The holidays, continued…

If you’ve read one of my recent posts, you know I didn’t take the long awaited trip to my favourite city of Florence, Italy. In it’s stead, I’ve stayed in Ontario and had a fantastically & most relaxing holiday with family. Nothing can replace being with those that mean the most to you, especially at this time of year and especially when you rarely get to enjoy each other’s company. Italy will still be there… when I rebook. Hanging with your nearest and dearest, doing nothing more taxing than roasting a turkey and playing board games is exactly what this girl needed!

That… and the rousing game of dodgeball, yes – dodgeball – where I joined in the wickedly good fun of adults vs kids, at the end my nephews’ sporting event, on the night I arrived. Oh… that and the tug of war! I swear, there’s just something about playing with a bunch of kids that will really, really ground you. And put you in a great mood~

Giving the kids a ‘helping hand’…

With my youngest nephews now being at ages where they openly not only show, but tell you how happy they are to see you… is very cool. Watching them grow into such intelligent and articulate boys can make you forget they’re only 8 – until they start aiming for you during dodgeball!!

One thing that did hit the top of my all-time-coolest-things… a most appropriate and thoughtful gift from my teenage niece. It’s been some time since I’ve moved back from Bermuda, so she gets full points for not only memory, but by telling me as I was about to open a gift of what was most fondly nicknamed Black Gold, otherwise known as the award winning Black Seal Rum… “you’re gonna say giddy-up!” By reciting my fave saying that I pull out for the most extraordinarily, wonderful things, including for my on-line presence – she very quietly has been following my writing. Ahhhhh. Yes, indeed, the curly haired little girl has grown up, has the most extraordinary manners (congrats to my awesome brother & his equally awesome wife!!) and in her defence, was, um, shopping… with another auntie!

Back at home, doing paperwork, my Italian lessons playing in the background, and enjoying the particular satisfaction that comes from chicken stock simmering on the stove, I’m thinking of holidays past, and missing family members no longer with us. Not that a special occasion is needed. Something as innocent as seeing a bag of scotch mints hanging in the grocery has sent me legging it for the door, waterworks at the ready. My mom always had them in her purse, from the time we were little kids. I can even remember them getting fished out, when we’d get fidgety in church… the power of a most ordinary sweet, a mint to keep us busy and quiet us down.

Traipsing around Italy, following my every whim for discovery… I can do anytime. Christmas, really does come only once a year~