Eleven Notes on December

Some images and ramblings about happenings in December.

01. The Surprise.
December 21.
Was with the kids a few days before Christmas, and my cellular telephone rang. Was sister Leanna. You interested in meeting up for coffee later? she inquired.

Well...we'll see. I said. Not sure.

Okay, she said. How about if I bring you coffee?

Uhh, sure. When are you thinking?

Open your front door, she answered somberly.

I opened, and she was there, smirk and a tray of beverages from a secret coffee shop I will not mention here. She brought the Starbucks drinks in (soy Pumpkin Spice Lattes for us, soy steamer for Magdelana, nothing for Johannes :( ), and we proceeded to have a lovely afternoon with her. Filled with reading, chasing, conversation, and serious snuggling with her niece and nephew. What a wonderful, great surprise.

That is an example of a good surprise. I don't feel like writing about bad surprises right now, so I won't.

02.  The Sassy Lassies Make Tea Time Tassies.
December 24.
My mom knows how to bake. Seriously bake. She also knows how to make serious baking fun. She and Mags banded up to make one of her classics, Tea Time Tassies. They were consumed quickly, but Chief hid the leftovers in a plastic baggie. He was caught the next morning with chagrined grin, and the next time you are looking for sweet leftovers in Tillamook, check behind the microwave.

03. The Tease.
December 24.

My grandpa is not doing well. It is a euphemism to say that he is in the twilight of his life. His memory is gone; many of the day-to-day tasks we take for granted are out of his cognitive and physical grasp; it is difficult to know what brings him joy at this point in life. I'd like to think there is a light in his eyes when Johannes, his great-grandson, scrambles around, little tease that he is.

03. A Kiss Among Strangers.
December 23 / Southwest Portland.

04. Mother / Daughter.
December 20 / outside Anthropologie.

05. A Hug Among Strangers.
December 23 / outside Powell's Bookstore.

06. Track Star.
December 23 / southwest Portland.

07. Santa's Workshop, Tillamook Division.
December 23.
I would scramble atop the roofs with my dad, and we would string lights like manic Griswolds. Now, I pull in the driveway, and it is done.

08. This Was Supposed to be an Image of Just My Sisters, But Someone Shoved Their Way In.

 09. Namecards.
Magdelana and I made namecards out of black construction paper for everyone at Christmas dinner. She did all the writing, I helped a little with spelling.

10. Leanna's Spicy Enchiladas, Which I Wish I Could Eat Tomorrow For Breakfast.

11. Dinner.


  1. You remind me that we somehow failed to nail down a chance to take Koen to see his great-grandpa during the holidays. Great-Grandpa lives in Gladsone--just a stone's throw from us, so there's no excuse for this failure.

    I'm making a note now to schedule this.

    What a valuable picture and video of Johannes and the patriarch--I too see the light in great-grandpa's eyes.

  2. I wish we could go to coffee now, but you cannot.

    I wish I could have a tea time tassie, but I cannot.

    I wish Johannes was here, but he is not.

    Good Christmas.

  3. @Brian. Holidays go so fast...you make plans, and then realise all the things that should have been easy and accessible that you didn't quite make it around too :) Any highlights from the holidays for you guys?

    Thanks for the comment - and don't forget to get a pic of Koen and his Great-Grandpa soon!

    I wish, and I will, with you, in March.
    I wish, and I will, with you, in November.
    I wish Johannes was with...okay, I'm glad he's here with me. But he is so excited to see you again. So excited that when he saw a picture of you he squealed and pointed "ma-ma!"

    Decent Christmas.


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