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.

” And all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even the mouse. For like everyone else in that house which was old, the poor mouse was in bed with a miserable cold.”- Ludwig Bemelmans, Madeline’s Christmas.

Christmas Day was a wonder– pretty busy– and one last big party, the biggest yet (23 or 4?) It was loud and fun and lasted later than I had expected. The potluck around a 25 lb. turkey included green bean casserole, fried rice, mashed potatoes,  deer shoulder roast, homemade rolls, pies (apple, pumpkin, peanut butter), smoked salmon spread,  roasted vegetables, steamed carrots, sourdough stuffing. I’m probably forgetting something. it was plenty. Bountiful. Appreciated. Don paused the football game to  say grace, as he always does, and we were thankful.

Chip and I went to bed without cleaning everything up. The kids did a a load of dishes and helped clear– so it wasn’t as if we  walked away and left everything. At the big old New England house Chip grew up in, there was a button on the dining room floor, under the carpet at the head of the table, that his Mom used to step on. It buzzed in the kitchen so a maid would come and clear, except there wasn’t any maid, but Grandma Joanne always pressed it anyway, because it was fun to hope, that perhaps, a fairy godmother would come and clean up. Chip’s dad Phil always bought lottery tickets too. He was sure he’d win one day. If he were alive today, and could have been here last night, he would have seen that he had. He never imagined there would so many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

I woke up with a bad cold today.  I managed to last long enough to watch Emilia and Henry while their parents worked out before they left for home on the ferry (although once again I gave up and turned on a cartoon while Chip lit a fire to warm us). When the cousins came by, I sort of gave them lunch. I think telling them to help themselves to leftovers counts.

We have been invited to a Boxing Day party, but I have a date with my pajamas, tea, a box of Kleenex and a Christmas movie.  And yes– how lucky am I to only have a cold, to only be a little sick, in a warm, well-stocked house on a rainy, windy twenty sixth of December?