Fall is on it's way. Finally we have had a break from 90 degree weather day in and day out. I think it has been two solid months of that kind of heat. It makes me as cranky as months of cold without respite. We got the Halloween candy at the store three days ago :-). Not even Labor Day and we were stocking the shelves for the end of October. Which means we'll be getting ready for Christmas right before Veteran's Day! Merchandising is an interesting concept.
Christmas has always been my favorite time of year, except 2006, all Christmas' have been very special for me with my family. I think my favorite Christmas was when Eric (my ex-husband) and I were in College. My aunt was married to her second husband and living in Grass Valley in Northern California. We were all invited out for the holiday. Eric and I took the trip out with my grandparents. It was a full two day trip (Grandpa was never in a hurry to get anywhere). The first night we stopped in Elko, Nevada and Grandma's money angel was hanging around. She won $500 that night not even really trying to gamble. She had a quarter and stuck it in a slot machine at the grocery store, won $15 and then at the hotel we played the nickel slots and she kept winning!
We drove to California on I-70, catching highway 15 in Utah and North to I-80. In Northern California we crossed Donner Pass. The world changes there. The trees are larger, the snow is heavier and deeper and the pine cones bigger than anything I've ever seen in my life. One of Callie's favorite things to do on our walks is collect pine cones. These cones would be way too big for my rapidly growing dog. The picture is Colorado Pine Cones look about like a Kiwi fruit or even as big as a naval orange. In California, picture a large Honeydew melon or a small Watermelon. Pretty, so pretty and white and welcoming. When we got to Grass Valley we spent a great week exploring and most mornings were spent out early watching the Wild Turkey's that wandered through my aunts yard. My aunt has since moved Chico, California and is with a great man. We haven't been out there for Christmas, but did spend Thanksgiving there and in San Francisco for my Mom's 50th birthday. I can see why my aunt likes it there so much. If I didn't love where I live so much, I would consider Northern California. Most likely because it is so much like Colorado.
I think we'll spend Christmas here this year, and I look forward to seeing my family and having a great meal and great games of Shang-Hi.