2017-12-24, Sunday, home to Craig’s Castle For Christmas
The Christmas season had come, as it always seems to do this time of year, and it was time again to gather with family. We would spend three nights on Craig’s driveway in Stockton for Christmas and my birthday which is the day after, then drive up to my sister’s place in Gridley, CA on the 27th to celebrate our birthday a day late. Yep; we are twins and were born the day after Christmas many, many years ago.The day of Christmas eve we loaded the coach for a few nights of visiting family – probably our favorite past time!
We arrived at Craig’s a bit after 1300. After parking the coach and setting up for our three night stay, we spent much of the afternoon in the house with Craig and Brett. I spent some of my time in the coach which included my daily grandpa nap.
Big Blue II parked in Craig’s driveway for Christmas and more!
Breanne arrived around 1600 and Laura, Carly and Mike arrived shortly after. Craig, Laura and Bre did most of the cooking and Lavonne helped out, too. Dinner was the usual feast and included pork chops, scalloped potatoes, salad, and a wonderful roasted veggie dish. And more. It was another memorable holiday feast.
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A bit after 2000 I bid everyone goodnight and headed to the coach to edit photos and get this travelogue underway. It had been a long day and I was whipped. Lavonne joined me about 2200 after their Bingo game was over. We called it a night and were heading to bed sometime before 2300. Perhaps Santa would visit during the night…
Day 2, Christmas Day 2017, at Craig’s Castle
Christmas day dawned cold and cloudy. As family goes, nothing special was planned, but Lavonne had mixed her famous French Toast Casserole and brought along to bake for breakfast.
Craig joined us in the coach for a morning chat sometime after 0800. We whiled away the morning and didn’t even get around to breakfast ’til around 1000. Brett and Breanne had gone to their mom’s in Livermore for Christmas. The day was mostly biding our time in the coach waiting for… well, for dinner, I guess.
Dinner was awesome! We brought a Honey Baked whole smoked turkey that required only some time in the oven to warm up. And we also brought a big Honey Baked ham, which is always delicious. Craig whipped up mashed potatoes, and not instant mashed but the real stuff. And dressing. For me, dressing is one of the best things about the holidays. Craig was gone for hours during the afternoon to shop for a few things we needed for the dinner – and to visit friends and I don’t know what all. But he had returned in time to make dinner. Laura, Carly and Michael arrived in time to help, too. We had another very memorable Christmas feast.
Lavonne and I spent that night in the coach, cozy and warm while outside it was a cold Christmas night.
Day 3, Tuesday, at Craig’s Castle… My Birthday!
December 26, 1943 and World War II raged on. That Thursday, in a busy, war time, “fortress city” known as San Francisco, my dear sis and I were born.We were pretty cute babies c1944 in our Uncle Eldon’s arms. Well, my sis was, anyway. Mom used to tell folks I was “bald as a billiard ball” when I was born. Sure enough.
My appearance was a complete surprise as I followed my sister into this world just 15 minutes after her arrival – I was completely unexpected! A couple days later, my mom and sis headed home without me. I was left in a hospital incubator to reach the minimum requirement of five pounds before I could go home.
Today marks 74 years since that happy event. And today we celebrate the fact that we’re both still on the sunny side of the lawn!
Lavonne and I began this happy day around 0600 aboard Big Blue II, the one place I prefer to be most any time. It was a cold, clear morning in Craig’s driveway where out back fog tried to form among the tules of the delta which is Craig’s backyard.Lavonne and I pose for my official birthday photo. She just presented that new shirt to me, much like the red one she gave me my last birthday.
Around 0800 we joined Craig and Laura in the house for a breakfast of quiche and whatever leftovers from the prior two feasts tempted us. Laura headed to work after breakfast.
Craig busied himself around the place as I tinkered around the coach. One of his jobs was to run over to Lowes for some building material for a shed he was having built, and I went with him. We had talked earlier about having In-N-Out burgers for lunch for my birthday, so as he pulled into Lowes, I saw the burger store and went in for our order as he headed to the nearby Home Depot. Back home the four of us dug into the burgers and fries. A delicious Double-Double Burger, fries and a vanilla shake is a real treat for me as I rarely allow myself such fare. But… it was my birthday!
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