Jim and I were next door neighbors and that is why you see the start of the Christmas season pictures with him helping me decorate my Christmas tree. Jim was from Eau Claire. I was from Bruce. So that Christmas we flew back to Wisconsin/Minnesota together and rented a rental car together.
When we landed in the Minneapolis/St Paul airport it was early afternoon and a balmy -4(F). I was shocked (just shocked) and Jim had quite a laugh at my shock for already I'd grown used to the California climate. Although we'd reserved a compact, because it was Christmas Eve day, the rental company could only give us a Lincoln Town Car for the same price. Not bad, eh?
Let me see, what else do I remember...oh yes...we stopped at the Gay 90s in downtown Minneapolis for "one" before proceeding to Tom's and Bob's home for an early Christmas Eve afternoon Irish stew. their home was warm and welcoming.
After our bite to eat, we had to leave for it was already getting late and we had to drive to Eau Clair to drop Jim off at his parent's house before I could head onward to my mother's home.
For some reason the stew gave us horrendous gas! And even though by the time we started driving into Wisconsin and it was -20 (F) the windows in the car were frequently opened as we gasped for a breath of fresh air...and laughed and laughed and laughed some more.
I dropped Jim off at his parent's home in Elk Grove and then headed for my home and had the most magical drive. By that time the northern night had set in as I was driving back roads to get home as quickly as possible. It was a full moon that night and there was a lot of snow so it was one of those times of nighttime light...and the farm houses here and there along the way against the backdrop of cold, snow, and northern woods had sparkling Christmas lights...each and everyone of them.
Home at last we quickly drove to Ken and Marion's home for our Christmas Eve celebration. I was dressed for northern cold with long underwear, cords and a heavy wool sweater. Ken and Marion were afraid I would be cold (coming from California)...and the two situations collided. I laughingly remember as sweat dripped off of my nose asking if they could please turn down the thermostat!
It was a delightful evening spent with my family...my nieces were growing up way too fast...the food was wonderful: ham, scalloped potatoes, Christmas cookies & bars...and I do not remember what all I ate but I do remember hurting from eating too much.
Then, all too soon, as with most Christmases it was over. Jim and I met in the Twin Cities before flying home...but before meeting I was able to spend some quality time with my friends Bob, Tom, Aunti Vi, and a few others...as well as Al...who was also visiting from California.
Where have the years gone? This is a memory that is alive in my heart...and now on this blog it is alive once again complete with pictures.