Sunday, December 24, 2006

Decorating a log cabin and a 12-foot tree

Spent Saturday afternoon at the Yukon Palace helping Mom and her cousins decorate. Fred got to put the star on the 12-foot tree. It’s the first electric star that Uncle Brandon bought in 1941, when electricity finally arrived at their farms. The rest of the tree is hung with gingerbread, candy canes, apple slices and popcorn garlands. It looks really nice.

Dad and Fred and I crossed the frozen creek and went for a hike through the woods to the beaver dam. Saw tons of animal tracks out there – vole, rabbit, fisher and even some otters’ belly slides. The sun was setting, and the birch trees were glowing against a blue sky.

We had dinner with my mom’s sister and her family at the newly-opened Oriental Wok on Main St. We chuckled at the wine menu (the Burgundy was described as “a full-bodied whine”) and lamented the lack of anything remotely spicy on the menu, but it’s great to be in small-town Minnesota nonetheless.

This morning we went to church. Between my mom and her siblings and cousins and all of their family members, we filled an entire side of the church and got a shout-out from the pastor during the announcements. We’re such a clan. In a good way. We took twice as long as everyone else during the sharing of the peace. I went for a run when I got home, on the nice long straight roads around my grandma’s house. They’re all spaced exactly one mile apart, so my run was a perfect four-mile square. Ah farm country!

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