Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Beyond the Ravioli

Of course, there was ravioli.
But there was a whole lot more about this Christmas trip home that made it so lovely. I’m afraid I’ll forget someone or leave some moment out, so I hesitate to come up with a comprehensive list, but there were highlights:
·         The first Christmas in five years that my children and Bob were able to be together at Christmas.
·         The discovery by Joanna of four years of my prom dresses, which caused her to realize that vintage isn’t always synonymous with hipster.
Yes, this was my prom dress.

·         22 for dinner on Christmas day, including cousin Trish from Chicago. Plus a default win for all of my ravioli, a detail that we won’t discuss here. Because that would be unfair and unkind. And the braciole was almost as good as last year’s braciole. Not to mention the cavatelli.

·        Seeing Bob Irwin play guitar.

·         Visits to our homes-away-from-homes, seeing friends and family, catching up.
·         Five different kinds of Celestial Seasonings tea.
·         Getting to Mom’s church twice, with the added delight of getting to sing “Once in Royal David’s City” the Sunday after Christmas.
·         Lunch with Mom, Kim, Lisa, and Uncle Bob.
·         Fried bread dough at Uncle Richie’s house.
·         Lunches, dinners, and parties with friends in DC, plus shopping adventures that allowed me to score just enough items to fit in my suitcase without going over the weight limit.
·         Jogging in both Athens and DC. Seeing the sun rise over the Hudson. Being able to run for five miles in DC without once having to negotiate around a car driving down the sidewalk at me.
·         Singing – or trying to sing – “Java Jive” at Jennifer’s house.
·         Realizing that maybe there’s a beagle in my future, thanks to my quality time with sweet Zoey of 44th Street, who trained me well.

·         Managing to bring back to Beijing an assortment of oddities: a drinking fountain for my cat, a chia pet for my cat, a suitcase full of cat food, coffee, Trader Joe’s coconut body butter, not to mention an entire list of items too ridiculous to name here. Let’s just say one could draw some really interesting conclusions about a person whose bag holds home-made caramel candies, a plastic purple watch, wind chimes, tamoxifen, and tums.

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