Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas in PB

My Christmas Eve/Day was spent in Poplar Bluff this year - the first time I've been away from Springfield on Christmas in many years.   Since our Gasaway family Christmas is always the weekend before or after the actual holiday, I always let Jace's dad have his preference of when Jace is with him on Christmas.  That way they can make all of their visits to Jace's family on his dad's side.  One of the traditions that Dave and I had started in recent years was to take the boat out on the lake - always beautiful to be out on the water, in the warm enclosed boat cabin, enjoying the peaceful lake on Christmas Day.  This year, knowing that I wouldn't want to be alone on Christmas, I decided that I would make plans to spend the weekend with my grandparents and parents, in Poplar Bluff.   And it was SUCH a nice way to spend the holiday!

Brian made the trip with me on Friday morning, but drove separately so he could head home on Saturday afternoon for his family's Christmas that evening.  We arrived early Friday afternoon, and just relaxed and visited with my grandparents and parents, before we all headed to dinner at a local Italian restaurant.

Later that evening, we headed over to my cousin Krista and David's home for a bit, to visit with them.  They were getting ready for their big annual Christmas Eve party - but since Brian would be gone by Saturday night, I wanted him to meet them while he was still there.  On Saturday morning I got up bright and early to see if Grandpa wanted to have an early breakfast at his favorite hangout, Myrtle's.

Grandpa and me - ready for breakfast

Grandpa is a well known community member in Poplar Bluff and at Myrtle's, a cafe in historic downtown Poplar Bluff.  I've enjoyed going with him a few times over the last several years  (although he loves to rib me and say that it is mainly because one of  the younger law enforcement guys once thought I was about 22 or 23, wearing my baseball cap one morning.  I was 35+ at the time, so yes, I did enjoy that compliment!)  But it really is just enjoyable to go with Grandpa and get to see him interact with all of the folks he knows in Poplar Bluff.  He grew up in PB, and then later came back in the 90s to serve as city manager for several years.  I'm very proud to be his granddaughter, and just like to spend time with him around others.   My dad and Brian joined us for breakfast at Myrtle's, and then we went home and picked up Mom and Grandmother to head to second breakfast at Perkins.

Before Brian left on Saturday we looked around Poplar Bluff a bit, while picking up the Saturday newspaper for Grandpa.  I thought to grab my camera as we headed out the door, but didn't bring my long lens or my tripod - will remember that next time, never know when or where you might find a good photo.  Brian spotted an old railroad bridge, and we headed down to park closer to it so I could take some photos.

When we got home Grandpa said he had some other buildings and landmarks that he would like me to get some photos next time I visited..   I  enjoyed a quiet afternoon at my grandparents, and then we headed  to their church for the candlelight Christmas Eve service.  

Hanging with my cousins

The Christmas Eve gathering afterwards at Krista and David's was lots of fun - I got to catch up with them, and also my cousin Kyle.  I had seen them all when Grandpa had his heart surgery, but it was good to see them in much better circumstances.  There were also some relatives on their side of the family that I hadn't seen in years.   And Dad, Mom and my grandparents all stayed for quite awhile and enjoyed the festivities - although Dad was ready to go to bed towards the end of the evening, and not enamored with my efforts to capture our photo on my phone!

Me & my dad - say cheese!
Sunday morning Grandmother fixed us breakfast, with some yummy cinnamon rolls, apple strudel, fruit, orange juice and of course, coffee.  I always bring my own coffee to brew, and this weekend was no exception - they know I want to enjoy my Sinless Pastry even when I'm not at home!  We sat around the table in our comfy clothes and visited for awhile and then I leisurely packed to hit the road and head home to Springfield.

It was a great weekend, and I was so glad to be able to spend the holiday with them - Grandpa and Grandmother always join us for Gasaway Christmas in St. Clair, but it was nice to be with them at their home and spend some time catching up.  Grandmother said we should make it a tradition, and I may just do that, if they'll have me!

Now I'm finishing up this post while in the car with Jace, Brian and Brian's 3-year-old Daniel, headed to our family Christmas in St. Clair.  All of us siblings have been texting back and forth this morning, getting each other's ETA at the ranch.  The weather is gorgeous, and all of the nephews (and niece) will be able to enjoy spending time inside AND outside - pretty nice plan, for late December.

1 comment:

Tom D said...

Looks like we probably just missed you in PB. We were at the monster-in-law's house the 28th-30th. I'm not familiar with the world famous Myrtle's though. You'll have to give me an address so I can try it next trip. For my sake, I hope it's awhile before I get back there. It's always torture. You know, the family thing.