Happy new year! With the new year comes a refreshing of goals and that means trying to write blog posts more often. I won’t commit to blogging daily but I will try to blog a few times a week.
For the holidays, Gene and I went to Washington to spend time with his family at the childhood farmhouse. This is the house where Gene started his life and I loved getting to hang out in it. Built by Lydia and Dave, the house is whimsical, warm, and felt like a second home. Wood walls frame a multitude of windows that overlook wheat fields and sky. So much sky, it takes up at least half of your view. A wood burning stove sits in between the living room and kitchen and does most of the heating of the house. Pots and pans hang from a wood beam in the kitchen and the silverware drawer comes out at an angle. Stairs lead up to a tiny door that requires crawling or significant bending to get through, opening up into an open area that became my make shift bedroom. A bathroom and bedroom connect to this open space. There’s a lovely bathroom on the main floor that Lydia is painting as a mountain scene and a newly added sauna next to that. I loved the house and my time there.
While I was informed that the house was not in the rugged state Gene remembered from his childhood, I didn’t let it affect me as I appreciated the warmth, including the heated mattress pad on my bed. I still experienced a bit of “rustic” life when I brought in wood for the stove two separate times. I’m counting it.
I took part in an Up Helly Aa celebration (look it up) where I made a Viking hat out of cereal boxes and duct tape, walked around the house making lots of noise, and watched a cardboard and newspaper boat go up in flames. It was a big hit with everyone. I styled my helmet after the Thor: Goddess of Thunder comic, and although it didn’t turn out exactly as I envisioned, I quite liked it and got loads of compliments. We all did our best to dress as Vikings, took pictures by the boat, and then grabbed our helmets, axes (that Dave had made earlier), and noise makers and marched around the house with the boat being pulled in front of us. We stopped at a predetermined place and Dave set fire to the boat. Little did we know that Lydia had hidden fireworks and sparklers in the boat so as it burned, fireworks were shot off and sparklers ignited. It was quite the scene and I enjoyed it immensely.
I got to see lots of stars on New Year’s Eve, possibly the only clear night the whole time there; enjoyed a fantastic (if not slightly dangerous) fireworks show put on by Lydia; and burned my list of negative experiences of 2018. I spent time with family friends and Tri-Cities friends, cross stitched a lot, painted, and enjoyed the sauna. I turned coconut balls into coconut cookies when I accidentally used the wrong ingredients, played games, ate pie and many other things. It was a lovely two weeks with lots of lovely memories.