It's been a very unusual Christmas Day. We are on Plan C, or maybe it's D; I've lost track.
Originally, our plan was for everyone (my parents from Northeast Washington, my brother from Western Washington, and our household) to meet at my sister's home in neighboring Spokane Valley. Unfortunately, severe winter weather, with 30 of 39 counties receiving record amounts of snow, has once again played havoc with our plans.
Because the City of Spokane Valley decided not to plow past noon yesterday and because my sister has a truck in comparison to my parents' and our cars (which get around pretty well but still can get high-centered on unplowed roads), we changed to plan B and decided to meet at my house. I live half a block off the main street in town which becomes the highway heading north to the community where my parents live, two hours away. My folks were going to bring the turkey and mashed potatoes, Sis was going to bring stuffing and gravy, and we have green bean casserole, pies and beverages here.
My brother was unable to make it cross-state. Thankfully, he did not venture off Whidbey Island and end up stranded. My parents are snowed in up on the mountain because the county did not plow the road that goes to within a mile of their home. Dad was able to snowblow his driveway, but the private road from the driveway to the county road is unplowed since the neighbor with the truck plow has not headed into town as she had planned. Half of the gifts we ordered for our kids did not arrice. One, for my son has been here in Spokane at the Fed Ex warehouse since Saturday, according to the tracking system I'm using online. UPS delivered the other half (part of a video game) late last night; it's useless without its counterpart. My daughter asked us to pay some of her bills for Christmas, since she's currently unemployed. We did so, but ordered a gift for her to open Christmas Day. The best I can figure, it's sitting in a post office on the west side of the state. Fortunately, my children's father and I yesterday picked up a couple of small things for the kids to open today "just in case." Turns out, we needed them. My children's father and I don't normally exchange gifts on Christmas Day. We enjoy going out together after Christmas and treating each other to the sales and specials. So for the first time in memory, neither he nor I are opening individual gifts on Christmas Day.
Phone calls to my children's paternal grandparents and paternal aunt's family in Southwest Washington informed us that they have received 14 and 18 inches of snow (and counting!) respectively, and will be quietly celebrating apart instead of together.
We're hoping to get together with my family sometime this weekend, and also with my children's paernal uncle's family here in town (who are celebrating with his parents-in-law today). Tonight, in lieu of a big turkey dinner, we'll have my children''s father's favorite one of meatloaf and some of that pie. UPS also delivered a box of Hickory Farms from my children's paternal grandparents last night, which we've been enjoying this afternoon.
It's quiet, it's small. But the four of us are warm, safe, together, and have power. Our loved ones are all home and safe (and my three little nephews have plenty of new Christmas toys to keep them entertained, my sister assured me over the phone). I've been playing on the computer (digital scrapbooking, searching online databases in hope of a "Christmas find", and having a private Scanfest). My children's father spent several hours shoveling snow (which has become a daily occurrence over the last week) and is enjoying a well-deserved nap. My daughter is also enjoying the teenaged luxury of sleeping, while my son tries to bargain me into letting him be on the desktop (our wireless service is crud, and our laptop doesn't connect well to it--not a chance, Bud!). I'm perfectly content to wait a few days until the family gatherings and gift-opening begin. :-)