We had a wonderful time yesterday. We celebrated Christmas early because our family is full of chefs, and chefs work on Christmas day. Our visitors arrived just as loud thunder cracked right over our house and the rain started to fall. The front and back doors were open to let the breeze through and while we exchanged gifts, ate lunch, talked and laughed, the rain continued as a pleasant backdrop to the day. It was fairly dark outside, even thought it was early afternoon, but the fairy lights surrounding us twinkled and the candles on the table glowed and we all had a lovely time. There is a lot to be said for a simple Christmas. We had very few decorations and a tiny tree but lots of love made it a very special time for Hanno and I, and I hope for everyone else too. Thank you to all those who sent special thoughts to us for our Christmas day.
I took a quick photo of the table while everyone was serving themselves from the kitchen bench and Hanno sat beside me watching the scene. Our menu was nibbles of St Agur blue and Mersey Valley vintage cheese with crackers, cold roast chicken and beef - organic and local, a garden salad and potato salad mainly from our dwindling garden supplies, pickled beetroot and cucumbers bottled up from the abundant harvests a few weeks ago. Dessert was a hazelnut roche and chocolate truffle ice cream cake - made locally.
Everyone was hungry, they hardly ever eat breakfast (grrr), so it wasn't long before we were all sitting around the table enjoying our feast. The rain continued to fall all afternoon, there was great conversation, and at one point we all went outside to visit the chooks and to see our new chook feeder. Ha! Homesteading, rainfall, chickens, soap, bread and cordial recipes always creep into the conversation when people live simply. I don't think it's odd any more, it's normal for us and our kids.
I have never been the type of woman who, when young, hoped for a particular type of girl to marry my sons. In fact, I don't recall thinking of them being grown up and married. I guess the only thing I remember is that I always hoped they'd be happy with life and pleased with the choices they made. Now I can tell you that I cannot think of two finer and more suitable women for them. Both couples are happy - I can tell by their words as well as the body language and that makes me one happy and proud mother. These two girls have slipped quietly into our lives and have made our future brighter. I don't often think I'm a lucky woman but when I see Shane and Sarndra and Kerry and Sunny together, I often think it.
I doubt there is a more difficult task in adult life than to raise children to be happy, productive and ambitious adults. I remember all those days of nappies/diapers, sleepless nights, combining work and parenting with varying levels of success, the years of teen agnst, first girlfriends, the discovery of alcohol and drugs and the hard work of consistently living the values we wanted to instill deep within our boys. Days like yesterday are the pay off.