However, unlike in previous years, I did not voyage to Chicago to visit my mother's grave, nor did John and I travel to St. Louis for the holiday reunion with the entire Hagebak extended immigrant family. Of course, I did receive a overly-sweet-not-too-friendly phone call from Mrs. Hagebak regarding the reason her [almost]-daughter-in-law wouldn't come see them. As with every phone call from Mrs. Hagebak, her sweet persuasions in broken English eventually turn into lectures, and surprisingly, no matter the beginning topic, always end with the topic of childbirth (or some derivative thereof). As you can imagine, these conversations are always a fabulous experience, ha.
That aside, what was the reason for this change, you ask? The intrepid adventurer homebound for once; surely such a thing must be some form of heresy or treason, you think? Well yes, I will agree for me, it was quite odd. However, it all begin the beginning days of December, when John came a wonderful conclusion that we should stay home for the holidays, he wanted to have a, as he put it, "No-travel-winter" where we would for once enjoy the calm solace of our winter along the sea and revel in tea by the fireside. I naturally agreed in exchange for lutefisk, because yes, I can be easily be bribed with food.
So begins my holiday season of food. As a means of breaking in my quaint country kitchen and fighting my non-travel sickness, I baked up a storm. Which resulted in my eating up a storm. Which is now resulting in me running in the freezing Atlantic chill.
My kitchen here is not as spectacular as the one in our previous house, in short I would probably describe it as underwhelming. It is by no means grand, and given my busyness trying to revamp other, seemingly more pertinent areas of the house, the kitchen was kind of pushed to the wayside. However, despite my reservations and its lack of grandiose gadgetry and appliances, my kitchen has proved itself to me during these past weeks. It started with pies and moved onto cookies. Then it was breakfast eggs, scones, pancakes. After casseroles and pot pies. In short, I whipped a food frenzy.
As you can assume, John and I were not with hunger. Most days, without the need to go anywhere we slept in, ate late breakfasts and early lunches. We'd take walks around our expansive property line and bundle in for movie night and Scrabble games. We began and finished many of the things we'd been wanting to do since moving here. John finally unpacked and setup his studio in the unattached shed and barn next to the house. We cleaned up the attic and converted the space. I got around to picking up the jumble of paperwork that has become my life in research. It was nice, unexpected. Perhaps we'll try doing things at this pace again, because I kind of enjoyed it.