Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Another Unplanned Holiday Get-together

Maybe because of there was no holiday stress since we had our Christmas in July, perhaps due to the mild weather, whatever the reason(s) this low-key Christmas season was one of the best I've had in quite awhile.
There was the Festivus lunch last Wednesday and then Sunday morning Doug called to say they were coming down.

I neglected to take a picture of Doug and Shelly at the brunch table, but here is one from Christmas in July with Kari peeking around her sil's shoulder. That glass in Doug's hand denotes one of the last times he was able to swallow anything, from then until the end of October his nourishment was via feeding tube. Today he gets that tube and his port taken out. Hooray!

This may look like Doug saying hooray, but it is his impersonation of his granddaughter, Lily, saying, "No pictures! No pictures!" She does not like having her picture taken and there was a cute video of her a few days before objecting to her uncle's camera.

Speaking of the little diva, this photo shows her Christmas morning with the canjo her Grandpa Doug made for her.

Here's a photo of it in progress as Doug was making it. The one string picking stick is just part of Doug's current creations. More about that tomorrow.

Shelly brought us a plate of whipped shortbread. I had seen her recipe for this on Facebook a few days before and thought "I'll bet that is really good." And, oh my, is it ever. It really does literally melt in your mouth. The recipe is here if you're interested.
The ones with the mini chocolate chips were for Bud; mine are the plain ones. (He had already eaten two of his while I still had four of mine left when I took the photo.)

Topics of conversation were far-ranging but when they turned to Doug's current passion for making cigar box guitars I started wondering if I still had any adaptable boxes. I remembered one old cigar box but couldn't immediately put my hands on it. (It's in a box somewhere in the garage. At least I remember what the box I'm looking for looks like. Ha!)

I brought in this old box for him to consider. It is one I got from the country church I belonged to. It is handmade and so old instead of hinges on the lid it has leather straps. At one time it had a leather strap for a handle but the handle is gone and only pieces of it remain. Two little hooks on each end kept the lid closed.

The interior of the box was divided into two compartments. I wonder what this box's use was? I don't remember if there was anything inside it when I found it in the church basement and asked if I could have it. (I always did have a thing for old wooden boxes.)

On the inside of the lid you can still read CB&Q, the railroad (Chicago, Burlington and Quincy) that once traveled through our area. I know that many things were re-purposed and made from railroad shipping boxes. My Mom had a blanket box that her Dad had made from a CB&Q shipping crate.
We made out the stamped lines to read "6 - 6 lb. boxes almond chocolate(s)".  It will be interesting to see what this box guitar looks like when Doug finishes it.

One final photo, this one of two books Douglas brought me. Does this boy know his mama, or what? A mellow, stress free, happy holiday season after all.

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