Friends for Christmas
I've posted this pic before—it's of Lily and Will (at the top of the tree), with Devon (left) and James, their childhood friends from Subiaco. This was taken last July, while they were all up an oak tree on the farm in the South-West of Western Australia. These four kids grew up together in the same street, in houses numbered from 26 to 38.
Now James is the only one still living in the street. Devon's studying psychology at Curtin uni, James is studying aviation at Edith Cowan uni, Will's in his senior high school year here in San Diego, and Lily's at The Evergreen State College up in Washington. But they're still great mates, despite being scattered, and on Monday, Dev and James arrived at LA airport after a lengthy flight from Perth that included Kuala Lumpur and Taipei — and Melbourne as well for Dev — and we're thrilled to have them with us for a couple of months.
:: David left this morning for a week in the frozen north. We went shopping at Marshall's and bought him thermals, thick socks, boots, gloves and a fleecy jumper; and he's borrowed a ski jacket from a friend. This will be his first experience of snow! Real snow, I mean, as in falling-from-the-sky snow. He's seen a bit on the ground, in Italy and Japan, and here at Big Bear on the very last Sunday of the snow season, in March, when the remnants of 'snow' were muddy and yucky; and this week there's snow visible on the mountains in the distance (so beautiful), but he's never really been in it and living in it, so I can't wait to hear all about it!
David has never seen Lily's new hometown, or her campus, so she's very excited to have her dad up there to show him the sights.
And after a couple of days in Olympia, he'll be driving back to San Diego with her, her old MLC school friend Lauren (who's on her way back to Australia for Christmas), and her boyfriend Nick, who will get to San Diego, stay with us a day or two and then fly back home to Seattle.
they are going to take five or six days to drive south, stopping at such amazing places as Portland, Crater Lake .....
... Mendocino, Yosemite, San Francisco. The above pic is of Simon at Crater Lake in January this year, while he, Marnie and Mack were in the US for Christmas. And here's a pic of Lily at the same spot ...
... taken this time last year, when she did the scenic drive south with her mates from Perth, Halina (Dace and Konrad's daughter), Jo and Pelham.
Will and I will have to do the trip next, I'm dying to see all those great places!
:: It's been very quiet here for a few days. I had to get all the Christmas shopping done early, as almost all of it had to be posted to Australia before December 4. So I've never had a Christmas like this - with nothing to panic about, nothing to stress about, and time to indulge in a little pre-Christmas cooking and decorating. I'm loving it!
I've been making stars for the dining room mantelpiece. This is the project so far ...
... with some painted, some paper ones, and a few little stuffed felt ones. There's a pen-and-ink one still to be completed, and I'm going to get the boys to fold me some five-pointed stars to put up here. (The three Aboriginal paintings, by the way, are a series of bush potato/yams, by Jeannie Mills from Utopia, Northern Territory.)
I've also done a few more little samplers, like this one (another wonky bird) ...
... which are perfect little projects for cold nights.
:: It's brilliantly sunny here by day - no need for the heater after about 9.30am, and washing dries outside in the sunshine beautifully. But it's dark by 5.30pm, and the moment the sun starts to get low, around 3.45pm, it gets really chilly. We're expecting a maximum today of 14 C (58F) and a minimum of 5 (41). Olympia, on the other hand, is expecting three or four days of rain and today a maximum of 5 and a minimum of 1 (34).
:: Now the boys are here, there'll be plenty of sightseeing and driving about. We're off to Disneyland on Friday - I've given Will the day off school, sssh! The plan is to stay all day, right until the parade! Yay! Can't wait to see the Christmas decorations there ... and to test out the advice about re-l-a-x-ing on the roller-coasters. Well, we'll see!