Sunday, January 04, 2009

Elaboration, Decoration, Celebration Part 2

Evan relived the trauma of the truck wreck with some gingerbread therapy.

Everyone finally made it back to the cabin after dark on Tuesday. Left to our own devices sans parents all day, Mollie, Megan, Kyle, my boys and I spent the day doing not much of anything besides watching it snow. Megan took a shower and discovered, while wearing nothing but a towel, that she had locked herself out of her room. Her bedroom, unlike the other upstairs bedrooms, had an actual keyed lock on the door. Kyle spent a while trying to pick it with a bobby pin and the rest of us searched the cabin for keys, but we were all unsuccessful. I called the management company that rents out the cabin:
Me: "Hi, I'm Debbie Dickerson's daughter. We are renting the South Fox Lodge."
Lady: "Oh, hi."
Me: "We managed to lock ourselves out of one of the bedrooms."
Lady: "Oh, well that's not good." (this didn't sound like a sympathetic "oh that's a problem" this was more like a "well aren't you a bunch of geniuses.") "Doesn't it just have a little hole that you push something straight in to to unlock it?"
Me: "No, it has a keyed lock."
Lady: "Oh, well, we don't have any other keys for that cabin." (Sigh) "I don't think the owners do either...they just bought the cabin...I could try to call them, but they are probably working. And our maintenance man went to Utah for the holidays." (Sigh) "I'll get back to you."
I have a sneaking suspicion that at this point she didn't call anyone, as we never heard back from her.
Forty minutes go by. Kyle pries off the molding from around the door frame and picks the lock. I call the lady back.
Me: "Hi, I was just calling back from South Fox Lodge to let you know we got in the bedroom."
Lady: "Oh?"
Me: "I guess my brother is handy at picking locks."
Lady: "Oh, what a sweetheart!" (ummm...or a convict?)
Me: "Ok, bye."

Mom and Dad arrive back with the forlorn travelers and all of the Christmas presents, decorations, and food that was so carefully retrieved from the side of the highway. The only known casualty is my bottle of cinnamon oil which Evan found in the snow and stuck in his pocket. He later discovered it was leaking and now he smells like a Red Hot.

We set to work decorating the cabin with the 270 feet of garland my Mom had me purchase for the occasion.

It continues to snow.

The next day (I think...days kind of blur when you don't leave the house and it never stops snowing and the sun hasn't been seen for days) we go out to cut a Christmas tree. The snow is thigh-high so I give up trying to carry Sawyer around and retreat to the parking lot. The foraging crew of Mom, Kyle, Mollie, Megan and Chad quickly (did I mention it was still snowing?) find a tree and cut it down and drag it to the car. Back to the cabin we go.

The box of tree decorations didn't survive the trip up, but my Aunt Karen (once again) saved the day by producing several spindles of Christmas ribbon that she "wasn't going to use any more." Megan and Chad put lights on the tree and piece together decorations from paper and ribbons.

My family usually just has snacks on Christmas Eve, but Bryce's family always had a steak dinner started off by shrimp cocktails. Since no one in my family generally objects to more food, Bryce and I make a steak and shrimp dinner for everyone.

We do our usual family "Christmas Eve Program" in which every family member is required to read a story, play a musical number, or in some way contribute to the entertainment. Usually the family band is required to perform as well, but no one had room to bring their instruments this year. Chad did bring up a keyboard though so Megan and Mollie still get to play a flute/piano duet. Bryce, Will, and I sing Jingle Bells because it is the only Christmas song in Will's limited repertoire. Bryce says it was humiliating. Michael failed to bring a copy of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, which is his traditional Christmas Eve reading, so we find the words online and he reads them off the computer. Kyle didn't bring his traditional The Polar Express either, but he one-ups Michael by finding a narrated slide show with pictures from the book and plays it on the computer instead of reading.

Meanwhile, it snows and snows and snows some more.

We take the kids upstairs and put them to bed and help Santa set out the presents. Bryce and I are very proud that we did all our wrapping before we left so we don't have to do anything besides put stuff out and wait for the morning to see how much of it was damaged in the accident.

And neither the snow nor the accident stopped Christmas from coming, it came!

[please disregard the verb tense shift...sometimes it just happens]

In the morning, we finally convinced Michael (who was sick) and Evan to get out of bed before Will had a heart attack. Will could see all the presents through the railing from the upstairs and he wasn't inclined to wait for everyone before going downstairs. He was especially excited to spot the unwrapped scooter leaning against the tree. Presents were opened. Except by Sawyer who wasn't that interested and still had several left at the end of the day when Will found them and opened them on his brother's behalf. It kept snowing. By the end of the day the snow on the deck was up to the railing.
This was the first year my family has worn matching pajamas. We were waiting for everyone to be old enough for it to be sufficiently humiliating.

The next day...Miracle of stopped snowing! We even saw the sun for a while. What a great day to head to Yellowstone, maybe rent a snowmobile, maybe ride the snow coach. If only the cars weren't buried in snow...not to mention the 3 feet covering the entire driveway and road out to the cabin. Mom calls management lady to ask when we'll get plowed out. Her response, "Right now we are plowing out people who have to get to the airport." Luckily they did come and plow us out...after dark...and after it had started snowing...again. So, needless to say, we didn't make it out of the cabin that day. In fact, we were beginning to think we might never make it out of the cabin. We had lots of food so we figured we could make it until mid-January before we'd have to start eating the flies that kept mysteriously showing up all over the cabin. Bryce and I were in charge of entertainment for the evening so we played my version of The Amazing Race. Bryce maintains that it is a little hard to have a race around the world when you can't leave the cabin...but the cabin had a basement, a loft, and an upper loft so we had a race around the cabin instead. Dad and Kyle won after taking the fast forward that required them to sit in the hot tub before making their way back into the cabin. Mollie/Evan and Megan/Chad tied for second after placing 30 years worth of Christmas morning pictures in the correct order at the same time. Mom and Michael finished...eventually. They had trouble finding an ornament hidden in the cabin. Megan found one right under Michael's nose leading him to call her a "butthead" and causing Megan to reflect that "it has been a long time since Michael called me a butthead!" Ahhh...the memories of childhood.

Saturday: it snows. All day. Bryce and Michael were going to have to leave on Sunday because Michael was flying home Monday and Bryce had to be at work. The decision is made that we better all leave on Sunday before another larger storm hits on Monday. In the week we have been there it has stopped snowing for approximately 8 hours.

Sunday: prepare to leave the cabin. All the towels have to be washed and beds have to be stripped. All the carpets are vacuumed and dishes washed and a small miracle ensues when the menfolk are able to fit all the luggage into the 3 cars we had with us...even though it took 5 cars to get it all there. We head out and eventually make it to Pocatello after going 30 mph for about 3 1/2 hours. Bryce and I stop at the wrecking yard to take the plates off the truck. We head for home, but the roads start to get really bad about 10 miles outside of Tremonton. Within about 5 minutes we pass 2 slide-offs and a pick-up truck on its side in the middle of the highway. A few minutes later we see a tractor trailer avoid slamming into the back of a car at the last possible second when traffic in the other lane clears and the car is able to switch lanes. Given our luck with vehicles and poor roads so far this trip, we decide to stop for the night in Tremonton. We find a room at the Western Inn (note to self: Western Inn is not the same as a Best Western) and eventually get the kids to sleep.

Monday: We drive home to the comforts of our 45 degree house and unpack. By which I mean Bryce took mostly everything out of the car. We finished the actual unpacking yesterday. I'm glad to see that there is plenty of snow here. I haven't seen quite enough snow the past couple weeks.

New Years: When did that happen? Mollie came over, we went to the grocery store and bought junk, then came home and ate it while waiting to watch the ball drop in Times Square. It is less than thrilling to watch a 2 hour tape-delayed ringing in of the New Year.

Today: Will started Primary. Which means that now every Sunday when we go to Church, instead of going to Nursery, which consists of snacks, singing, toys, puzzles, and all the fun a 3 year-old can have, he now goes to Primary which consists of singing, lessons, and several hours of chair-sitting. He says he liked it so I hope he will have a good time. I fully expected that one of the teachers would bring him to me at some point because I have never seen that child sit for more than 5 minutes, but I didn't hear from them so they are either long-suffering or Will did amazingly well. I suspect it was more the former.

I still can't find my card-reader so pictures will have to wait some more.


Melissa Mott Mortensen said...

Thank you. Enjoyed every second reading this. The Amazing Race sounded pretty fun...the snow and almost everything else...not so much. You are probably glad our family couldn't make it out to the cabin...we would have only brought more bad Mott luck. The cabin probably would have burned down. But we would have had fun anyway...and now you guys have memories to relive in all the years to come...fettucine alfredo...ah good times.

Mike & Lauren said...

As always, either you have the funniest life ever (sorry to laugh at your expense) or you are a great story teller--likely both. Sorry about the accident! I am very glad that you are all okay. We also traveled that area over the holidays when we went to my grandma's party in Malad... I think it was Sat. the 27th. The horrible weather added extra hours each way (no fun with young kids!!!) but we made it.

Definitely a Christmas to remember! Your verb tense change was funny... maybe only because I did notice it. English geeks. :)

Kami said...

Loved the story. What an adventure! We stayed up there for a family reunion 3 years ago, but it was in August, so no snow to deal with. It's beautiful up there and so close to Yellowstone park too.