Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Our Merry Yuletide

December 24, 2014
Oscar Scherer State Park
Osprey, Florida


Since it’s so warm, we leave the door open for Santa and he sneaks in and leaves beautiful packages for us to have fun opening.






We hung the stockings right on the door so Santa couldn’t miss them and when we come out in the morning we see that he has filled them up.   We begin our morning looking in to see what goodies there are.  Lots of dried fruits instead of candies this year.  Nice Santa.  He brought David a quick change valve for doing oil changes.  He seemed really excited about this.  I got a zester which I’m going to love.  Carrie got a non stick spatula which can take up to 600 degrees.  Santa thinks of everything.

Then it’s time to get into those pastries as a breakfast appetizer.




David is really enjoying this week off of his no fat, no oil diet.




Because none of us is much of a shopper or really has many wants, our gifts are pretty simple and things we need.  Carrie always looks forward to getting the Sierra Club calendar.  She’s thrilled every single year.




I love books so those luckily always find their way into packages for me.  This year I get the National Geographic Guide to State Parks and the separate Guide to National Parks.   I can hardly wait to sit down and spend time looking at the beautiful pictures and planning how to visit the ones we have not yet seen.




David is thrilled to find the Beer Lovers Mustard collection from Raye’s Mustard in Eastport Maine.  When we were in Lubec we took a trip over to Eastport and it was love at first taste for David.  You can’t get Rayes in most of the country and he declares it the best mustard anywhere.





It takes us a long time to open our packages.  Hours actually.  We open one at a time and exclaim over each thing.  If it needs to be tried on then for sure.  If it needs to be tested, right away.

Carrie shows off one of the beautifully wrapped presents with her name on it.  David models his sporty new summer cap given to him with love by his daughter.  Carrie reads aloud the quotations in a new blank journal she gets from us.  She and I both have volumes and volumes of filled journals so it’s always great to get a new blank one.








Time to take a break for a full tilt breakfast.   Opening gifts really works up an appetite.   It’s just beautiful outside so we eat our breakfast at the picnic table.





Back to opening gifts.  David models another hat gift.  These are sleeping caps.  David demonstrates how to use these in a situation where you have too much light in your room.  Street light problems, neighbor’s porch light?  Here’s the answer.




There is a package for Carrie and her family in Baltimore.  It’s a laser mouse.  The cats will  love it!  Carrie and Matthew will too.





Here’s a present from Ho! Ho! Ho!  to the three of us.



Mexican Train Dominoes in a great carrying case.  Well now, we’ll have to stop everything and play this game.



But first I really do have to open the great present from my younger brother David and his wife Cindy.  Those who have been with us a while know that ever since I left for college my mother always gave me a box of Esther Price chocolates at Christmas time.   When she died my brother lovingly took over the task so that my home town candy queen still comes to my house.  And this year it is a pound of my VERY FAVORITES from my favorite candy maker, an entire box of milk chocolate coconut creams.  Shhhhh – don’t tell Caldwell Esselstyn.








So now we put the packages aside for some rounds of Mexican Train.  First round and Carrie skunks us.  Hmmm this is looking like Hearts.



It’s getting dark but we’re still playing.  But it’s time for dinner.  We’ll eat this one inside.




Then the last few presents under the tree.  Those who remember last winter when my kayak paddles were stolen may also know that I have been using paddles that are too heavy and too long for me ever since.  But no more!!  HooRAY!






Carrie receives a cadillac pair of running gloves.  These gloves are not only warm but they have finger and thumb tips to enable you to change the songs on your ipod or to do any other electronic things you might want to as you are pounding the pavement.  She’s thrilled!



Our dinner dessert is yet another piece of the Solstice Cake.  Oh dear we are over halfway finished with the cake.   But good thing the cake is so moist that it is every bit as good now as it was with the first piece.   We finish off our celebration with more rounds of Mexican Train.  I won’t gloat about winning 7 rounds in a row since this really is a game of total luck as far as I can tell.




Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Joyous Yuletide to you in whatever tradition you celebrate the love that is the reason for the season.

Sherry, Carrie and David


  1. wow. . .you guys had quite the gift giving and receiving celebration. . .Mexican Train is very addictive. . .beware. . .LOL!

    Wishing you and David a fabulous New Year with lots of good news. . .

  2. That's quite a Christmas for you!

    Merry Christmas!

  3. FUN, FUN, FUN... the three of you just had a spectacular day!!! Hope to learn that Mexican Train game when we see you at Myakka:o)) OK, what was that breakfast scramble you had?? Lots of great photos, but I'm partial to the final photo of David attacking the Solstice Cake;o)))

  4. We had a ball as always! Time for more Mexican Train ;)

  5. Merry Christmas Sherry, David and Carrie!
    Looks like you had a great day! We celebrated yesterday because Kate is on call today. Dad came over and we munched on fruit and veggie trays, After he left we played Heads Up which was a lot of fun. Glad you had a merry meery and that Santa was able to find you in Florida! xxxooo

  6. I think that breakfast scramble looks like stir fried gummy worms and miniature marshmallows! I guess you're not giving up sugar. ;)

  7. Looks like Santa was really good to you! David will love the quick valve. Jim put them on the car and motorhome and it makes it so much easier to do an oil change.

  8. You better ration those chocolates, it's a long time 'till next Christmas (365 days to be exact - can you make them last?). :cD

  9. Merry Christmas Sherry and David and Carrie! Wishing you a healthy, adventure-filled year ahead.

  10. What a great Christmas you all had!! Fun! Take Care

  11. You have a very beautiful Daughter you two. it looks like you had a wonderful Christmas.

  12. Glad you had such a wonderful day especially with Carrie:) How nice you received a new lighter and shorter paddle!!

    Merry Christmas!

  13. I get the feeling that Carrie is the best of both of you. What a great Christmas for all of you.

  14. I love the first part of your post, and say "Yeah, bring on the pastries!". It seems you had a wonderful Christmas and there are many lovingly chosen gifts for each of you.

    Happy new year to all three, and all the best to you.

  15. All that spectacular gifting and eating made me hungry even after my roast duck dinner with prickly pear cactus sauce. Love seeing all your happy faces.

  16. Looks like a lovely day for you three. So glad you were able to share in the love all together. Some of my favorite things....eating, dominoes and presents....perfect!!

  17. Such a happy day! I felt like I was right there with you (except for the whole only three stockings thing). Although I have gotten lazy with mine, there is nothing better than a new journal. Something about the possibility of all those blank pages....I have many filled ones as well :-) We all squeezed together for our little Christmas, with 9 humans, two dogs and a kitty recovering from surgery, in our apartment. It was lovely (missed my youngest). Thanks again for sharing your delightful day :-)))))

  18. Loved this Yuletide narrative !
    When we go to Sarasota to visit Aunt Jean I am getting pastries and go to Millie's.
    Carrie is a beautiful special daughter.

  19. Sounds like a great yuletide, more loving memories made.

  20. what a wonderful Christmas the three of you had memories to cherish

  21. Looks like you had a wonderful day and created some great memories!

  22. What fun you had. Love David's sleep hat. If we can manage to get together this winter we have a game we'd love to introduce to you that is just as addicting as Mexican Trains. Happy New Year!

  23. Wow, quite the haul! Love David's sporty cap, and your nice new paddles.

  24. I might have to search out one of those spatulas since I laid my plastic one in the pan and forgot to turn off the burner a few weeks back. The pan didn't fare so well either, both ended up in the garbage. Glad you guys had a good time, where the heck are you going to put everything??

  25. Merry Christmas Sherry, David and Carrie, it looks like you had a wonderful time.

  26. Sounds as though you all had a wonderful Christmas, with lots of shared celebration and enjoyment! What a wonderful time together.....I think you all should write a book on family and the beauty in of time spent together. Thanks for sharing and bringing lots of smiles to my face. It seems it was a very Merry Christmas and I am wishing you, David and Carrie a most wonderous New Year.

  27. Hey, what happened to the Ducky View?

  28. Wow! From the pictures I can tell everyone is having a wonderful time together. And the family bonding continued and everyone is very happy with the gifts they receive as shown on your big smiles.
    Im interested on that spatula too.
    Memories, great memories of family moments!

  29. You guys managed to celebrate all day long! It makes me smile. :-) So many thoughtful gifts -- including replacement paddles for your kayak! Yay!!!


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