Christmas in July - part I
Christmas in July has always struck me as a funny marketing ploy,
but today as I reflect on our journey, how much of it remains unwritten,
"Christmas in July" seems timely.
The winter's cold and dark seems almost impossible to recall
in the midst of July's brazen glare,
but the place we chose to stay for the Advent season
felt very much like July,
rather than December,
to our family -
so accustomed to the grey of a Pacific Northwest winter.
The Napa Valley took us in for the holidays.
Four weeks of light
The Valley was new to all of us -
the native oaks,
eucalyptus in bloom,
engaging all our senses.
By day we soaked in
the light of a winter sun,
(And performed the everyday duties of life)
By night we gathered around our table
in the growing light of our Advent wreath
to read and anticipate
the coming Light.
The birthday of our youngest child was spent enjoying
the three things she requested:
To eat lemon icebox pie.
to some of the area's best foods
at great prices.
There we met locals like
Peter Rubissow and his family
who warmly invited us to spend the day at his family's farm -
Rubissow on Mount Veeder.
We spent a wonderful span of hours
walking the fields,
learning the colorful history of the land,
playing a historic 1930's Steinway,
and running free throughout the vineyard.
Napa mornings were bright and crisp,
perfect for hikes into the hills.
Afternoons were bright and warm,
perfect for making gifts,
and photographing pieces
for the 4 Birds shop
Locals gave us the address of
a must-see spot:
where we enjoyed a factory tour
far too many samples,
and obligatory photo ops.
Christmas traditions were altered some to fit this mobile life -
a rosemary topiary for our tree - a fragrant miniature for remembrance,
$1 stockings be-glittered
to replace the ones we forgot to bring,
were hung with care.
felted balls and gilded acorns
emerged from golden afternoons
to dress our tree.
The days of light continued to shorten,
as our candles brightened & Christmas drew near.