Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Echoes of Christmas Past

Jon and Lynnae Dining OutThe Holiday season this year bore a strong resemblance to our First Christmas as a couple.

Twenty-three years ago when my husband and I got married he was in the Air Force. He had been serving in Japan for a year, and he came home two weeks before our wedding. We were married in Salt Lake City in October, and then traveled to California for the trip back to Japan together.

  After a few days spending time together and seeing the sights around San Francisco, it was time to pack up and go to the base for the flight back to Japan. Only there was a problem with the paperwork, and I couldn’t go. And he had to.

Some quick arrangements were made for me to stay nearby with his brother’s family while he went home to get the papers done properly from there.

Thus began a pretty miserable month and half away from my new groom. His family was very accommodating and nice to me. I tried to be helpful but I’m afraid I was brooding and quiet most the time. I cried myself to sleep every night in my nephew’s little bedroom. When Thanksgiving came I was homesick for my family and caught a ride back up to Utah for the week. The return trip was snowy and cold and I got carsick. I missed my sweetie.

December seemed to stretch out forever. I helped my new nephews with Christmas decorations. As the days slipped by, soon I had the word that I was going to Japan.

One long plane ride later, I found myself in a foreign country with Jon, exhausted and very happy.

Lynnae at a Mall in Japan Christmas 1987 It was only a few days before Christmas. He brought me in to the house and showed me the tree he had decorated. There were candles and the table was set awaiting our first meal in our new home. our newlywed Christmas TableJon set our table and when I got there he made frozen dinners and set out the Martinelli’s sparkling cider.

Those first few days were a blur. I had an extreme case of jetlag and could not get going, and Jon was anxious to show me people and places.

Visiting the Morgans Christmas 1987 We drove around, visited some friends, and went shopping. He wanted to take me to church to meet people but I couldn’t wake up and get going. By the time we drove past the building it was over and people were leaving. We had a laugh and drove back home.

Our first Christmas was nice. Quiet, compared to the way I grew up- with a house full of hyper little brothers and sisters, and a larger gathering of relatives for a  Christmas Eve dinner. But we were making our own traditions now and starting our own family.Christmas morning JonChristmas morning Lynnae 

This year, after seventeen years out of the service my husband joined the Army Reserve. We had a quiet little anniversary celebration, and for a month and a half he’s been at Ft. Sill Oklahoma for training. This was my first Thanksgiving without him since we were separated as newlyweds so long ago. It was miserable for different reasons. My two college daughters and a boyfriend were traveling home through the snowy weather. I was fearful for their safety and problems did arise that I needed my husbands help for. I enjoyed Thanksgiving with them and our other family that visited, only to be fearful for their trip back home. With computer browser tabs filled with maps, satellite views, and traffic cams, I postponed their return trip for two days, until I thought it was clear, and once they left I could not breathe easy until everyone was safe and sound where they belonged.

IMG_0963For Christmas my girls arrived home from college on plane flights, and I began counting the days until my girls and my husband would be back home with me. I was amazed at how many Christmas songs included separated loved ones longing to be together. My mind kept going back to that first Christmas of ours and how happy we were to just be together.

Before Army Christmas Party 4 The greatest gift for me this year……Being together with my beloved family and celebrating the birth of Him who made it possible.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Jane Austen

Jane Austen portrait

Hi Friends!

It’s been a bit slow over here I know, so I have to apologize for that. My blog readers don’t know this but my husband recently came home after a month and a half of Army Reserve training. Things have been pretty busy here without him, especially over the Thanksgiving holiday, and with so much to do I just fell behind on my blogging. My house is half decorated and half boxes and bins everywhere, but I would like to get some pictures up for you when I’m done.

In the meantime, today is Jane’s Birthday!!!! Yay!

Here is a great post by Vic over at Jane Austen’s World, along with a list over other blogs celebrating Jane’s birth.

Merry Christmas and Happy Jane Austen Day!


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Leavenworth, Washington

IMG_3427 Last week my daughter’s middle school choir took a trip out to Leavenworth, Washington. It’s a old fashioned Bavarian themed town a few hours away, nestled in an Alp like setting in the Cascade mountains.


I was a chaperone for the activity. We had a couple hours to eat and shop before the choir needed to ‘warm up’ (in sarcastic quotes because they sang outside and it was freezing).

IMG_3391 My little one and I trying on hats in the hat shop.

IMG_3392 Oh! The Christmas cheer!

IMG_3407 Lovely store windows.


IMG_3423 Inside The Gingerbread Factory, a cute little house just off the main street.

IMG_3419 Plain gingerbread men labeled ‘Skinny Dippers’.

IMG_3425“Your days are numbered, Snowman!”


Once the hypothermia set in things really got silly.

IMG_3437The choir singing at the town square.


And a very special visitor at the end of the day- Saint Nicholas.

After posting a few of these pictures on facebook I was accosted with family asking why we hadn’t taken them to Leavenworth before. It’s a great place, and now I think we’ll have to take more of our visitors out there. Ever since a visit to the Scandanavian town of Solvang when I was very young I’ve loved the idea of themed towns. In fact it would be fun to travel across the US visiting all the quaint and kitchy foreign themed towns along the way.

But back to Leavenworth. It’s lovely in the spring and summer, but this was the first time I’ve gone at Christmastime, and the visit was just the thing to get those Christmas feelings flowing!