Christmas Day!

12/25/13 Wednesday at Clermont, FL (Orlando-TT)

This is really different and in some ways hard – to “feel” Christmas when there’s no snow or cold and when none of your family is near. Yet, we do have the beautiful weather that we’ve wished for (otherwise we could have flown home) and our “chosen” family of Thousand Trails members.

So this is how our “new” Christmas Day went:

We got up in time for me to make the deviled eggs before we left for church. It was very crowded at St. Faustina’s, people standing everywhere. Back at home we enjoyed lunch, then I made my cranberry relish. For the afternoon we called our family members, wishing them a Merry Christmas and catching up on news. At this point, wanting to help those who arrived just yesterday feel welcomed, John and I decided to visit them. We walked to the opposite end (chance for exercise), reaching Lily/Ian first. Just as we reached their open door, Justin called. John was asking Lily if they’d mind if we used the shade on the other side of their RV while we talked with our son while I’m telling Justin to wait a bit. It was a pretty confusing moment, but it finally passed and we had a nice conversation with Justin and his family. Our dear grandchildren, Lily and Gabe, were really distracted with their cousins and new toys so I think we should have this visit before or after Christmas day itself next time.

Now we could visit with Lily/Ian. They had quite a tale to tell about trying to get into their site: when they arrived, someone else was parked in their assigned place (Hmm just like us), so in an effort to back out of the street Ian drove unknowingly into sand that just gave under the weight of his rig. Lily was in their car, unable to see what was happening (reminds me of our incident when John ran into that tree in Oregon), so he tried backing out of the spot. He just sank more. RVers came to help, shoveling and guiding until he got out. Unfortunately, the lower part of the front cap of his rig had dug into the sand and gotten bent. Ian was distraught and has been struggling since then to get it all straightened out. By now, as we are listening, we realize that we have little time to get to greet Greg and Marcia, so we excused ourselves, reminding them of our potluck at 5 pm.

Another walk to see Greg/Marcia. Ah they were relaxing in their very quiet wooded spot. So peaceful. Just what a soul needs. After a short catch up visit we needed to leave.

It took about 12 minutes to get back to our site where we gathered our potluck goodies and place settings and drove ourselves to the clubhouse.

Our potluck was a great success. Whew!! 14 people came, all bringing their contributions. We garnered 4 tables. Thankfully there was no problem finding them available. I’d asked to have 3 reserved a couple days ago but the message must have gotten lost. Still, not a problem since we got our tables. Here’s the gang enjoying our Christmas repast:

Potluck 1 Potluck 2It’s not fancy, but it’s delicious. Everyone’s mouth is closed because they’re trying to eat while this crazy lady insists on taking their picture. John never wants me to take his picture so he’s especially grouchy here.

Thankfully, we got our stuff out, wiped tables and were finished by 6:30 pm. When we got our stuff settled at the rig we returned (walked) to the clubhouse for the entertainment: Mike Thomas, pianist and singer. He played lots of medleys and Christmas songs, but many others too. So beautiful. My soul melted. What an inspiring end to a great day.

As a final touch, our walk back, with stars and interesting cloud shapes was soothing. As we fell asleep that night I could hear the Disney fireworks. Ah.

We sincerely wish you all enjoyed this day as well.


About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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