Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Thoughtful gifts, lovely surprises, a little mystery, and a blessed passing

Christmas came and went exactly as I had wished – and with a few little surprises thrown in.

Santa forgave Eddie and Allie their recent misdeeds, and all the critters found goodies in their stockings. Riley and Eddie found chew sticks and cookies, and Allie new catnip toys.

Told ya I'd been good!

A package for me from “Santa’s Critter Helpers” (who I happen to know live in the Okanagan and not at the North Pole) produced, among other treasures, the gift that made me cry in both sorrow and pleasure  – a Christmas ornament with my late sister’s picture on it. 

She is indeed the star on my Christmas tree. 

We ended up with a white Christmas here on Vancouver Island, though Crofton didn’t get much of it and it didn’t stick around long.  Still, it afforded a Christmassy walk in the snow sharing happy greetings with others in our small town.  And when we returned, I spied a piece of Christmas wrap sticking out from under my front screen door – and discovered a mysterious package.  

Attached was a note saying “Jean – can’t replace the one someone stole, but we hope it works. One set of dog lovers to the next.  Merry Christmas”.

It was a bird feeder.  You may recall mine was stolen earlier this year - Allie's 'reality tv show' taken in the dead of night. 

I have no idea who left it there.  I have racked my brain trying to figure it out.  I think it was delivered while I was walking the dogs,  but it could have been earlier in the day when Eddie was going mad with barking in the living room and my glance out of the windows didn’t reveal anything for him to bark at (in which case, dear gifter, I hope you didn’t hear me yelling at my noisiest-ever-debarked-dog to “Shut Up!” – a not very Christmassy sentiment!). 

I hope the giver is a blog-reader and now knows how very much I was touched by this thoughtful gift.  It will soon go up where the old one was – firmly attached to a pole which shall be rooted into the ground with rapid-post cement! 

A new bird feeder for Allie and me!

Another lovely surprise was a card and plate of  goodies the two little children across the street brought to me Christmas Eve.  Theirs is my favourite card of all I received:

Card by Pippa and Finlay

My granddog, Becky, enjoyed the gifts I sent her, and I love this picture of her with her new, soft, unstuffy stuffy – a rabbit I thought she might like.  She does.
Someone loves her new rabbit from Grandma Jean
My Christmas meal was thoroughly enjoyable.  Along with a small (hormone free, humanely raised) prime rib roast, I roasted fresh vegetables and even made Yorkshire pudding for the second time in my life – which turned out perfectly! 

I set the table with the Christmas china and poured the wine, and  I even put out a Christmas cracker just like my family has done my whole life.  And yes, I even wore the stupid hat. Well, I wore it for at least two minutes, before making  Sir Eddie wear it.  

If ah wear the hat, shouldn't ah get the roast?

(Funny story here:  I was trying to get Eddie to sit still for the photo, and opened the cookie jar to get him a bribe reward.  At the sound of the jar, Riley came running, eager for a treat.  When she saw me putting the hat on Eddie, she took off in the other direction!  Guess Riley has had enough of being photographed wearing silly Christmas apparel!)

Trifle for dessert, a coffee with Baileys, and then a gentle evening listening to music and reading “Ginty’s Ghost”, a gift from my daughter – it is wilderness dweller Chris Czajkowski’s newest release and every bit as entertaining and engrossing as the author’s previous books, which all sit on my shelf.

Lastly, I found out quite by chance this morning that Petey, the little dog I fostered from December 23, 2011 to June 14, 2012 passed away on Christmas Eve.  Petey was deaf, blind, and while in my care had extreme separation anxiety and chronic bronchitis.  I questioned his quality of life back then, but he went on to live another six months with another foster home.  For me, it is a gift and a blessing to know he is finally at peace.  Run free, Petey.  

Thoughtful gifts, pleasant walks, little surprises, good food, chats with family and friends, and a precious old dog now running free at the Bridge – I am content.  It was a very good Christmas. 


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful Christmas you have enjoyed. Alley must be pleased that your thoughtful mystery friends replaced the bird feeder that afforded so much entertainment. And I am glad to know that dear little Petey is now free from the challenges this life had presented in his final days (be well and run free Petey). And I am also glad your sister's star will be with you for all the Christmases to come. It is indeed a time of remembrance - of those we miss as well as those with whom we continue to share our lives. Thank you Jean, for your thougthful posts and ongoing friendship.

Deb S.

PS: I laughed when I read that Riley had finally taken a stand about doggie Christmas adornments. That's my girl!

georgia little pea said...

What a great Christmas day. You got so many thoughtful gifts. I think you're much loved Ms Jean. I remember your post about the bird feeder. The gifter might be someone who lives in your area, you think? And little Petey. He did well.

How funny is that with Eddie and the crown? His looked a little better than Georgia's crushed one LOL. I'm sure they're grateful the silly season is done :) x

Black Jack's Carol said...

A beautiful post, Jean, filled with appreciation and love that is obviously reciprocated, since the gifts you received are about as meaningful as any could be. I love it that your sister got to be the star on your tree. I thought several times over the past few days of how very much you would be missing her. I'm happy for Petey too, and love the children's card along with you.

Pauley James said...

It sounds like you had a lovely Christmas. Now that the "Boy" is a teenager, I have gotten really bad about not insisting that we stick to traditions (old or new) & your post has made me realize that I miss them. How thoughtful for someone to send you an ornament of your sister & also for a mystery person to provide you with a new bird feeder. Among the many other things this world needs is more thoughtful people :) I have to admit that the thought of you yelling: "shut-up" to Eddie, really cracked me up. I occasionally have been heard to yell (to mainly Pauley)"leave me alone for a minute, just a minute". While we are always sad to hear of a sweet ones passing, we are glad that Petey is now at peace.