December 24, 2020 Yesterday I drove back to New Hampshire, loaded with presents and holiday baking. It was great to be back with Bob; he loves this holiday and we decided to see the Christmas lights in Portsmouth, and maybe do a little window shopping. We are feeling extraordinarily grateful for all the goodness in our lives and feeling SO fortunate to be healthy and happy. Munch had finished up the tower, the siding was back up, everything was cleaned and swept up and what a relief!
Downtown Portsmouth is really so charming, with the harbor and tugboats right there, and so many unique shops and specialty restaurants. The gloomy, damp weather is not doing justice to its charms; the North Church spire on a sunny day against a bright blue sky is striking. Walking along the street, I did a double take at this window… what? That is so cool. What IS that behind all those reflections and lights?
Bob and I went into the store Ganesh to look at this sculpture… driftwood and blown glass from Indonesia. I kept looking at it, even though I certainly didn’t need to buy anything. Bob was intrigued too, we kept looking at it from different angles… and he said, “This would look spectacular in our new house… you should get it! In fact, I think we should buy this.” So we did. 🙂
After arranging to pick it up after Christmas, we had just enough time to drive to the ocean by way of New Castle, NH, which is a tiny, historic community settled in the early 1600’s and located on an island in Portsmouth Harbor. Route 1A winds through it, and is a favorite drive of ours, with antique colonial homes, harbor views, and enormous charm. Christmas lights on the trees, and candles twinkling in windows… we drove past the grand old madam, Wentworth by the Sea, and even a cold misty breeze couldn’t dim our spirits.
We pulled into the Great Island Common, past the empty gate shack and drove over to the ocean’s edge… The coastline looks so wintery, harsh and unforgiving, but with its own beauty. I showed Bob the park’s famous “artist’s easel” steel sculpture, by Walter Liff, where one can stand inside the frame and be part of the “picture” or just enjoy arranging the natural views through the frame.
Listening to the ocean and watching the lighthouses blink was restful. We didn’t have nearly enough time here, the daylight was fading even at 4:20 in the afternoon. Time to take the 964 back home to the garage.
Belgian waffles are one of Bob’s favorite meal memories of West Point, from a time when calories didn’t matter, and you could scoop gobs of ice cream on top of your strawberries, on top of your waffles. This is often a Christmas morning treat for us, but since we were going to my mom’s tomorrow, I decided to make breakfast for dinner on Christmas Eve. We’ve both been a little sad because normally we would have the kids with us, go to the children’s mass at church while the giant “roast beast” was gently roasting in the oven, come back and have a huge feast. But it has been a “non-traditional” year in every way, and we’ve been re-shaping our own traditions too. After dinner-breakfast-dessert all in one, we opened Bob’s present from our wonderful Maryland Porsche friends Ron and Linda – a signed print by noted Porsche artist Kelly Tefler. Bob loved it! We also opened our gifts from our dear friend Colleen in California, she is so thoughtful. What a surprising and delightful day it has been! Merry Christmas Eve!