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Welcome from north-central Connecticut! In this blog I will share whatever is in my heart, on my mind, or something interesting I've found to share. Thanks for stopping by!


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Christmas 2007

Every year, we go up north to New Brunswick, Canada to be with our families for Christmas. It's a 9 hour drive each way if the weather holds.
Below: The McDougall Family
This year, the McDougalls' had a sing at the local Baptist church. All eight 'kids' were able to be there to sing. Mind you, the youngest 'kid' is in her 30's, the oldest pushing 60. Some of them play instruments, one sings in a local band, others sing at local charitable events. The entire family is musical, and 'Dad' McDougall can play guitar, mandolin, etc.

(The cute one in the center is my hubby!:0))

Below: Lisa MacDougall
We are not professional, well, except Lisa, who sang and played piano for years with Rita McNeil, both on the road, and in a television show. For those of you not familiar with Rita, she is from Cape Breton, NS. Lisa has since worked as music director at Neptune Theatre in Halifax, and travels some overseas for other engagements. She has played piano since she was at least 5 years old, plays by ear, and had to learn to read music! She has a gift, and we all enjoy it very much when she shares it with us.

Anyway, we sang Christmas music, some familiar, and some more obscure. My husband got a few solo moments, plus did a reading of 'The Christmas Guest'. He did an excellent job of that, I might add. Most of the guests (there were almost 200 in that small church, standing room only)were family and friends who have known the McDougall family for many many years. I spoke with my old grade nine homeroom teacher, whom I hadn't seen in over 25 years! My father-in-law shed more than a few tears at seeing his kids all together again and performing. That was really why we did it. He is 77 now, and who knows how many more times we will be able to do this for him.
We always spend time with each of my two stepkids, their spouses and our grandchildren.
One of the highlights of our trip was having dinner with my stepson and his wife. He cooked dinner for us, and did an wonderful job. This was the first time they cooked dinner for anyone since they were married. We had Maple Chicken, mashed potatoes with chives, green and wax beans, and Cream of Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup. Homemade!! It was delicious, and I think we need to make it an annual event. We had a great time, and it was very relaxing.
Another treat was the night we decided to stay at a motel because we just needed some down time. We opted for a room with two double beds for a good night's sleep (I don't know about you, but it seems the King size beds are harder than the doubles), and when she handed us our key, she said we had rec'd a complimentary upgrade to their suite!! It was lovely! I just wish we had been able to spend more time there. Two rooms, two TVs, micro, fridge, coffee maker, leather couch and chair. It was just what we needed.

Below: My brother and his 3 children
After the McDougall family, we went downriver (1 1/2 hrs) to visit my parents for Christmas Eve and Day. My brother and his kids came down for Christmas Eve Day, but Gina had to work, so we didn't get to see her at all. I was SO disappointed. This was David and Gina's first Christmas together as a married couple.

We have Seafood chowder Christmas eve, and I made my usual Salmon Pate and Shrimp Appetizer. Mom had made lots of cookies beforehand, so there was a lot of snacking!

Rick, Rebekah, David, McKenna Mom's Christmas tree
Our final day, we travelled back up north (1 1/2 hrs) to my husband's parents, and had Boxing Day dinner with all the family. This too is an annual event, which we never miss. I don't know how Gail (their step mom) does it. She cooks for this huge brood with all their extended families, grand kids, etc every year, and it goes off without a hitch. It has to be a labor of love.

Shortly after, we headed for CT. We stopped in Bangor, ME overnight for a bit of shopping, but honestly, by this point, I didn't want to buy anything. I was tired and just wanted to go home. Although we love to see our families, it is always a road trip for us. 9 hours each way, so many people to see while we are there - we are constantly on the road the whole time. We keep saying we are going to just rent a cottage on the lake, and stay there. Anyone who wants to visit, can. I'm thinking that's going to have to be a BIG cottage!! HA!
It was indeed a memorable Christmas this year.