Friday, December 26, 2008

The Rest of the Story

"If you get out on these roads today, know that you're taking your life in your own hands." This morning's warning from Alan, that snow plowing brother-in-law of ours. Turns out I was somewhat prophetical in returning my ski gear yesterday. While Alan was up early to plow and rescue all those Kia-driving Texans, we experienced the white-out from the warmth of the cabin. We took a couple of hours to get out and play for awhile - snowmobiling and snow-scooting and sledding and shoveling. I don't know what was more fun - watching Esther's first real snow experience, or howling with laughter at Jamie and Mom's attempt to sled together.
It's interesting to watch life happen here in Eagle Nest, regardless of weather conditions. We had a visit from Joe on Christmas eve. 60ish, never-been-married with no family to speak of, this kind and rugged and unpolished man arrived around 9pm with a Christmas offering of organic nuts in a ziplock.
The fire department tones sound periodically from Charles' desk, interrupting dinner or a card game or a movie or conversations or whatever happens to be going on. The dispatcher's calm yet alarming voice fills the living room with a description of the seven-year-old boy struggling to breathe, or the house fire in town, and Charles does what he can as Chaplain to support these three area fire departments.
Today Cameron (Corbin's sister) got a call from some friends-of-a-friend who needed a place to stay. They are now snuggled in Cameron and Alan's back bedroom for a few nights, hunkered in along with Cam's (darling!) friend, Corrina, from New Zealand, who has been here a couple of months. Cameron is preparing her home for "Christmas" tomorrow with Alan's family - now she gets to add this other couple to the mix, a couple she's never met before this afternoon. This is after she went yesterday - Christmas day - to clean a neighbor's home because rats got in while the family is out of town. Not pretty.
So in the midst of our playing and eating and celebrating, it's always eye-opening to me that Charles and Jamie and Cameron and Alan don't stop. Even a snowy Christmas doesn't give break to extending help or friendship or a warm cup of coffee or even beds to strangers.

A few photos from our snowy play... grateful for this time of rest and family.