The year isn't over yet, and it seems to want to deal us a few parting blows before it finally leaves.
Christmas Eve we made it up to Blue Ridge without incident- until we pulled into Grandmama's driveway. The car sputtered and died like it had run out of gas. Jake immediately assumed I'd forgotten to reset the trip meter (the gas gauge hasn't worked since we got the car- bad omen? Yeah, I think so.) but I DID set it and we should have had another 100 miles to go before we needed to fill up again. So we rolled the car out of the driveway and onto the road shoulder, where it is still sitting until Jake can rent a tow dolly and go bring it back to Atlanta to be fixed. Sigh.
After a trek up the steep 1/4 of a mile driveway (Grandmama lives on a mountainside.), we were all there safe and sound. A few walks by the adults to and fro got the presents, overnight bags and necessities from the car and into the house. My aunt and uncle took us in their van to the Christmas Eve church service at Grandmama's church in nearby McCaysville. The service was beautiful, as always, only this year Emily being a year older was much easier to handle. Last year she begged a piece of candy from my aunt and then choked on her own spit and, already having a cold, gagged and started to puke as I rushed her past the violin septet and out into the vestibule. We spent the rest of the service playing peek-a-boo. As we settled into the pew, I reminded Jake of last year's fun and told him if she needs to be taken out of the service again, it was his turn. But she was a little angel, sitting on his lap and watching the service quietly the whole time. The only disturbance came towards the end during the communion when the wafers were being passed. As Jake handed the tray to me, Emily protested being skipped over- "I want a piece of gum!" The wafers do look an awful lot like chiclets. But they tasted like styrofoam. The very end of the service was singing "Silent Night" with everyone holding a candle. The song in A Cappella with the house lights low and the candles glowing is so pretty and my favorite part of the Christmas Eve service.
Once we got back to Grandmama's house, we set about getting everyone bedded down to sleep. Jake and I took opposite couches in the family room and the younger children were on a pallet of blankets on the rug between the couches. Emily's allergies started acting up and she got all cough-y and snotty, so we didn't get much solid sleep. In the morning, my aunt made a fantastic breakfast and afterward we opened gifts. I'll have a separate post soon about the books my Aunt Sally made for Gail, Grandmama and me. I can't do it justice without some pictures. The snow was falling thick and fast the entire time and once we had finished opening the gifts there was a good 3 inches on the ground. It was Jake and the children's first ever white Christmas, and the first I had seen since I was a very little girl. In the afternoon, we made no effort to get out with Grandmama's car, since we hadn't called to figure out getting our car taken care of yet, but Gail and Sally and Jim and Amy wanted to get going since they had pets at home and then other family to see. Jim tried to get their van out, but by then the snow was just too deep and packed down. So they were snowed in with us!
They came back in and later we played a game of cards, the rules for which I will make another post about. It's a fun game, and well worth sharing. Altogether, Grandmama's house got 8 inches of accumulated snow. The kids had never seen so much snow at once. The other family were finally able to get out Sunday afternoon, with help from neighbors. While the kids played outside, I was able to finish typing my resume and get it ready to send out everywhere. We stayed on with Grandmama until Tuesday afternoon around 4, when the weather warmed up to a balmy 45 degrees and most of the snow and ice on the roadways had melted or was at least passable. I was still VERY nervous on the curves that are semi dangerous to navigate in summer weather, let alone iced over. However, it didn't take long to get down to the main roads that were clear from all of the previous traffic and salt/sand trucks. I was eventually able to pry my fingers out of the upholstery and loosen some of the muscles that were jamming my shoulders up by my ears.
We've been here at Grandmother Ray's house since Tuesday night. The kids got fantastic gifts from Jake's aunts and Grandmother and we've had a great time. I'm working on Christmas gifts that didn't get finished for other family that we will see after the new year. I'm not looking forward to going home, after the drama that's been going down, particularly last Wednesday night. I can't divulge details, but suffice it to say that our season of living at Grandmother Cross' house is winding to a close. I don't know when we will leave, but it will be 2011. Hopefully sooner than later in the year. We're looking at a few different places, but nothing will be for sure until we address getting the car fixed and some other matters into place. However, while I look for a full time position and childcare, AND expand my Avon customer base and business, I will be simultaneously selling anything that's not nailed down and packing up. I want to be moved by the end of the spring at the very latest.
2010 has been a rough year, and I'm ready to kick it in the butt on it's way out and have a MUCH better year in 2011. We continue to go to counseling, and it is helping get us where we need to be to end the drama and become functioning, healthy working adults.
That's all for now, as we get ready to ring in the New Year with Jake's family. I'll be posting again soon. Love to you all. :)