Sunday, December 2, 2012

Storytelling Sunday | December Edition

Sian, over at From High in the Sky hosts the infamous Storytelling Sunday on the first Sunday of the month. A time and place where bloggers from around the world share their stories.

For this edition, Sian has suggested a "coming home" theme. It made me think of a story I shared a couple years ago in my "Journal Your Christmas" album and it seemed fitting for this theme. I have adjusted it from the original post to tell a bit more of the story. You can see the original one here.

I live here with my two sisters and while the rest of our immediate family live some 7oo km away. For more than 20+ years, many of my memories of Christmas are related to the excitement of traveling home to visit family along with all the preparation and planning that encompasses such treks. I remember vividly the last time we attempted the trip home for Christmas and there seemed to be a force greater than anything I experienced before, preventing this event from happening! 

The weather that week was bone chilling (-35C) - a cold snap from the arctic had transferred itself across the prairie. We were not planning to drive my vehicle, so the malfuntions I experienced earlier in the week had seemed irrelevant until the furnace broke down two days before we were to load up the SUV. Luckily, we have a split level house which means we have two furnaces. Albeit, is preferential to have both working in this kind of environment, we were at least not in an emergent situation as was mentioned by the furnace company (at 1 AM when we noticed said problem). They would come in the morning, which they did and all was well. At this point I mentioned to Marvin my concerns with traveling the distance and asked if he thought perhaps we should stay home. Nonsense! We are going to see your family!

We woke up early the next day so we would miss the morning rush hour traffic. We both knew immediately the furnace wasn't working again! After much debate we decided to continue with our journey home even though I did not have a good feeling. Marvin is not a risk taker and so I trusted him that all would be okay. We would make arrangements to have a friend come and check the cats and house daily to ensure all was well and that the second furnace was functioning. 

During the 2.5 hour drive to Lloydminster (always the first stop on the trip home), I was excited. I knew my mom was at home cooking us some chicken noodle soup which led me to think of all the other family favourites we would be tasting over the holidays. It was at that point we had stopped to get a cup of coffee and as soon as we turned the ignition off we both smelled it.  The scent of oil. Not a good sign. Here we were with another 4.5 hours to drive. The disappointment washed over me as I knew we would be turning around and heading back to Edmonton, the risk too great in these temperatures.

We arrived at our home and even though there were no Christmas decorations of any sort we made the best of the situation. We had our first "alone" Christmas Eve by making some of our favourites such as pancakes for breakfast, a tasty chicken Caesar salad for dinner, and for snacks we baked Marvin’s mom’s famous Nuts and Bolts recipe. On Christmas Day we drove to Barrhead and shared the afternoon with his family.

Since this little experience, our Christmas traditions have changed. Rather than worrying about the weather on long journeys, we now stay home, here in Edmonton and chose to visit with family in the warmer months!

Thanks for stopping by! Now head on over to Sian's, for more Storytelling Sunday!

UPDATED FOR MRS WOOKIE! I happened to have a photo of the recipe!!



  1. We always have pancakes for breakfast too - its great that you could make the best of the situation.

  2. Nuts and Bolts huh? I'd love the recipe for that - sounds just the thing for an engineering Wookie :) So sorry that you had a disappointment but glad that it turned out for the end.

    We stay home for Christmas too - getting together with family at other times.

  3. A perfect story for Coming Home - so many emotions all wrapped up in one tale! I was really feeling for you - I can remember well the year TTO was born and we had just moved to a cold old house and were hoping for some visitors. But the weather was bad and they couldn't come and we had to make the best of what we had.

    Many thanks for your stories this year Ginger - your support has meant a lot. Thank you!

  4. Great story and I love that you have found the recipe, complete with splashes which shows it is a good one!

  5. Yes, travelling at this time of year can be pretty risky in the northern hemisphere!
    Alison xx

  6. Oh thank you! We even have all the ingredients - always a worry when we're translating across the pond. Definitely going to have a go at this. Agreeing with Becky that the splashes show it is a good one :)

    1. raw peanuts I'm presuming? Rather than roasted/salted? Many thanks again.

  7. that looks yummy, and I have copied it down. Loved the story. I tend to stay home in winter and with the weather you can have in Alberta I really think you have it right now!

  8. My goodness, that's a recipe that packs a punch :). And what a story - I really understand the anxieties about cars and snow. Glad you family to go to in the end and hope this year is much smoother!

  9. Isn't it amazing how new traditions develop! Great story.

  10. I thought about updating one of my JYC stories this month, too - love yours!

  11. It is so hard to comprehend that sort of weather - it is not something I have ever experienced, about -5C is the coldest for me. This is such a great story Ginger and I am pleased you no longer even attempt that sort of journey in that weather!
    We enjoy temperatures about 70C warmer than that at Christmas!

  12. Oh what a wonderful story - so glad you now choose to see family in the warmer months! And thanks for the recipe - definitely one to try.

  13. What a great story, Ginger. And I love when recipe cards look like they've been well used over the years.

    My story this month is about pancakes on Christmas morning too. :o)

  14. Great that you started your own Christmas traditions. We gave up travelling to be with my sister's family at winter time after a few heavy dumps and just narrowly missing white Juan. Now instead we stay home or go down south. :) I'm just shuddering thinking of your temperatures, I find it cold enough here.