Been a while, but howdy. I’m at my mom’s house in Seattle after barely making it into town on Alaska Airlines before the snow started really coming down. Thousands of people have had to sleep in the airport because the airlines ran out of de-icing fluid. I’ve had good timing so far, though.

First I made it in to the airport and to my sister’s house. Besides the happiness of a warm family hug, the big highlights have been sledding, making snow creatures, and hiking down to the snowy beach. A beach on the Puget Sound, not on the Pacific. Think quietly lapping lake shore, not roaring crashing waves. Beautiful nonetheless. Gulls congregating by the water, and sugar icing dropped over the tall conifers, the driftwood and everything else.

Amy discovered how easy it was to break off pieces of frozen ice crust and stand them up sideways in the snow. She made several Andy Goldsworthy-worthy sculptures and if she sends me a snapshot I’ll post it.

Snow doesn’t make you cold if you have the right base layer (long underwear for us less sophisticated types), waterproof boots, and if you keep moving. And the houses here are nice and warm thanks to central heating and insulation, amenities we don’t often experience in Santa Cruz, our town of summer cottages and garage studios.

I’m spending a little quality time with Mom before we rejoin the rest of the gang for Christmas proper. I hope to enjoy a bit more of my brother-in-law Greg’s scrumptious mostly-Italian cooking. Can’t wait to see my bro – it’s been years. And I hope we can help make nephew Lewis as happy as a twelve-year-old at Christmas should be.

Stay warm and merry, everyone!