Courage at Twilight: Life Is Better

Mom, Dad, and I were blessed to have family visiting as we turned the calendar to 2022.  My sister Jeanette and ten-year-old niece Amy.  My oldest son Brian and his wife Avery and my two-year-old granddaughter Lila.  My son John and his wife Alleigh, expecting their first baby next month.  Others stopping by and video calling.  We splurged a bit on our New Year’s Eve dinner: Jeanette and I cooked sautéed bay scallops topped with a reduction of butter, drippings, and white wine, plus linguini alfredo and garlic bread.  And we allowed ourselves bowls of ice cream with crumbled Oreo cookies and M&Ms and brownie bits and caramel syrup and whipped cream, because we could and because it was New Year’s Eve and we were celebrating.  Earlier in the day we took the girls to the park to sled in the new snow.  On our first run, Lila sat with me in the toboggan, and as we crested the little hill she stiffened and grabbed my legs and I put my arms around her to help her feel safe, though I am sure the sled felt like a roller coaster toppling over the cantilevered edge of the ride.  At the bottom of the short hill she announced, “Out!” and spent the rest of the outing tromping happily in the snow and riding the swings and sliding down the slides, wearing her great-grandmother’s stocking cap.  And at home Lila carried around my Olaf and Winnie the Pooh and Little Growler the lion, calling “Papa Roger!” in her little bird voice, the prettiest sound I have ever heard, right up there with the house finches and cardinals and black-capped chickadees singing in the snowy spruce trees.  And after dinner we played Telestrations and Apples to Apples and laughed and told stories and watched a funny movie.  Life is simply better with good food and good friends and fun games.  Life is better with family.

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