Hoping You Enjoyed A Very Merry Christmas!!
“OH WOW” . . . there’s simply no telling how many times that Wes has had to hear me say that in the past couple of days! But what else can be said when it’s a winter wonderland outside! And a true wonderland it is and has been for the past couple of days here in Townsend! More snow is predicted to fall throughout the night, so we could end up with close to 10 inches of the beautiful white stuff! Growing up in south Florida, this is the most snow that I’ve ever seen and the most that Wes has seen since he was a little boy in southern Indiana. It started falling during the night, Christmas eve, and we woke to a glorious sight of a white Christmas!!
When it snows, the birdies come out in throngs! That’s my favorite part of winter, getting to feed and take care of all of the birds! So the first thing I do after waking up is suit up, and with feed containers and fresh hot water in hand, I head out. And they are waiting for me in great numbers, the trees are teeming with life and the air is filled with songs and chatters, as they patiently wait for me to prepare the grand buffet! Graciously, Wes has already gone out before me and swept the snow off of the railings and walking path on the deck and has it ready for the treats to be put out. Usually as soon as I get to the feeding rocks, peedeepeeps, the Carolina Wren is there waiting, so half of the time he eats out of my hand, as I’m sure it’s a bit warmer. P.W., my handsome Pine Warbler, is coming closer to me all of the time and today came quite close to eating from my hand! Many times, after I put out a few nut treats, I must wait while a few early customers get the first fruits! Then I quickly carry on with the rest of the routine, and come back inside and watch as the greatest show on earth begins!
During these snowy times, the Juncos come in great numbers, as they’re visiting from the upper elevations. They fill the yard with their precious sounding calls of “chew-chew”, and it sounds like there are multitudes of them in surround sound. While I’m on the subject of sounds, I heard one of the strangest things last week. I had stepped out to refill the bird treats and as soon as I got out the door, I quickly stopped and began listening to what sounded like drops . . . hundreds of drops of water hitting a bed of hot coals. I stood there completely perplexed as to what might be creating this strange sound. Looking around, it was then that I realized that it was the ice on the trees melting and hundreds of drops of water hitting the snow below. It’s always neat to experience something new!
Christmas eve, we enjoyed spending a few hours at our neighbor’s Judy and Ernie’s house along with several other neighbors, as we sat around talking, laughing and enjoying eating some yummy treats. Christmas morning we awoke to a winter wonderland! First things first, so I fed my hungry, waiting babies and after lunch, and another feeding session, we headed up to our friends Steve and Mary’s place up on the mountain. We rode with friends Fred and Barb, and had to park their truck part way up the mountain, where we promptly got into Steve’s truck adorned with snow chains, and several hundred pounds of sand bags in the back. Up the gravel, winding road we slowly went. The scenery was spectacular as we made the journey until we arrived at their house on top of the mountain. The snow was even deeper there and it was simply gorgeous! A white Christmas indeed! Shortly after arriving Alyssa and I headed outside to enjoy the marshmallow world! We decided to build a snow bear, so we started gathering, patting and shaping until we had a nice resemblance of a very friendly looking bear created. After throwing snowballs at each other and then in competition for the greatest distance, we went inside to warm up and play games on her Wii. I was beat in all of those as well, except for the one that neither one of us knew how to play . . . thank goodness for that one! Wes and I then spent a cozy Christmas evening at home after getting down the mountain safely.
This morning we awoke to even more snow! I couldn’t eat breakfast fast enough, as I was ready to go sledding once again. The first run was made down our road by me and little friend Erika, our neighbors Uschi and Jim’s granddaughter. I don’t think Erika was very impressed with my steering abilities and took the next ride with her dad. After deciding the road wasn’t offering an adventurous enough ride we all walked through the woods to a couple of great hills behind our little school. At Erika’s dad’s suggestion of trying the big, steep hill, we headed over and got ready. I let Wes go first, to make sure it was safe and then I loaded up on my sled. As I rounded the top and began the decent, the sled quickly reached an amazing speed, and I experienced a complete white out, as my face was filled with a serious, thick snow spray coming from the front of the plastic sled! By the time I finally came to a stop at the bottom, after going airborne at least once, I was completely soaked! After 3 to 4 times down what I deemed “suicide hill”, and hitting a serious bump causing every vertebra in my back to experience a cracking, pack down, we decided that was probably enough of that one and headed over to the more sledder-friendly hill. I must say that “Suicide hill” was great adventure though!! After saying goodbye to Phil and Erika, we spent another hour sledding the other hill, before deciding it was time to come home and warm up a bit.
We also enjoyed in the past couple of weeks a lovely dinner with several neighbor friends at the new restaurant in Pigeon Forge, the Partridge and the Pear. Wes and I also hosted a Christmas dessert party at our house, in which we enjoyed a very nice evening with many of our neighbors, while tasting each others special made Christmas goodies. We’ve managed to both get in several good hours of painting on our miniatures and commissions in the midst of all of the Christmas activities.
Fresh off the easel; Wes finished his miniature painting of a sweet chicken this past week. This miniature will be featured in the upcoming Gallery One’s Masterworks in Miniature show. I’m continuing to paint on my miniature painting of a Meerkat for the same show, as well as a larger commission of a winery in Italy.
Well after another adventurous sled run in the morning, it will be back to work for us before we head down to south Florida next Sunday, where we will visit my family for several days before attending the MASF show opening weekend festivities. I will once again greatly enjoy spoiling my precious little nephew Tyler and niece Haydyn while in FL!
I hope you had a Very Merry Christmas and remember Jesus is the reason for the season!
Until next time ~ Rachelle :-)