Well somehow we came out of the Christmas season unscathed. Santa was good to our little Dooley clan and it was a much more mellow Christmas than ones we’ve had in the past. We skipped on having Mount Toys-a-lot piled up in front of our Charlie Brown-esque tree, that seems to shed like a dog that is seriously unwell, and the wee Dooley’s were fine with that. They seem to genuinely appreciate what they got and that makes my little heart swell. Irregardless, now cometh the latest and greatest edition of The Diatribe!
We travelled to from our little frozen oasis to Durango, CO to ride on the Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad that is transformed into the Polar Express every Christmas Season. That requires a trek over US Hwy 550 or the “Million Dollar Highway”. If you’ve never been on this glorious ribbon of asphalt you need to put it on the list. The views are nothing short of spectacular as you wind up and over the San Juan Mountains. The sheer drop offs, exceedingly narrow and winding road leads you over the snow packed and icy passes to some of the most beautiful mountain terrain I’ve been to south of Montana. Perhaps, it is not for the faint of heart but Red Mountain and Molas will take your breath away.
I begrudgingly climbed aboard the Polar Express for our annual journey to the North Pole. Most kids are in their pajamas, and even some adults are clad in goofy adult onesies, in the true spirit of the book. There is cocoa, cookies, they read the Polar Express to you, and there is even a visit from the big man dressed in red as you travel down to rails. The kids get a bell from St. Nick and the Conductor comes by and punches different designs into your souvenir golden ticket.
When we returned to the depot we were treated to seeing Donner and Comet frantically doing what reindeer apparently do when they are in love. There was uproarious laughter from the adults who then tried explaining the scene to their kiddos. The favorite one I overheard was that “Donner is giving Comet a really tight hug”. Ah, the memories…
Well, we returned to the Mini Ponderosa and began final preparations for Santa’s visit. Cookies were baked, just the right milk glass was selected, ‘Twas the Nigh Before Christmas and the story of the birth of Jesus was read. Both kids sacked out with surprising speed and I’m sure that thoughts of sugar plums danced in their heads as they settled in for their long winters nap.
Then, all of the sudden, it was Christmas morning. Snow was falling outside, the tree was all aglow, and the wee Dooley’s were the absolute picture of Christmas. The Boy was pleasant towards his sister (a rare event I assure you) and the Boo Bear was starry eyed at the whole production (not such a rare event, but she was awestruck enough that she forgot to hit, pinch, and scratch her brother for a bit and THAT is a rare moment).
So now that the thank you cards are written, the toys are well played with, and the dumpster is filled with wrappers, boxes, and all of the associated accoutrement we can put Christmas 2016 in the books.
We travelled to Colorado Springs for New Years Eve. The Boy and I watched the latest installment of the Star Wars series. The Muffin and the Boo Bear watched “Sing”. I won’t give away much about Rouge One other than be prepared for a lot of death. It was a good movie and we had a grand time in the waning hours of 2016.
We managed a last minute trip to Wal-Mart (Why is it that we always seem to end up at a Wal-Mart) because I had forgotten my Superman jammies. We just about rang in the new year in the clothing section but some fancy footwork, and a blatant disregard for speed limits, got us back to our hotel room with 59 seconds to spare. We did the countdown with Queen Latifah, smooched, and drifted off to sleep with Nickelodeon cartoons in the background.
For any of you out there that follow my personal page may have noted that I skipped on the cursory bemoaning of the current year and setting up lofty goals that I have absolutely zero intentions of keeping. I saved my breath and spared everyone from having to waste a few seconds of their reading time. It’s my small gesture of good tidings to the Facebook world. You’re welcome!
I do wish all of you a healthy and prosperous new year. There. Now I’ve done my part to spread hope and cheer to everyone. Happy?