Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas 2008 in Michigan

This year for Christmas we rented a large house on Walloon Lake in Northern Michigan. The Lake is a short drive from Jesse and Cori’s house in Petoskey Michigan. We traveled on the 20th by plane to Detroit and then drove 5 hours to Walloon Lake. We had Thea and Grandma Bettie along with me and Marla. Sara flew in a day earlier to Traverse City from Salt Lake. Jared had to remain behind. He has a new job at the Rail City Garden Center in Sparks. This is the place he wants to get on with as an Arborist. For now he is low man on the totem pole and has to be on call for snow removal duty. We will miss him dearly for Christmas. The house where we are staying is right on the Lake. The lake is frozen solid so it appears that our back yard stretches out for miles uninterrupted except for a couple of ice fishing shacks in the middle of the lake. Marla and I are in the down stairs master suite and there are four other bedrooms for Thea, Sara, Bettie and Jesse and Cori to each have their own room. There is a converted loft that makes a perfect room for Grant and Grace. It is only five feet high but the furniture is child size and it has some antique toys to make a perfect little cubby for the kids. There is another loft on a third floor with a couple of twin beds but we don’t need the space. The house is up for sale, listed at $1,990,000. It has been a great place to hang out.

That’s what we mostly did. Hang out. We played with the kids, played games, ate and ate some more, took naps, watched Christmas Classic movies, (Muppet Christmas Carole, White Christmas, The Christmas Story, Home Alone and a bunch of Disney Movies). Every one read books. I read 1776 by David McCullough and Into the Wild by John Krakowe. I thought it was most appropriate to read of Washington’s Christmas sneak attack on Hessians in Trenton NJ on Christmas Eve. 1776 was an inspiring and very interesting book. It angers me that William Knox and Nathaniel Greene do not have a more important role in American History books and records. Into the Wild was an interesting read about Chris McCandlist who decided to go to Alaska and live totally off the land for the summer. He ended up dying on his adventure but it was something that probably calls to men everywhere. The call to travel the un named path, to live in the wild, to challenge yourself and nature, to be in remote unknown places. I know it calls to me but I rarely venture very far. Chris ventured off in the extreme.

Our Christmas tree was completely decorated with home made ornaments. We made paper chains and strung cranberries. I tried to string popcorn, but after an hour I only had about four inches so we gave up on that. We had the missionaries over for Christmas eve and Jesse did a great job with Grace re-enacting the nativity scene. I like this idea of communal living. We had nine of us together for a week. Everyone took turns cooking and cleaning, so there was never too much work to do. The kids always had someone to play with. It helped having a place big enough so every one had some personal space.