Christmas in the desert, 2013


There are 15+ people for dinner.   Children, grandchildren, great grandchildren.   The wind is blowing and its 60 degrees outside. You can hear the wind whistle around the house.  The windows have Christmas lights and there is a wreath in the window.   You can’t hang a wreath on the door here in the desert as it will blow away.   The mountains look purple in the distance and the mesquite and palo verde trees sway in the wind.    The rabbits run across the back fields and occasionally they jump up and bat at each others’ faces as if they are boxing.    We feed the rabbits our left overs in the evening so they have become used to the food and now gather around sometime around evening.    It’s an older ranch house and recently we’ve replanted several trees and shrubs that the former tenant demolished.  It is a peaceful place.   The stars look as if they are very close at night and we can hear the  coyotes do their calling and hunting.     Except for an occasional car that goes up the dirt road in the front of the house there is no noise. Our closest neighbors have chickens and a rooster that awakens us each morning.   
We eat dinner at two tables and afterward the men gather in the garage to look over and discuss the future of Grandpa’s new Austin Healey that he is restoring.    The kids gather in the office and soon there is loud giggling and shouting and a peanut fight,     There is lots of laughter and lots of blame about who threw the first peanut.    So, reluctantly they all have to clean up. 
We open presents; stuffed tigers bears, baskets of wine and nuts, scarves, and plants.  
Our oldest grandson, age 17, has a glass of wine.   He is becoming  an adult and seems to actually enjoy being with the family.    He is off to college next Fall.   It’s easy to remember when he was born; age two, three and his kindergarten graduation.  
We have football players, dancers, artists, photographers, and possibly musicians. They are all intelligent, well behaved and creative people.    All very different personalities.   Some are outgoing some are introverted and moody.  I can’t say I don’t worry but overall they are all doing well and I firmly believe they will all find happiness.     
There is some sadness as I watch them interact with each other.   At 76 years of age I know that my sharing of their lives is limited.   It would be interesting to return to this life in about 25 years and take a look at what they have done.   My greatest hope is that they will be kind to those around them and share whatever gifts they may have with others.    I also hope they will value their spiritual life and  not let money or material success become their God.   I believe it is very hard to grow up in our current materialistic society and remain a decent, caring person.  
Like Carl Jung said “I Know there is a God” and somehow that gives me great peace and comfort when I think of my family and their future.     
So, now children and grandchildren have returned to their homes.   The house is quiet again.   It takes a couple of days for me to stop missing all the noise and laughter. 
I feel lonely for awhile and then return to my normal routine and remember that they are with me even when they are not in the desert.     
Va a con dios.
   

My grandchildren and daughter in law.

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