Onward Gringo Soldiers travel blog

Layla Enjoying Her Great, Great Grandmother's Piano With Oma

Molly, Eric & Layla White Christmas 2010

I know most of you have been sitting by your computers thinking, “I wonder if that dopey Norton will go to Mexico this year, and better yet, will he write about it?” Have no fear my friends, I have not gotten one bit brighter over the years (just ask Jill), nor have I lost my interest in documenting all the foolishness that often goes with these travels.

No Norton Mexico trip would be complete without celebrating a little Christmas with the family beforehand. This year we convinced Molly, Eric & Layla that the holiday was actually December 22-24 and not the 25th. Of course there may have been an element of “let’s just get it over with” on Molly’s end, but the timing worked well for all of us. Those of you around central Wisconsin know we definitely had a white Christmas this year – damn near 2 feet of white Christmas to be exact – but the stuff had fallen a week prior so it didn’t dampen the holiday celebration.

Santa miraculously arrived at our house on the 23rd for the entire Oshkosh contingent. After a very nice brunch we let Layla (17 months) “enjoy” a nice sled ride and snow fort, opened perhaps a few too many presents and later partook of a fabulous beef roast for dinner. It was a grand Christmas even if it was a tad early.

On Christmas Eve day we gently ushered Molly and crew out the door (I think we let them stay till almost 9:30), before Murph & Jill started taking down Christmas like madmen. Jill claims to have cut back on decorations this year (you’ll remember my characterization of our house as “Oh I yust go nuts at Christmas”), but the alleged reduction was certainly lost on me. By 2:30 the tree was naked and out the door, pictures that had been hidden for months were back up on walls, and tub after tub of Jill’s "minimalist" decorations had headed up to their summer home in the attic above our garage.

No rest for the wicked though, since it was then time to load up the motor home with all the freezable stuff we had accumulated or brought in once overnight temps had dropped below 32. Items such as detergent, water, toothpaste, shampoo etc (not to speak of beer & wine) are just so much more useful in a liquid state vs solid. By 5:00 the motor home was full (with both furnaces running nicely), the Saturn was hooked up and we sat down to thank the Lord for a wonderful early Christmas, and that the predicted 5-6 inches of snow was falling south and west of us and not on top of us. We enjoyed a gourmet Christmas Eve supper (I’m pretty sure it was something really old from the back of the freezer) and hit the hay early. Come real Santa day, we were heading for Texas – yee ha pardner.

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