Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from the beautiful mountains of North Carolina.  The sun is bright and the air has a chill but it is managable with the right amount of coats, scarves and hats.  Oh yes, gloves.  How could I forget gloves?  We started our day with breakfast and had a windowseat to the beauty that is the Smokey Mountains.  Truly, they were fog encased as the sun rise caused a pinkish hue coming from behind the mountain tops.  I have seen this many times in photos or in paintings but I had never experinced this until today.  Roy was able to get out before breakfast and take photos of the majestic sunrise.  It was strange having an Edward-less breakfast but he had the day off to spend with his family.  After breakfast, we decided to read and have tea in the lobby.  The only chairs open were those with the direct sunlight but that didin't matter to us.  We had secured our spots, the tea was close by and we both are reading books that have our attention.  Once again, being in a large public area, one cannot but overhear conversations.  Miffed family members waiting on the ones who are always late were quite plentious.  Phone conversations from the grandchildren that all sounded alike...what did Santa bring?  Did you like what we sent you?  One very stately, very proper Southern grand dame held court in the chair across from us.  She, still living in a world of long ago where new clothes from Grandmother were looked forward to by young girls.  It was a right of passage to have your clothes from a certain, proper store that sold quality goods but the one sided conversation and responce  of Grammy seemed to tell the story that what she had chosen wasn't really this granddaughters style.  At the conclusion of her conversations with each grandchild, she revealed that they were each getting their own magazine subscription that would come each month.  The magazine would be filled with games, questions and stories and they could remember their grandmother once a month when it arrived.  No one seemed too interested in that either and before she could ask to speak again to their mother, that last child hung up on her.  Her resolve wavered for a little second but she picked up her book and read until her gentleman friend came to escort her over to tour the Biltmore House.  The couple that we saw last night at the Christmas carol sing were sitting near us in the lobby.  It is obvious that the wife has cancer.  Her husband devotes his full attention to her even while she read the newspaper.  They decided that she was up to a little walk around outside and she gathered her scarve a little closer to her neck, adjusted the hat that slipped a little because there wasn't any hair to help hold it in place and said to her husband that she wanted to take it all in.  She wanted to experience all that she could possibly have the strength to do because she knew this would be her last visit to the Biltmore.  She wanted it to be special and to keep with her in the upcoming difficult days that awaited.  People came and went, sat and read and admired the tree.  We sat there totally content to be sitting near one another, thankful for one another and doing what we wanted to do, relax and read.  Not to be scheduled.  Not having to rush here and there, not to have to please the unpleasable.  It stuck me that maybe we were in observation just like these others had been to me.  What were they thinking?  Did they wonder what is their story.  How come no one had come to rouse us off the couch onto the next activity.  Did people feel sorry for us?  The quiet couple sitting there now having moved from hot tea to the Diet Coke portion of the day.  We spoke to each other in low tones, so there wasn't a clue that they could take.  Maybe no one noticed that we sat there the greater part of the morning and a little into the afternoon.  But I am content and happy, no joyful.

Roy has gone into the balmy 32 degree afternoon to take photos.  We have dinner reservations, well not dinner but late lunch reservation at 4:30.  Last night was the fancy dinner and today is the fancy buffet.  Actually, Roy has just now returned with wassail and the dress up report for the buffet.  Still have to dress up, we were hoping for a little bit of a dress down but what were we thinking, we are in south.  Tomorrow we will still try to see a few more things and then begin to wrap things up here and start for home Friday morning.  This has been a nice reprieve .  Our drive back will not be done at the same pace of our trip here.  We might make a few stops here and there.

Like I said, we had the fancy dinner last night.  The Inn knows how to create a mood, that's for sure.  The funny thing is, all the fancy smancy stuff is kind of wasted on us.  I accidentally took a bite of some kind of roasted Brussels sprout that was an accompaniment to the filet minion.  I don't like sprouts but of all the ones I have had to eat as a child, this one was the best one.  That is not saying much.  I had an appetizer of blue crab gnocchi  and an estate green salad.  Everything was really local.  After dinner we went upstairs to check out the Christmas caroling.  The lady leading it was enthusiastic but it's hard to get everyone between kids and drunks to sing.  She also needed a pianist.  I gave it the old college try but after singing 55 verses to We Three Kings, 52 of them I had never heard of, I gave up.

For a couple of hours there was snow.  None of it stuck, so there wasn't any snow on snow.  Related to snow on snow, I have heard In the Bleak Mid Winter more times this year than in any year past.  Much be a fav up here.  Oh, and Shepherd's Pipe Carol.  I mean you might here it once or twice but we have heard it everyday.  I still say the altos kind of got the short end on that song.

Hope you have had a wonderful Christmas Day.  We have, that's for sure.  Hoping to hear Merry Christmas Darling one more time before the day is over.  Then the countdown begins next year CourtneyS.

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