Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Christmas 2006

Taking a Christmas Eve walk, Mom takes a turn pulling Esther and our Christmas Bread-gifts in the sled.

I know it's far in the past, but I still think a recounting of our Hooper Bay Christmas is in order.

Over Christmas my mom came to Hooper Bay to visit. She flew in on a morning bush flight a few days before Christmas, and it was lucky she was scheduled in the morning, because a swirling snowy groundstorm rose up just as she was arriving, and no other planes came in that day. It's such a typical experience to be weather-delayed, so typical that it's amazing to actually make it into the village without a delay, and so we were so grateful to begin our visit right as scheduled.

We had a fairytale snowy Christmas, and even if we were still in my old trailer under wierd water conditions, we made it really great. I was really glad to have a change of scenery from the Koskey family farm, because, though Christmas there is really idyllic, it would have brought so many memories from last Christmas when we lost my dad. Although we thought of him often, it wasn't as painful as I think it would have been if we had been in Indiana. And although we didn't have a tree, I decorated the living room with lots of lights and colorful paper stars and snowflakes, and we sewed and embroidered stockings for each of us and all of Esther's close-by Alaskan cousins. It felt very festive -- especially when Santa came and piled up the presents!

Speaking of Santa, Esther was at a perfect age for Santa this year. She was so into talking about him, wondering about him, and planning for him. We set out cookies and carrots for Santa and the reindeer before bed. Esther had pictures of reindeer on her pjs, and she decided to feed the reindeer on her shirt some of the carrots we had set out:

She went right to sleep when I told her that Santa would come only if she was sleeping. However, an hour or so later when I was getting all the presents out of their hiding places and setting them out, I shut a door too hard and it woke her up. Mom, who had already gone to bed and was in the room with Esther, said Esther sat up from sleep like a shot and shouted, "Santa!" It was all we could do to convince her to go back to sleep until morning.

And once she did wake up, she was amazed and so happy to see everything. She loved opening presents and was excited by each one, sent from near and far -- everyone was so generous and sent her so many nice things.

I cooked a turkey that day and had several of Esther's cousins and aunts over for a full dinner, and everything was just perfect. Here are Jasmine, Esther, Avery, and Alex -- Jasmine and Avery are her cousins and Alex is her uncle, Roy's youngest brother.

Our Christmas tale is not complete, however, without the recounting of the PUPPY. We adopted a puppy, Odin Jade, from the family of one of my students right before Christmas. I was not aware of how much work puppies are! And my memories of Christmas are fraught with time spent trying to get him to pee outside. We decided to call him Odin Jade because we couldn't decide between the names, and Esther says it so cute. He has grown into a good dog, and we finally did get him potty trained pretty well. He has a fondness for eating yucky stuff and puking it back up in the house, though, which is totally sick and reduces my fondness for him. But,anyway, as his story started around Christmastime, I wanted to include him in our story.

Esther holding Odin Jade the day we got him.

Jasmine pushing puppy Odin in the doll stroller.

Big Guy: Odin Jade in early May -- he's such a quirky dog, always crossing his legs!

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