My dearly beloved readers, I apologize for not updating in far too long.
A quick update on what has been. Patricia’s visit was absolutely wonderful. I think I slept about 15 hours total the entire time she was here and never even felt tired. I was zippin’ around, juiced on life. Life, man. We each cooked dinner one night. I decided the money my grandma sent me for Christmas would be best used buying groceries to cook a lovely meal for my Trishikins and the boys (Monica was in Texas for Christmas, enjoying her own bounty of meal, I’m sure). It was revitalizing to think “Budget be damned!” and plan out a full meal, like I used to do in Davis (and then continue saying awesome things in my head, “Man the torpedoes!” “Pshew! Pshew! Pshew! Vroooooom! KerPOW!”…I know, I’m a child). Patricia also brought me some very special presents in her luggage bag of wonders. Special presents that come in glass bottles and should but don’t have to be consumed out of special glassware. Did you know Costco has a Kirkland brand of wines now? I’m assuming if you’re reading this then you must, not only because the previous sentence already told you but also because you wouldn’t be wasting your time on the internets when you could be buying fantastic wine at irresponsible prices. Costco, my love, I miss you and eagerly await when I can live in the same state as you once more. Patricia brought me another special present (it’s not all about booze. We aren’t total alcoholics), hand picked wild mushrooms from the Central Coast. I opened that delightful brown paper bag with a pound of chantrelles, dug my face in and just breathed. The delectable scent of brush, oak and dirt was enough that for a moment, for a brief sweet moment, I was lying on my belly over soft decomposing oak leaves, surrounded by grass, trees, fences and hills dripping from a light winter drizzle, digging through soil at a spot of gold to slice through a fragile misshapen fungus, adding it to the others in my plastic bag and searching for more springing forth from the same underground network of whatever keeps them alive. I brought my face out of the bag to see Patricia staring at me oddly. “Smells like home,” I grinned and took another whiff.
Needless to say, I can’t even describe how much I loved having Patricia come visit. It was far and away the best Christmas present I could have gotten.
Trish’s last night in town was absolutely wonderful. She slow cooked ribs in the guest trailer (for guests of the mission- Our house doesn’t come with a guest house), and we made the boys dress up and join us. We drank champagne and fancy cheese appetizers. I think I’m going to consider that night to be my Christmas. I didn’t get to bed until almost 2 am and I still had to be at work at 6. What a wonderful evening.
My actual Christmas was nice. Christmas has never been “nice.” I missed the large chaotic party that happens when every single Mello gets together in one room. I went to Mass at St. Briget’s in Rosebud. Neil lead music and Mike had to be at Mass at St. Charles in St. Francis, so I sat by myself. The next morning I made coast toast and we had a scrumptious brunch, watched tv and then went to the Jesuits’ house. Like I said, nice, but that’s just the thing. More likely than not, I will have many more Christmases away from my family. I was in no way miserable, but I don’t think anyone or any place can hold a candle to Christmas with my family.