Last Day with Family

December 29 was our last day in Ohio for a while, so we enjoyed spending it with my family.  We were missing some people – John and Jackie had to work and a few folks were sick – but we had good food and lots of fun together.

Mom and Dad hosted the gathering.  Mom prepared the food but everyone brought something and there was plenty of delicious stuff for everyone.  Of course, for dessert, we had trays of cookies that Mom and I made.

After lunch we talked, the three cousins hung out together, and then we gathered around the tree for some gifts.  We only give each other “silly” gifts – things that we have but don’t want.  So we might have a present with a gaudy mug (see the gift Mike got) or a book or a wall hanging.  We play a game and everyone gets stuck with whatever they open – unless they can trade it.  The only rule is that you have to take home whatever you get.

We took down the stockings from the mantle and opened the gifts in them.  Someone put in “poppers” that had paper crowns in them so several of us wore the crowns most of the afternoon.  We watched a little football and Julia taught us how to play spoons.

Tom and I had to leave early so we could have supper with John and Jackie.  John told us about his first day on his new job and we ate City Barbecue – Tom’s favorite place to get barbecue – one last time.  As much as we like exploring new places and finding local places to eat, we miss some of our favorites when we are traveling.

Just like we miss our family and friends when we are traveling.  I told Tom – “It’s not hard to be gone, but it is hard to leave.”  Once we are on the road, we look forward to all the new things we see and experience but saying goodbye to the familiar and beloved is difficult.  We will be back in Ohio in June and look forward to more family time then.  In the meantime, we have these great pictures so we can remember how much fun we had in December.

John, Jackie and Sully in front of their tree.
Tom and I in front of John and Jackie’s tree
Caramel – Steve’s dog
The three cousins who were present – Grace, Devon and Jared
Mom and Dad open a nice present
Jared – he really can smile!
Mike gets a wild mug as a silly gift
Everyone wear their crowns!
Mom shows Grace how to do marble solitaire
Everyone (except Mike) crowds in for a picture
Jared and Mike with Santa hats
Mom and Julia look more alike all the time