for the Christmas season. Well, the week’s not out yet. . .
    Susan

    Reply
  19. Great story, Nicola! Makes me c-cold just thinking about being stuck in that snowbank for a bit! I love reading these Wench Christmas memories, and I’m thinking hard about my own turn later in the week.
    We’re currently awaiting an east coast snowstorm that seems to be passing us by, as we’re just on its outer fringe. And I was hoping for at least a dusting of snow for the Christmas season. Well, the week’s not out yet. . .
    Susan

    Reply
  20. Great story, Nicola! Makes me c-cold just thinking about being stuck in that snowbank for a bit! I love reading these Wench Christmas memories, and I’m thinking hard about my own turn later in the week.
    We’re currently awaiting an east coast snowstorm that seems to be passing us by, as we’re just on its outer fringe. And I was hoping for at least a dusting of snow for the Christmas season. Well, the week’s not out yet. . .
    Susan

    Reply
  21. What a great story Nicola. I don’t think I have any stories about things like that happening although Christmas is always hectic and hot here in Australia things seem to go to plan LOL
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  22. What a great story Nicola. I don’t think I have any stories about things like that happening although Christmas is always hectic and hot here in Australia things seem to go to plan LOL
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  23. What a great story Nicola. I don’t think I have any stories about things like that happening although Christmas is always hectic and hot here in Australia things seem to go to plan LOL
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  24. What a great story Nicola. I don’t think I have any stories about things like that happening although Christmas is always hectic and hot here in Australia things seem to go to plan LOL
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  25. What a great story Nicola. I don’t think I have any stories about things like that happening although Christmas is always hectic and hot here in Australia things seem to go to plan LOL
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  26. Hi Katrina! The traditional way of doing things can be very important to people, can’t it. I’m glad that your dh enjoyed organising this year’s festivities!
    Absolutely, Joanna. Even in the UK – especially in Scotland but the Lakes as well – the weather can change very quickly and be treacherous in the mountains. Whenever my dh and I go out walking in Scotland we always make sure we have all the kit plus an old-fashioned compass!

    Reply
  27. Hi Katrina! The traditional way of doing things can be very important to people, can’t it. I’m glad that your dh enjoyed organising this year’s festivities!
    Absolutely, Joanna. Even in the UK – especially in Scotland but the Lakes as well – the weather can change very quickly and be treacherous in the mountains. Whenever my dh and I go out walking in Scotland we always make sure we have all the kit plus an old-fashioned compass!

    Reply
  28. Hi Katrina! The traditional way of doing things can be very important to people, can’t it. I’m glad that your dh enjoyed organising this year’s festivities!
    Absolutely, Joanna. Even in the UK – especially in Scotland but the Lakes as well – the weather can change very quickly and be treacherous in the mountains. Whenever my dh and I go out walking in Scotland we always make sure we have all the kit plus an old-fashioned compass!

    Reply
  29. Hi Katrina! The traditional way of doing things can be very important to people, can’t it. I’m glad that your dh enjoyed organising this year’s festivities!
    Absolutely, Joanna. Even in the UK – especially in Scotland but the Lakes as well – the weather can change very quickly and be treacherous in the mountains. Whenever my dh and I go out walking in Scotland we always make sure we have all the kit plus an old-fashioned compass!

    Reply
  30. Hi Katrina! The traditional way of doing things can be very important to people, can’t it. I’m glad that your dh enjoyed organising this year’s festivities!
    Absolutely, Joanna. Even in the UK – especially in Scotland but the Lakes as well – the weather can change very quickly and be treacherous in the mountains. Whenever my dh and I go out walking in Scotland we always make sure we have all the kit plus an old-fashioned compass!

    Reply
  31. Shivering at the thought of your snowstorm, Susan! I hope you all stay warm and dry! We’ve had snow on the ground here for a week now, very unusual for Christmas here, and more forecast for tomorrow. Helen, I have been thinking of a hot Aussie Christmas with a certain amount of longing!
    Happy Christmas, everyone!

    Reply
  32. Shivering at the thought of your snowstorm, Susan! I hope you all stay warm and dry! We’ve had snow on the ground here for a week now, very unusual for Christmas here, and more forecast for tomorrow. Helen, I have been thinking of a hot Aussie Christmas with a certain amount of longing!
    Happy Christmas, everyone!

    Reply
  33. Shivering at the thought of your snowstorm, Susan! I hope you all stay warm and dry! We’ve had snow on the ground here for a week now, very unusual for Christmas here, and more forecast for tomorrow. Helen, I have been thinking of a hot Aussie Christmas with a certain amount of longing!
    Happy Christmas, everyone!

    Reply
  34. Shivering at the thought of your snowstorm, Susan! I hope you all stay warm and dry! We’ve had snow on the ground here for a week now, very unusual for Christmas here, and more forecast for tomorrow. Helen, I have been thinking of a hot Aussie Christmas with a certain amount of longing!
    Happy Christmas, everyone!

    Reply
  35. Shivering at the thought of your snowstorm, Susan! I hope you all stay warm and dry! We’ve had snow on the ground here for a week now, very unusual for Christmas here, and more forecast for tomorrow. Helen, I have been thinking of a hot Aussie Christmas with a certain amount of longing!
    Happy Christmas, everyone!

    Reply
  36. What a great picture and story, Nicola! It’s actually a classic set up for a Regency Christmas novella–marooned at the inn!!! But it all ended happily with Scotch broth and mulled wine. I have nothing to match this when my Christmastide day rolls around. *g:

    Reply
  37. What a great picture and story, Nicola! It’s actually a classic set up for a Regency Christmas novella–marooned at the inn!!! But it all ended happily with Scotch broth and mulled wine. I have nothing to match this when my Christmastide day rolls around. *g:

    Reply
  38. What a great picture and story, Nicola! It’s actually a classic set up for a Regency Christmas novella–marooned at the inn!!! But it all ended happily with Scotch broth and mulled wine. I have nothing to match this when my Christmastide day rolls around. *g:

    Reply
  39. What a great picture and story, Nicola! It’s actually a classic set up for a Regency Christmas novella–marooned at the inn!!! But it all ended happily with Scotch broth and mulled wine. I have nothing to match this when my Christmastide day rolls around. *g:

    Reply
  40. What a great picture and story, Nicola! It’s actually a classic set up for a Regency Christmas novella–marooned at the inn!!! But it all ended happily with Scotch broth and mulled wine. I have nothing to match this when my Christmastide day rolls around. *g:

    Reply
  41. I remember the first Christmas that we spent on our “new” 5 acres in the Southern California back country. It had rained and rained. We had 3 cars stuck in the mud…had to keep everybody parked at the entrance and walk in. Fun was had by all. Took about three days to dry out enough to get the cars out. This was about 25 years ago.
    This Christmas we had the rain but just as much fun and no cars stuck.

    Reply
  42. I remember the first Christmas that we spent on our “new” 5 acres in the Southern California back country. It had rained and rained. We had 3 cars stuck in the mud…had to keep everybody parked at the entrance and walk in. Fun was had by all. Took about three days to dry out enough to get the cars out. This was about 25 years ago.
    This Christmas we had the rain but just as much fun and no cars stuck.

    Reply
  43. I remember the first Christmas that we spent on our “new” 5 acres in the Southern California back country. It had rained and rained. We had 3 cars stuck in the mud…had to keep everybody parked at the entrance and walk in. Fun was had by all. Took about three days to dry out enough to get the cars out. This was about 25 years ago.
    This Christmas we had the rain but just as much fun and no cars stuck.

    Reply
  44. I remember the first Christmas that we spent on our “new” 5 acres in the Southern California back country. It had rained and rained. We had 3 cars stuck in the mud…had to keep everybody parked at the entrance and walk in. Fun was had by all. Took about three days to dry out enough to get the cars out. This was about 25 years ago.
    This Christmas we had the rain but just as much fun and no cars stuck.

    Reply
  45. I remember the first Christmas that we spent on our “new” 5 acres in the Southern California back country. It had rained and rained. We had 3 cars stuck in the mud…had to keep everybody parked at the entrance and walk in. Fun was had by all. Took about three days to dry out enough to get the cars out. This was about 25 years ago.
    This Christmas we had the rain but just as much fun and no cars stuck.

    Reply
  46. What a lovely story, Nicola! I would love to see the Lake District in Winter. Then again I would love to see the Lake District any time at all !!
    One Christmas that didn’t go quite as planned happened a few years after my Dad passed away. A horrible snowstorm blew in from the North and as a result I couldn’t get to my Mom’s for Christmas! My brothers tried to come after me, but the authorities closed the roads so I ended up celebrating Christmas with them over the telephone.

    Reply
  47. What a lovely story, Nicola! I would love to see the Lake District in Winter. Then again I would love to see the Lake District any time at all !!
    One Christmas that didn’t go quite as planned happened a few years after my Dad passed away. A horrible snowstorm blew in from the North and as a result I couldn’t get to my Mom’s for Christmas! My brothers tried to come after me, but the authorities closed the roads so I ended up celebrating Christmas with them over the telephone.

    Reply
  48. What a lovely story, Nicola! I would love to see the Lake District in Winter. Then again I would love to see the Lake District any time at all !!
    One Christmas that didn’t go quite as planned happened a few years after my Dad passed away. A horrible snowstorm blew in from the North and as a result I couldn’t get to my Mom’s for Christmas! My brothers tried to come after me, but the authorities closed the roads so I ended up celebrating Christmas with them over the telephone.

    Reply
  49. What a lovely story, Nicola! I would love to see the Lake District in Winter. Then again I would love to see the Lake District any time at all !!
    One Christmas that didn’t go quite as planned happened a few years after my Dad passed away. A horrible snowstorm blew in from the North and as a result I couldn’t get to my Mom’s for Christmas! My brothers tried to come after me, but the authorities closed the roads so I ended up celebrating Christmas with them over the telephone.

    Reply
  50. What a lovely story, Nicola! I would love to see the Lake District in Winter. Then again I would love to see the Lake District any time at all !!
    One Christmas that didn’t go quite as planned happened a few years after my Dad passed away. A horrible snowstorm blew in from the North and as a result I couldn’t get to my Mom’s for Christmas! My brothers tried to come after me, but the authorities closed the roads so I ended up celebrating Christmas with them over the telephone.

    Reply
  51. LOL, Mary Jo, it was indeed the classic set up, proving that it is pretty easy to get marooned in the snow, whatever the era!
    Louis, another salutary weather tale. As long as you all had a good time!
    Louisa, I’m so sorry you couldn’t get to spend Christmas with your family that year. Thank goodness for modern means of communication keeping us all in touch!

    Reply
  52. LOL, Mary Jo, it was indeed the classic set up, proving that it is pretty easy to get marooned in the snow, whatever the era!
    Louis, another salutary weather tale. As long as you all had a good time!
    Louisa, I’m so sorry you couldn’t get to spend Christmas with your family that year. Thank goodness for modern means of communication keeping us all in touch!

    Reply
  53. LOL, Mary Jo, it was indeed the classic set up, proving that it is pretty easy to get marooned in the snow, whatever the era!
    Louis, another salutary weather tale. As long as you all had a good time!
    Louisa, I’m so sorry you couldn’t get to spend Christmas with your family that year. Thank goodness for modern means of communication keeping us all in touch!

    Reply
  54. LOL, Mary Jo, it was indeed the classic set up, proving that it is pretty easy to get marooned in the snow, whatever the era!
    Louis, another salutary weather tale. As long as you all had a good time!
    Louisa, I’m so sorry you couldn’t get to spend Christmas with your family that year. Thank goodness for modern means of communication keeping us all in touch!

    Reply
  55. LOL, Mary Jo, it was indeed the classic set up, proving that it is pretty easy to get marooned in the snow, whatever the era!
    Louis, another salutary weather tale. As long as you all had a good time!
    Louisa, I’m so sorry you couldn’t get to spend Christmas with your family that year. Thank goodness for modern means of communication keeping us all in touch!

    Reply
  56. Love the story Nicola. It sounds like your adventures started at an early age, probably set the tone for your travel adventures in later life *g*.
    After spending all my christmases in the heat, the last 3 have been spent in the northern hemisphere cold. I think I prefer them to be honest. All those years ago the thought of a traditional cold christmas with all the trimmings always appealed to me more and after having a few I find I was right *g*.

    Reply
  57. Love the story Nicola. It sounds like your adventures started at an early age, probably set the tone for your travel adventures in later life *g*.
    After spending all my christmases in the heat, the last 3 have been spent in the northern hemisphere cold. I think I prefer them to be honest. All those years ago the thought of a traditional cold christmas with all the trimmings always appealed to me more and after having a few I find I was right *g*.

    Reply
  58. Love the story Nicola. It sounds like your adventures started at an early age, probably set the tone for your travel adventures in later life *g*.
    After spending all my christmases in the heat, the last 3 have been spent in the northern hemisphere cold. I think I prefer them to be honest. All those years ago the thought of a traditional cold christmas with all the trimmings always appealed to me more and after having a few I find I was right *g*.

    Reply
  59. Love the story Nicola. It sounds like your adventures started at an early age, probably set the tone for your travel adventures in later life *g*.
    After spending all my christmases in the heat, the last 3 have been spent in the northern hemisphere cold. I think I prefer them to be honest. All those years ago the thought of a traditional cold christmas with all the trimmings always appealed to me more and after having a few I find I was right *g*.

    Reply
  60. Love the story Nicola. It sounds like your adventures started at an early age, probably set the tone for your travel adventures in later life *g*.
    After spending all my christmases in the heat, the last 3 have been spent in the northern hemisphere cold. I think I prefer them to be honest. All those years ago the thought of a traditional cold christmas with all the trimmings always appealed to me more and after having a few I find I was right *g*.

    Reply
  61. Nicola, it sounds like you already were stocking up experiences to use for stories! A lot of children would have been traumatized, but I think having an active imagination helps turn such experiences into adventures rather than disasters.
    My “unexpected” Christmas ocurred the first time we went to Florida for the holiday. We were in a hotel, so during the night before Xmas, I woke up hearing my parents creeping around putting up stockings and laying out presents. I was around 7 or 8, and it was the first time I really realized that Santa didn’t exist.

    Reply
  62. Nicola, it sounds like you already were stocking up experiences to use for stories! A lot of children would have been traumatized, but I think having an active imagination helps turn such experiences into adventures rather than disasters.
    My “unexpected” Christmas ocurred the first time we went to Florida for the holiday. We were in a hotel, so during the night before Xmas, I woke up hearing my parents creeping around putting up stockings and laying out presents. I was around 7 or 8, and it was the first time I really realized that Santa didn’t exist.

    Reply
  63. Nicola, it sounds like you already were stocking up experiences to use for stories! A lot of children would have been traumatized, but I think having an active imagination helps turn such experiences into adventures rather than disasters.
    My “unexpected” Christmas ocurred the first time we went to Florida for the holiday. We were in a hotel, so during the night before Xmas, I woke up hearing my parents creeping around putting up stockings and laying out presents. I was around 7 or 8, and it was the first time I really realized that Santa didn’t exist.

    Reply
  64. Nicola, it sounds like you already were stocking up experiences to use for stories! A lot of children would have been traumatized, but I think having an active imagination helps turn such experiences into adventures rather than disasters.
    My “unexpected” Christmas ocurred the first time we went to Florida for the holiday. We were in a hotel, so during the night before Xmas, I woke up hearing my parents creeping around putting up stockings and laying out presents. I was around 7 or 8, and it was the first time I really realized that Santa didn’t exist.

    Reply
  65. Nicola, it sounds like you already were stocking up experiences to use for stories! A lot of children would have been traumatized, but I think having an active imagination helps turn such experiences into adventures rather than disasters.
    My “unexpected” Christmas ocurred the first time we went to Florida for the holiday. We were in a hotel, so during the night before Xmas, I woke up hearing my parents creeping around putting up stockings and laying out presents. I was around 7 or 8, and it was the first time I really realized that Santa didn’t exist.

    Reply
  66. Hi, Nicola! Happy Holidays! I am thankful that your father was not the only raconteur in your family ; ) What a memorable and exciting holiday adventure! The resuce and revival with bolstering beverages were equally enthralling! Many years ago, when I was around seven or eight years old, we lost electricity just as we were about to eat our Christmas dinner! There was fumbling around finding candles and flashlights and checking to make sure that the whole block was dark, not just our house. Thank goodness, the cooking had been completed! We settled in and enjoyed our meal by candlelight. I always say that my Gran was “the best cook ever”, and that is very true! It turned out to be one of my favorite Christmas holidays. Mom played the piano, and we all sang along. We played cards and told stories of Christmases past. The power was still off when we went to bed. Everything seemed very still and silent, but it was a peaceful darkness. The next morning, power was restored, Gran was cooking breakfast, and all was right with the world. Sometimes the dark sheds new light on ordinary things : )

    Reply
  67. Hi, Nicola! Happy Holidays! I am thankful that your father was not the only raconteur in your family ; ) What a memorable and exciting holiday adventure! The resuce and revival with bolstering beverages were equally enthralling! Many years ago, when I was around seven or eight years old, we lost electricity just as we were about to eat our Christmas dinner! There was fumbling around finding candles and flashlights and checking to make sure that the whole block was dark, not just our house. Thank goodness, the cooking had been completed! We settled in and enjoyed our meal by candlelight. I always say that my Gran was “the best cook ever”, and that is very true! It turned out to be one of my favorite Christmas holidays. Mom played the piano, and we all sang along. We played cards and told stories of Christmases past. The power was still off when we went to bed. Everything seemed very still and silent, but it was a peaceful darkness. The next morning, power was restored, Gran was cooking breakfast, and all was right with the world. Sometimes the dark sheds new light on ordinary things : )

    Reply
  68. Hi, Nicola! Happy Holidays! I am thankful that your father was not the only raconteur in your family ; ) What a memorable and exciting holiday adventure! The resuce and revival with bolstering beverages were equally enthralling! Many years ago, when I was around seven or eight years old, we lost electricity just as we were about to eat our Christmas dinner! There was fumbling around finding candles and flashlights and checking to make sure that the whole block was dark, not just our house. Thank goodness, the cooking had been completed! We settled in and enjoyed our meal by candlelight. I always say that my Gran was “the best cook ever”, and that is very true! It turned out to be one of my favorite Christmas holidays. Mom played the piano, and we all sang along. We played cards and told stories of Christmases past. The power was still off when we went to bed. Everything seemed very still and silent, but it was a peaceful darkness. The next morning, power was restored, Gran was cooking breakfast, and all was right with the world. Sometimes the dark sheds new light on ordinary things : )

    Reply
  69. Hi, Nicola! Happy Holidays! I am thankful that your father was not the only raconteur in your family ; ) What a memorable and exciting holiday adventure! The resuce and revival with bolstering beverages were equally enthralling! Many years ago, when I was around seven or eight years old, we lost electricity just as we were about to eat our Christmas dinner! There was fumbling around finding candles and flashlights and checking to make sure that the whole block was dark, not just our house. Thank goodness, the cooking had been completed! We settled in and enjoyed our meal by candlelight. I always say that my Gran was “the best cook ever”, and that is very true! It turned out to be one of my favorite Christmas holidays. Mom played the piano, and we all sang along. We played cards and told stories of Christmases past. The power was still off when we went to bed. Everything seemed very still and silent, but it was a peaceful darkness. The next morning, power was restored, Gran was cooking breakfast, and all was right with the world. Sometimes the dark sheds new light on ordinary things : )

    Reply
  70. Hi, Nicola! Happy Holidays! I am thankful that your father was not the only raconteur in your family ; ) What a memorable and exciting holiday adventure! The resuce and revival with bolstering beverages were equally enthralling! Many years ago, when I was around seven or eight years old, we lost electricity just as we were about to eat our Christmas dinner! There was fumbling around finding candles and flashlights and checking to make sure that the whole block was dark, not just our house. Thank goodness, the cooking had been completed! We settled in and enjoyed our meal by candlelight. I always say that my Gran was “the best cook ever”, and that is very true! It turned out to be one of my favorite Christmas holidays. Mom played the piano, and we all sang along. We played cards and told stories of Christmases past. The power was still off when we went to bed. Everything seemed very still and silent, but it was a peaceful darkness. The next morning, power was restored, Gran was cooking breakfast, and all was right with the world. Sometimes the dark sheds new light on ordinary things : )

    Reply
  71. I’m afraid Christmas this year will be one to remember as our Christmas lunch consisted of tinned green beans and potatoes…
    After an eight and a half hour drive with my daughter to join my husband at home, we didn’t feel like food shopping on Christmas eve. BIG mistake! My husband hadn’t bought any food for Saturday or Sunday. Luckily there were cartons of soup, bread and cereal to get us through the weekend until this morning. Strangely enough (we live in Burgundy), there was plenty of red wine to keep us in good spirits! Cheers and Happy New Year to all!

    Reply
  72. I’m afraid Christmas this year will be one to remember as our Christmas lunch consisted of tinned green beans and potatoes…
    After an eight and a half hour drive with my daughter to join my husband at home, we didn’t feel like food shopping on Christmas eve. BIG mistake! My husband hadn’t bought any food for Saturday or Sunday. Luckily there were cartons of soup, bread and cereal to get us through the weekend until this morning. Strangely enough (we live in Burgundy), there was plenty of red wine to keep us in good spirits! Cheers and Happy New Year to all!

    Reply
  73. I’m afraid Christmas this year will be one to remember as our Christmas lunch consisted of tinned green beans and potatoes…
    After an eight and a half hour drive with my daughter to join my husband at home, we didn’t feel like food shopping on Christmas eve. BIG mistake! My husband hadn’t bought any food for Saturday or Sunday. Luckily there were cartons of soup, bread and cereal to get us through the weekend until this morning. Strangely enough (we live in Burgundy), there was plenty of red wine to keep us in good spirits! Cheers and Happy New Year to all!

    Reply
  74. I’m afraid Christmas this year will be one to remember as our Christmas lunch consisted of tinned green beans and potatoes…
    After an eight and a half hour drive with my daughter to join my husband at home, we didn’t feel like food shopping on Christmas eve. BIG mistake! My husband hadn’t bought any food for Saturday or Sunday. Luckily there were cartons of soup, bread and cereal to get us through the weekend until this morning. Strangely enough (we live in Burgundy), there was plenty of red wine to keep us in good spirits! Cheers and Happy New Year to all!

    Reply
  75. I’m afraid Christmas this year will be one to remember as our Christmas lunch consisted of tinned green beans and potatoes…
    After an eight and a half hour drive with my daughter to join my husband at home, we didn’t feel like food shopping on Christmas eve. BIG mistake! My husband hadn’t bought any food for Saturday or Sunday. Luckily there were cartons of soup, bread and cereal to get us through the weekend until this morning. Strangely enough (we live in Burgundy), there was plenty of red wine to keep us in good spirits! Cheers and Happy New Year to all!

    Reply
  76. Thank you, Kim! Interesting that you prefer the traditional cold Christmas. Suzy, it sounds as though you had quite a journey to enable you all to be together for Christmas. I hope you are now fully stocked up with food and drink!

    Reply
  77. Thank you, Kim! Interesting that you prefer the traditional cold Christmas. Suzy, it sounds as though you had quite a journey to enable you all to be together for Christmas. I hope you are now fully stocked up with food and drink!

    Reply
  78. Thank you, Kim! Interesting that you prefer the traditional cold Christmas. Suzy, it sounds as though you had quite a journey to enable you all to be together for Christmas. I hope you are now fully stocked up with food and drink!

    Reply
  79. Thank you, Kim! Interesting that you prefer the traditional cold Christmas. Suzy, it sounds as though you had quite a journey to enable you all to be together for Christmas. I hope you are now fully stocked up with food and drink!

    Reply
  80. Thank you, Kim! Interesting that you prefer the traditional cold Christmas. Suzy, it sounds as though you had quite a journey to enable you all to be together for Christmas. I hope you are now fully stocked up with food and drink!

    Reply
  81. Oh Cara/Andrea! The disillusion of finding out about Santa! I’m wondering how you felt…
    Virginia, I LOVE the story of your Christmas by candlelight. And how lucky that all the cooking had been done so you could sit down and enjoy the food and all the old-fashioned entertainments. It certainly does give a new perspective on the peace of Christmas.

    Reply
  82. Oh Cara/Andrea! The disillusion of finding out about Santa! I’m wondering how you felt…
    Virginia, I LOVE the story of your Christmas by candlelight. And how lucky that all the cooking had been done so you could sit down and enjoy the food and all the old-fashioned entertainments. It certainly does give a new perspective on the peace of Christmas.

    Reply
  83. Oh Cara/Andrea! The disillusion of finding out about Santa! I’m wondering how you felt…
    Virginia, I LOVE the story of your Christmas by candlelight. And how lucky that all the cooking had been done so you could sit down and enjoy the food and all the old-fashioned entertainments. It certainly does give a new perspective on the peace of Christmas.

    Reply
  84. Oh Cara/Andrea! The disillusion of finding out about Santa! I’m wondering how you felt…
    Virginia, I LOVE the story of your Christmas by candlelight. And how lucky that all the cooking had been done so you could sit down and enjoy the food and all the old-fashioned entertainments. It certainly does give a new perspective on the peace of Christmas.

    Reply
  85. Oh Cara/Andrea! The disillusion of finding out about Santa! I’m wondering how you felt…
    Virginia, I LOVE the story of your Christmas by candlelight. And how lucky that all the cooking had been done so you could sit down and enjoy the food and all the old-fashioned entertainments. It certainly does give a new perspective on the peace of Christmas.

    Reply
  86. Our first Christmas after we got married was not at all what we planned. My husband was on temporary duty on Guam, a B-52 crew member during the Vietnam War. I had flown over to be with him after having a miscarriage. The plan was for me to fly to Florida and his mother’s house and wait for him there since he was due to be home for Christmas. The night I was to fly out, we were dressing to go out to dinner when the pilot’s wife came to the apartment and said all crew members were called back to base immediately. She said they weren’t telling anyone what was going on. It didn’t take much to figure it out. I told him he would be flying over North Vietnam in 24 hours. The next day, Linebacker kicked off. No dinner and he couldn’t take me to the airport. I sat at his Mom’s house for a few weeks listening to the news as reports of B-52’s being shot down were broadcast. He did make it home a few weeks into the new year and we celebrated Christmas late.

    Reply
  87. Our first Christmas after we got married was not at all what we planned. My husband was on temporary duty on Guam, a B-52 crew member during the Vietnam War. I had flown over to be with him after having a miscarriage. The plan was for me to fly to Florida and his mother’s house and wait for him there since he was due to be home for Christmas. The night I was to fly out, we were dressing to go out to dinner when the pilot’s wife came to the apartment and said all crew members were called back to base immediately. She said they weren’t telling anyone what was going on. It didn’t take much to figure it out. I told him he would be flying over North Vietnam in 24 hours. The next day, Linebacker kicked off. No dinner and he couldn’t take me to the airport. I sat at his Mom’s house for a few weeks listening to the news as reports of B-52’s being shot down were broadcast. He did make it home a few weeks into the new year and we celebrated Christmas late.

    Reply
  88. Our first Christmas after we got married was not at all what we planned. My husband was on temporary duty on Guam, a B-52 crew member during the Vietnam War. I had flown over to be with him after having a miscarriage. The plan was for me to fly to Florida and his mother’s house and wait for him there since he was due to be home for Christmas. The night I was to fly out, we were dressing to go out to dinner when the pilot’s wife came to the apartment and said all crew members were called back to base immediately. She said they weren’t telling anyone what was going on. It didn’t take much to figure it out. I told him he would be flying over North Vietnam in 24 hours. The next day, Linebacker kicked off. No dinner and he couldn’t take me to the airport. I sat at his Mom’s house for a few weeks listening to the news as reports of B-52’s being shot down were broadcast. He did make it home a few weeks into the new year and we celebrated Christmas late.

    Reply
  89. Our first Christmas after we got married was not at all what we planned. My husband was on temporary duty on Guam, a B-52 crew member during the Vietnam War. I had flown over to be with him after having a miscarriage. The plan was for me to fly to Florida and his mother’s house and wait for him there since he was due to be home for Christmas. The night I was to fly out, we were dressing to go out to dinner when the pilot’s wife came to the apartment and said all crew members were called back to base immediately. She said they weren’t telling anyone what was going on. It didn’t take much to figure it out. I told him he would be flying over North Vietnam in 24 hours. The next day, Linebacker kicked off. No dinner and he couldn’t take me to the airport. I sat at his Mom’s house for a few weeks listening to the news as reports of B-52’s being shot down were broadcast. He did make it home a few weeks into the new year and we celebrated Christmas late.

    Reply
  90. Our first Christmas after we got married was not at all what we planned. My husband was on temporary duty on Guam, a B-52 crew member during the Vietnam War. I had flown over to be with him after having a miscarriage. The plan was for me to fly to Florida and his mother’s house and wait for him there since he was due to be home for Christmas. The night I was to fly out, we were dressing to go out to dinner when the pilot’s wife came to the apartment and said all crew members were called back to base immediately. She said they weren’t telling anyone what was going on. It didn’t take much to figure it out. I told him he would be flying over North Vietnam in 24 hours. The next day, Linebacker kicked off. No dinner and he couldn’t take me to the airport. I sat at his Mom’s house for a few weeks listening to the news as reports of B-52’s being shot down were broadcast. He did make it home a few weeks into the new year and we celebrated Christmas late.

    Reply
  91. One year, my oldest daughter and I flew from Des Moines IA to spend Christmas with my other daughter in Baltimore MD. We had a several course dinner planned, but never seemed to get out of our pj’s that day. We cooked one course, sat down and ate it (with plenty of wine) and then cooked another course and so on through out whole menu. After all the food, we pulled coats and boots on over our pj’s and walked a few blocks to the Hampden area where there are whole blocks with holiday decorations (the crazier the better). Don’t remember anything about presents that day, but I’ll never forget cooking that fun and relaxing meal.

    Reply
  92. One year, my oldest daughter and I flew from Des Moines IA to spend Christmas with my other daughter in Baltimore MD. We had a several course dinner planned, but never seemed to get out of our pj’s that day. We cooked one course, sat down and ate it (with plenty of wine) and then cooked another course and so on through out whole menu. After all the food, we pulled coats and boots on over our pj’s and walked a few blocks to the Hampden area where there are whole blocks with holiday decorations (the crazier the better). Don’t remember anything about presents that day, but I’ll never forget cooking that fun and relaxing meal.

    Reply
  93. One year, my oldest daughter and I flew from Des Moines IA to spend Christmas with my other daughter in Baltimore MD. We had a several course dinner planned, but never seemed to get out of our pj’s that day. We cooked one course, sat down and ate it (with plenty of wine) and then cooked another course and so on through out whole menu. After all the food, we pulled coats and boots on over our pj’s and walked a few blocks to the Hampden area where there are whole blocks with holiday decorations (the crazier the better). Don’t remember anything about presents that day, but I’ll never forget cooking that fun and relaxing meal.

    Reply
  94. One year, my oldest daughter and I flew from Des Moines IA to spend Christmas with my other daughter in Baltimore MD. We had a several course dinner planned, but never seemed to get out of our pj’s that day. We cooked one course, sat down and ate it (with plenty of wine) and then cooked another course and so on through out whole menu. After all the food, we pulled coats and boots on over our pj’s and walked a few blocks to the Hampden area where there are whole blocks with holiday decorations (the crazier the better). Don’t remember anything about presents that day, but I’ll never forget cooking that fun and relaxing meal.

    Reply
  95. One year, my oldest daughter and I flew from Des Moines IA to spend Christmas with my other daughter in Baltimore MD. We had a several course dinner planned, but never seemed to get out of our pj’s that day. We cooked one course, sat down and ate it (with plenty of wine) and then cooked another course and so on through out whole menu. After all the food, we pulled coats and boots on over our pj’s and walked a few blocks to the Hampden area where there are whole blocks with holiday decorations (the crazier the better). Don’t remember anything about presents that day, but I’ll never forget cooking that fun and relaxing meal.

    Reply

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