Thursday, January 13, 2011

Christmas #2: Planes, trains, and automobiles.

Meanwhile, my Christmas version of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles began.  I arrived MSP flying for free on Southwest, took the airport train to a shuttle stop, and then took a three-hour van ride to a small town in northern Minnesota where my sister Jackie, who lives in these parts, picked me up.  I crashed the night at her house in the even bigger woods.  In the morning, after some Lakes Latte for the road
we headed west in her car.  Our route took us past lake after lake dotted with ice-fishing houses, reminding me of one of my dad’s favorite winter pastimes. 

Out of the woods and onto the prairies of North Dakota, land of all things Scandinavian. Even the license plates are Norske. This one days YA DEN,

as in, “ya den, vee best go to da store fer Lutefisk fer church supper,” which translated means, “yes then, we should go to the grocery store to buy fish for the Lutheran church Christmas dinner .” Gotta love dem Norwegians.

We picked up my niece, Abby, in Grand Forks and continued west across nearly all of northern North Dakota.  Somehow, we got lucky and the roads were in fine shape. After 8 road-weary hours we reached home where Mom was waiting with delicious hot and hearty cheeseburger soup and homemade rolls.  You just don’t get that in Utah.

Christmas Eve day was spent making fancy candy,

visiting my brother’s house and great nieces and nephews
And of course opening presents. Abbie's boyfriend actually went to a fabric store and bought Jackie fabric, cool fabric.  Now that is a young man that knows what women want! (Jackie is a big-time seamstress).

 It is hard to believe my nieces, Abbie, right, and Aleshia, center, pictured here, are old enough to drink wine with me.  Holy cow, I've seen a lot of Christmases!

Christmas day we loaded up the SUV and on the road again we went to sister Di’s house in Williston.  She hosted 17 for dinner.  There were some helpers to put on the meal, especially when Tod carved the turkey

 But Di did a lot of work and it showed because her house looked beautiful and the food was delicious.  Although she and I look a lot alike,

 She can clearly handle a much larger holiday crowd than my Thanksgiving attempt.  
After dinner the fancy candies Jackie and Abby spent so much time on made their squeaky debut.

 Oh fer cute!
We lounged around visiting, opening more presents, and, of course, stuffing goodies into our already full tummies.

The next couple of days were spent lounging in Mom’s new house

and taking in the startlingly beautiful winter landscape around her.
 Cows are part of that landscape.

Soon it was time to go back to Salt Lake and rendezvous with Drew after his three-day work-through-the holiday trip. 
Tomorrow's post: landmarks.

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