The Coates family has this thing.....we call it the CoatesNotes. Cousins, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, we all write and share the little things in our little lives that bear sharing. We're on #606 or something like that, and it's a weekly newsletter of sorts that we contribute to (some more faithfully than others....ahem.....and by that I mean I'm really bad at putting in my weekly two cents). It's a pretty great machine that Grandpa keeps running, and Grandma wraps it each week with her thoughts and ideas about life, service to others, God, politics (only sometimes), and if you're lucky, a recipe. I just submitted my portion and thought I might share it:
Reporting from atop a snowy-white hill.......
Christmas has been lovely, tasty, warm, quiet, celebratory and beautiful around here. With Angela and Joshua in Arkansas with the Prichard family for the weekend, we have postponed most of the usual merriment and we giddily await their arrival back home...so that we can have Christmas morning/night #2. Mom, dad and I began unwrapping certain time-sensitive gifts yesterday but then all agreed we'd like to just wait. It really is fun to sit and enjoy the bounty for several days before tearing into it all! Billy the Funniest Cat on Earth, however, is peeved that his spot under the tree has been usurped by so many pesky boxes.
Reporting from the kitchen.....
Hot cider, mom's spritz cookies, clementines, sweet fresh dates to snack on
Soft-boiled eggs, fresh chorizo sausage, sourdough toasts and buttery-lemony asparagus for Christmas morning breakfast
Posole for Christmas Eve (along with some beautiful snow outside the window): a spicy Mexican stew with pork and hominy which has quickly become a staple around here, garnishes including but not limited to: fresh cabbage, avocado, radishes, tomato-pomegranate salsa, cilantro
Tonight is a whole red snapper who will give up his tasty, flaky flesh in the name of Christmas. Don't worry, I'll treat him well. Roasted parsnips and sauteed chard/beet greens will be beside on the table spread.
Reporting from my heart.......
I remain deeply grateful that God put me in this family, immediate and extended. I am grateful for the warmth that reaches me to my core and for the profound love, for a cozy house and folks I actually enjoy being with (a gift that I don't take for granted -- some don't exactly like their family members, you know). Happy for all of the triumphs and blessings, near and far, of this year including some gorgeous babies (here and arriving soon), marriages, distances traveled, new jobs (YAY!), new hips (DOUBLE-YAY!), continued health for us all, roofs over heads, lessons learned and inner growth ever-occurring, children already on paths to understanding the confounding and positively absurd love of Jesus....so many things to thank Him for.
Here's an excerpt from an author friend's Christmas card which says something beautiful:
"the hope of Christmas is that God has done a new thing -- that he has made a home among people who have a hard time feeling at home here themselves......
Let's all remind each other of what we often forget: God is forever at work, bringing wild impossibility to bear on the things we struggle to keep under our own control. Here's to something new, even impossible this season and in the new year."