I woke in a new place this Christmas morning. It has been a long time since I was away from home on Christmas morning.

The sound of running water caught my attention, why is there water running?

The fish tank

All was quiet and everyone was asleep

Until I pulled my computer out to right

Now there are footsteps and voices

And it brings a smile to my face

I am in my daughter’s new home and my husband and youngest are here. 

Soon the other two will arrive

And we will have our Christmas morning

Slowly unwrapping each gift

As we have done every year

We are a one gift at a time kind of family

And my kids have started a duct tape war

Wrapping a gift with excessive amounts of duct tape


It can take an hour to open one gift

We declared a truce on the war this year

We don’t the luxury of all day to open gifts

Yet, we are fortunate we can be together

For several hours

In my daughter’s big house that she rents with a friend

My youngest child who usually sleeps until 10 or 11 is awake with me now

It is 8am and I have been awake for an hour

She is anxious for everyone to get here and wishing she was still asleep

I am enjoying her sitting with me as I write

I have been so busy the past 2 weeks

Making Christmas gifts

Working at the nursing home (s)

Growing our Focused Healthy Family business

Recording Podcasts

Baking and food prepping

“Place your bets” she says

As she calculates how much time it will take her brother to arrive

And for his fiancé to arrive

They are in two different places this morning

She went to her parents last night

He was at work

Somehow my grown kids have work schedules like their mom

Working weekends and in a world where holiday time off does not exist

Yet, all is good

We made it work

To be together

And tomorrow 

Abby and I will head home


To have time with extended family

The Menzo Gang

At my parents house

No longer on the lake, like years ago

When we gathered for a week

Room enough for all to stay together

Pitter-patter of little feet

Making movies and taking boat rides

We all miss the house on Lake Murray

Glad that my parents live closer to me now

And they are with us at 79 and 80 years

My mind wanders and then I bring it back

To now


In this big wonderful house in Knightdale

Soon we will all be together

The Grothoff 6

Merry Christmas


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