Christmas in Woodstock Vermont is a charming affair. The town center seems unchanged from Colonial days, with grand brick houses facing the center Green and small shops lining the friendly main street. Covered wooden bridges iced with a few inches of fresh snow seem ordered by central casting but they are the real deal.
We were a big sprawling family group, there to visit Chris's mom who lives there in the house where he grew up. His sister and her family came, my parents and brother came. All in all we were twelve, family from across the country able to celebrate this time together. When it was over, my brother went to NYC to get ready for New Years, my parents went home to Chicago to get ready for their sojourn to Florida, we went home to Seattle, Kristine and her family went home to Davis and Ann got to enjoy a few moments of peace and quiet. I am thinking about how extraordinary it is that we are all so spread out and yet able to meet up and make the family traditions happen. It's so different from the way I grew up where my family was all within a few hours drive from Chicago. But we are pulled into different stories, reaching for different things and yet still, a few times a year we can gather at the source. Our family, gathering and expanding. It's so nice to see my family and Chris's family knowing each other, including each other, linked not by blood but because once this scruffy girl and this scruffy boy hung out together in a bookstore.