My sister, Connie, and I planned to drive to Spokane on Thursday to have a pre-Christmas celebration with our sister, Joan, and this day the weather interfered big time. I found 7" of snow on my sidewalks and driveway early in the morning. The Lewiston Tribune reported, "a stunningly rare day" with a school closure for the first time in over 30 years.
My outdoor statue of Mary, wearing a hoodie of snow! I did a little shoveling and made it out of my driveway, bags packed, and proceeded to Moscow for lunch with Connie and Karen. Oh, those sisters, had such apprehension and no adventuresome spirit, so we cancelled the trip and I spent the night on the farm with Connie and Garry. That experience was lovely because we talked about Christmases past while sitting around the fire with only the colored lights from the Christmas tree to illuminate the living room. The Esser house has a dozen windows that overlook the farm fields, that night covered with layers of snow that added light to our conversations. When Connie awoke on Friday morning, she announced that perhaps we should drive to Spokane and have dinner with Joan. I checked the Washington State DOT alerts and camera shots along Highway 195, she talked to Garry, and in an hour we were on the road! The worst roads were in Moscow and Pullman.
I took this picture between Colfax and Rosalia! We made it to Spokane by noon, had lunch with Marilyn, Dan, Don, and Dena. I felt so grateful that we could all be together despite a crowded and icy parking lot at Northtown. Don told us about the baking marathon he was planning in the next couple of days getting the larders full of goodies for their family Christmas celebration.
We had a little time before we picked up Joan from work so we did a little shopping at Macy's. Marilyn and I persuaded Connie to get some skinny jeans to wear with the new boots that we bought her for her birthday. She picked out a gray jacket and Dena lent her the scarf for this adorable picture. She can't possibly be almost 64 years old!!!
Connie and I considered it divine intervention when Joan called us as we were driving into the parking lot where she works announcing, "Bill said I could leave early today." We snatched her right up and drove downtown to have an early dinner at the Davenport Hotel.
The hotel, decorated with real trees, sparked joy and magic within us.
Pointsettias surrounded the stunning tree.
The view from the second floor.
A young man played Christmas carols on a piano in the foyer, adding to the giddiness we felt just being in this beautiful place.
We celebrated Connie's birthday with her favorite cheesecake dessert, which she immediately smothered with the Davenport's dark chocolate sauce. We enjoyed a cup of tea with Joan at her condo before heading to the Kuhlmann's for the night. We gave Joan our Christmas gifts early since we'll not be back to Spokane for Christmas. I enjoyed the stories they shared about having roommates, one that smelled like kimchi, and the other, a 35 year old nurse bringing a hippie biker dude to Connie's apartment "just until we find our own place."
On the way home I stopped to visit Colin and Duane since Anne was on her way to Austin, Texas, for a girlfriend's 50th birthday celebration. After flight delays she declared, "I'm never leaving home again." Colin and Duane attended the opening of the Star Wars movie, "Rogue One," last night, but he said, "I forgot to wear this hat." Today they were carrying out an Advent suggestion by gathering toys and games, no longer played with, to donate to the Hope Center for other children to enjoy for Christmas. Such sweet memories!
Tonight I'm reminded of the night when invisible love became visible. The night we call holy. It's been easier for me to recognize the holy the past few days. The holiness of the snow, of family, of laughing and sharing stories, of shedding tears for Bonnie Powers and John Scotty, of remembering Christmases past and Trees of Hope! This night embraces it all.