Christmas at Sunset House

Christmas at Sunset House
Christmas at Sunset House

Monday, December 30, 2019

Christmastime 2019

It is cloudy and damp here today, but for just a short moment patches of blue sky appeared and the sun broke through.  The green brilliance of the winter saturated grass in the lower pasture surprised me.  We took the moment to walk Mattie down our side street, the quiet one that has no traffic.  The pavement was wet and slick with green moss that also picked up the green glow.  It was a lovely walk, with temperatures in the high 40’s.  Not warm, but certainly not cold with that sun energizing us.

December 26 2019 at Sunset House Grants Pass Oregon

Sometimes when the gray, foggy, damp inversions settle into our valley, I forget what it’s like when the sun comes out.  Surprisingly it happens every few days, for a few moments or a few hours, and then I breathe deep and am grateful that we no longer live in the snow. 

Family Christmas 2008 at Rocky Point Oregon

Even at Christmas, I don’t miss living in the snow.  Except for maybe a few hours on Christmas Day, when the family is around and we all reminisce about sweet days sledding down our road at the Rocky Point house at Christmas.

This year Mo and I had a quiet Christmas Eve, with our traditional clam chowder.  Family would be arriving early on Christmas Day, and I had plates of cookies, jars of my very excellent home made fudge, and a big beautiful butt half of a ham from our local butcher shop ready to go.

Daughter Melody and Robert would stay the night, but the grandkids would have to return to Eugene and Albany for their jobs on the morning after Christmas.  Daughter Deborah drove over from Shady Cove and her son Matthew walked across the street to join in the festivities.  It was a delightful day.

Grandson Axel, Grandson Xavier, Daughter Melody

Daughter Deborah and Grandson Matthew

Clockwise: Friend Oni, Grandson Axel, Grandson Xavier, Daughter Melody, Melody’s Robert, Grandson Matthew

Mo, Deborah and I had the honor of sitting at the old folk’s counter

I started decorating the house this year before Thanksgiving.  Somehow I never got tired of the lights and the snowmen.  I’m still not quite ready to let it all go, especially since the weather will continue in the mostly gray and damp pattern that has settled in for the next couple of weeks.  The lights always help me stay cheery inside and the timers turn on the trees before I get up in the morning and they don’t go off until after I settle into bed at night.  Makes me happy. 

On the day after Christmas, Robert left for a work assignment in Coos Bay and Melody settled in for a couple of days here with us.  We didn’t do much except relax and enjoy each other’s company.  It is so rare that I get one on one time with any of my kids.  I always treasure it. Such a different experience than time with all the family together.  Each is precious.

Mo and I aren’t heading south until the end of January so I have an entire month to take down the lights, the trees, and to carefully pack away all the keepsakes that make Christmas such a sweet time. There are no longer any young children around to stare with wonder at the Christmas tree, but the delight of family time, good food, and sharing gifts is always wonderful.

One evening before Christmas I invited our friends Maryruth and Gerald over for an appetizer supper that turned out to be great fun.  I made lots of goodies to share and afterward we toured the town looking at the lights. We had a great time. 

Then last night Maryruth and Gerald invited us to their home for a fantastic prime rib dinner.  Maryruth is a great cook and she put together a gorgeous meal, complete with artistic appetizers and a fresh crab salad to begin the meal before we enjoyed the main course. 

As I said, we didn’t do much when Melody was here except visit, but on Friday night Mo and I took Melody to our favorite little vineyard for music and pizza.  Melody said that every time she sees us going there on a Facebook post, she is always a little bit jealous.  It was fun, we got a little silly, and enjoyed the lights and music.

As I settle in to the thought of a new decade approaching, I am so appreciative of all the good that is in my life.  I followed a favorite blogger Nina Fussing’s (Wheeling It) post about reviewing the decades, thinking about the themes, the patterns of growth that each one represents.  I started writing but as I reviewed my life, I realized that it will remain part of my own private story, to share with family and friends up close.  I couldn’t tell a partial story, it feels somehow dishonest, but some of the truths are way more complex than what I can reveal in a light hearted post that goes out to the world. So much there, so much change.  I am so grateful for where I have been and I am especially grateful for where I am now. 

Welcome to the Roaring 20s!!


  1. Love seeing your beautiful home all decorated. Is Matthew the grandson who puts up the outdoor lights for you? I'm with you, I hate to take down the lights and decorations--we did at my sister's on Sunday and the house looked so bare afterward. Love seeing all the photos of your family and friends too. Happy New Year to you and Mo.

    1. Nice to see someone loves the Christmas lights and decor as much as I do. Yes, Matthew is the grandson who lives across the street and puts up the house lights. Happy New Year to you two as well. Glad you are home!

  2. Looks like a festive time at your house. For some reason I took very few photos and even with family here it was a very quiet Christmas.

    1. A quiet Christmas is wonderful. Somehow adding kids of any age amps up the volume a bit, but once they were gone things were quiet and restful and sweet here as well. Not quiet is good for only so long!

  3. The decorations warm your beautiful home and except for the trees, if live, I don't understand why the lights can't be there as long as you want. Nice family gathering.

  4. what lovely pictures and memories. Normally i want xmas over and done with, but this year i left things up a couple days past. Think due to my accident and not being here for over a week i did not get time to be with all of the xmas things i had put up just the day before.. it sort of felt like i was missing xmas.. so i sat in my chair with feet up under the little tree lights and just immersed myself for a couple of dark nights. It was a good thing.
    Hope you guys have a great year!!!

  5. Christmas has come and gone and now we have a new year/decade! Whoa, Nellie, slow down! We, too, had a lovely Christmas (don't know if you saw my post), and a whole new experience with two-and-a-half-yr-old Everly Rose. So much innocent joy -- it's wonderful. We took down our tree and decorations the other day, and the house is "back to normal." But, like you, the lights and Christmas trappings are a good part of the season's beauty! Happy New Year to youse and us!

  6. You celebrate so beautifully. :-)) And I'm with you on leaving up the lights...we never took down our white twinkly lights until February. They kept me happy during the long, dark days of winter.
    Wishing you and Mo a wonderful New Year, with grand adventures, sweet time at home, and all that makes your hearts happy!


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