I live and write on Lingít Aaní, and gratefully acknowledge the past, present and future caretakers of this beautiful place, the Jilkaat Kwaan and Jilkoot Kwaan.

“Take time to seek the quiet miracles that seek no attention.”– John O’Donohue

The little pink boots in the mud room slayed me yesterday. It’s probably all the sugar, and coffee, and crowds. I did not imagine, some 40 something years ago, when I got married that Christmas would be like this– with so many of us. That there would be this much love.  My mud room is not big enough. The kitchen is crowded and Chip has to set up the plywood and saw horse extension for us all to sit at the same table. Tonight Bryan is making Italian food, he started the meatballs and sauce yesterday so it can bubble all day today. I can’t use the white Christmas Eve tablecloths because of all the red sauce,  and we can’t eat on plywood, that’s not right– Chip said tell the kids we need their sheets for tablecloths. He recited a little ditty about Bilbo Baggins.

I tried to take a picture of everyone, but with this many there is always someone with closed eyes or a full mouth or who would be mad if I broadcasted their image in those pajama bottoms. Yesterday I also said Henry was two going on three and turns out he is one going on two. “Mom! Don’t you even know how old Henry is? ” JJ said–

“He’s potty trained ( well almost) –What am I supposed to think?”

(Honestly? I don’t even know how old she is, I mean the exact age. I know it’s low thirties…)

I have never paid too close attention to numbers.

Chip and I play Wordle every day. He read me the story about the editors analyzing 15,000 responses to the puzzle — and what first words were the statistical best choice. (If you have never played, it’s a phone or computer game that gives you six chances to guess a five letter word of the day.) Chip picks “pious” first just about every time for the vowels.  Me? I’m totally random.

So on that day, when he read the best choices for first word to me, according to the data,  I looked around the house and wrote “Santa.” the reply? “Word not found”. No Santa? So I typed “Saint”, and the “a” was in the right place and there was a “t” as well, but in the wrong spot. We were sitting at my mother’s old table. It has bare spots in the finish, so I wipe it with oil sometimes. It needed some.  I typed “table” for my second word, and got the puzzle in two!

It was all the proof I needed to trust my instincts. And it made me happy to know that A I may not win in the end.

It also makes me happy to be reminded, on these busy days, that my favorite gifts are unexpected and random–  things like big and little boots. And this, that happened last night– we were supposed to go to a solstice party and ended up baby-sitting instead.

Look at that kid–

It’s just a miracle that he is sleeping so soundly on Papa Bob’s old couch, isn’t it?