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  • Writer's pictureTina

Holiday Activities and Unexpected Gifts




Welcome to yet another Monday, dear reader. There are two weeks until Christmas. This weekend was filled with holiday activities. On Friday night, I had dinner with two of my favorite friends. We dined at my new favorite local restaurant, Pan Asia, on Philadelphia Street, Indiana, PA. I love their steamed dumplings, sushi, and street noodles. Jess and Jenna make every outing fun and an adventure. After dinner, we walked to a new bookstore on a cute little side street off Philly, The Paper Garden. This adorable little shop sells new and new quality used books, house plants, tea, and everything related to reading. The historical building where the shop is located is worth a peek. We had a lovely evening supporting local businesses and enjoying a girl's night out.

 

While I was enjoying an evening out with my friends, The Bean and The Bibbed Wonder carried on their holiday tradition of choosing the Christmas tree and then going out to dinner. When The Bean was tiny, they began this holiday tradition of shopping for a Christmas tree without me because I'm "too picky." I'm perfectly fine not having a say in choosing a Christmas tree. I'm good as long as it is a Frasier Fir and ten feet tall. My two favorite goons do this together, and I love it. When The Bean was little, they had to eat at McDonald's. Nuggies and fries were The Bean's favorite meal. Now that she is older, she has a more sophisticated palate and will enjoy spaghetti and meatballs from our favorite family-owned restaurant, Luigi's, in Clymer, PA. I made it home before they did. They came down the sidewalk laughing, giggling, and cracking jokes. I love their relationship.

 


Saturday morning was another rough one with the animals. Two of Eric's beloved sows were scheduled to go to market. We had a difficult time getting them to load onto the trailer. Ultimately, we were only able to get one loaded on our own. We had to call in backup for the second. It is never an easy day when we have to send anyone to market. My bib overall-wearing animal lover spent Saturday in a bit of a mood over the situation. As a farmer, he understands that sometimes there are no other options. However, it never makes the choice any easier. To make matters worse, one of my hens was obviously very ill. Rather than allow her to suffer, she had to be put down. Once again, our lifestyle choice clarifies that farming is not for the weak. It was a rough day and a bit of an emotional roller coaster.

 

The Bean and I went for retail therapy once all was taken care of in the barnyard. We visited all the little shops and boutiques on Philadelphia Street. We spent several hours uptown, shopping the adorable privately owned small businesses. We enjoyed coffee at our favorite quaint coffee shop, Café Amadeus. We devoured chocolate croissants from Four and Twenty Bakery. I created a beautiful paper snowflake at 7th Street Marketry and crossed off most of our Christmas list from gifts at the new Ace Hardware. We also purchased a few Christmas gifts for ourselves at Lucy Rae's and Meraki. Of course, no trip uptown would be complete without a trip to The Book Nook and The Paper Garden. We had a lovely day together, and I enjoyed the uninterrupted time with my daughter.

 

The best part of the weekend was yet to come. I got the best gift ever when I found out a very dear person I had spent months writing to weekly and praying for daily was able to close a challenging chapter of their life and come home for the holidays. This person made my year by making it a point to come and visit me after being home less than twenty-four hours. Knowing that I made a difficult situation a little bit better and offered some comfort to someone struggling makes my heart happy. I am grateful, relieved, and thankful that my prayers were answered. This person is safe in the arms of those who love him and can now move forward.

 

Saturday night, I got to revisit my past. My friend was home from Florida, and I spent a few hours with her, catching up, laughing, and reminiscing. We were joined by another former classmate who impressed me with his kindness, openness, and welcoming attitude. He made my bib overall-wearing buddy feel welcome. Eric has a bit of hearing loss from running equipment without ear protection all these years. He told me my friend had the perfect tone of voice because Eric could hear him easily, even with all the background noise. He also informed me I sound like the teacher from Charlie Brown in a crowded, loud situation. Sigh. 

 

To conclude our weekend of holiday activities, I briefly visited with my favorite aunt and uncle. We then had dinner with The GB (GramBarb). To end the evening, we decorated the Christmas tree, and I had to micromanage the circus monkeys I reside with. By that time, most of my holiday spirit had been exhausted. I called it an evening after the first tote of ornaments was hung. We will finish the decorating after school today. I could stop the construction, but The Bean insists we put out the Christmas village because it is fun. I question my child's idea of fun at this point.

 

Today, we will spend the day packing orders, shipping orders, and trying to have everything ready before Cynthia, our mail person, comes to pick up the orders. The Bibbed Wonder is convinced today will be the day he gets to make Cindy cry. Sigh. It's good he has goals, but making Cindy cry will never happen. He will probably be flipped off and told nobody likes him. This is my favorite Cynthia reaction. However, I allow my bib overall-wearing buddy to dream and encourage him to believe that one day, he will push our friend Cindy to her limits. There is never a dull moment around this crazy farm.

 

On this seasonally cold December day, stay safe, be smart, remember to make good memories, bask in the greatness of the Almighty, celebrate small victories, enjoy the people you care about, know that prayers are answered, and keep washing those hands.

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