Monday, December 12, 2011

Life 101–Enjoying the Holidays

Yesterday Ben and I went to the mountain to get a tree for the holidays. There were some really nice small trees less than twenty yards from where we parked, but it was a beautiful and sunny day so we hiked into the woods to find a tree there. We always choose a tree growing right next to another one – it’s usually a little lopsided, but Ben figures we save space that way since it will sit closer to the wall – so that when we remove one little tree, the other one will have more resources and grow up stronger and healthier. We found a pretty little lodgepole pine tree about a quarter of a mile from the car, so we had a nice little hike that burned off some of the extra calories we’ve been stocking up on.

The days are still growing shorter, of course, but I was actually shocked, or maybe just dismayed, to figure out that we actually have less than eight hours of sunlight a day. So, for us, the lighted tree is more of a celebration of the return of  the longer daylight hours. Longer days means more ambition to use more of those stocked up calories.

We had the beef bourguignon on Saturday, then yesterday (Sunday) we went to Ursula and DeeDee’s for a terrific pot luck. Everyone invited was an exceptional cook, so everything was really delicious. Ben and I took chocolate mousse, which we all ate as we sat around watching a slide show of Ursula and DeeDee’s trip to Turkey. What a great time: good company, good food and good entertainment.

That’s what’s so great about this time of year. We get together with friends and family to eat lots of really great food.

As I’ve said before, my mother wasn’t much of a cook. She hated cooking and never really tried to learn how to cook much besides fudge, which she made exceptionally well. Because she couldn’t cook, eating was not much more than a survival activity until I met Ben and then it became enjoyable. Yesterday, however, as I was rubbing my over-filled belly, I was thinking about all the good things I’m learning to cook and how much I’m enjoying learning to cook and how I’ve learned to enjoy eating even more. And then I realized I’ve become a foodie! It’s really showing around my middle and by my wardrobe, which now consists of summer wear and winter wear, designated by the size the garment rather than the color or style.

I can just hear the younger generations, after I’ve died, remembering how old Uncle Steve got so chubby when he got older. Yikes, back to the exercise routine . . .

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