Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Home for the Holidays

And for me, that's Belton, Texas where I spent (or mispent depending upon who you ask) my youth. Incidentally, it is also the hometown of George Eads of CSI fame, a factoid I only mention because I'm a fan of the show and Billy Peterson.

Sunday we set camp at Cedar Ridge Park, a coozy campground on the northern side of Belton Lake which is one of the largest bodies of water in Central Texas and perhaps best known for its hidden coves and steep white-rocked cliffs, many of which I've dived off of.

After we pitched our tent, we joined my family for dinner, Christmas carolling around the neighborhood, and a friendly (Hah!) game of Scrabble. The boys and I got back to our site just before midnight and were greeted by the most spectacular sight. The Moon and Mars hoovered right above us emitting a reddish glow. I tried to capture it with my camera and this photo was the best I could do with it. Still, you can make out Mars. Quite a terrific way to wind down a day.

And then the temperature dropped. And dropped. I don't know just how far down it went but it was well below freezing out at the lake. I had set the boys' collapsable waterbowl outside the tent and by the time I awoke, it was frozen solid. Ambient heat from Hudson and Murphy kept me from the same fate as did my puppy up! hoodie. I just can't help plugging our apparel any chance I can get.

When I returned to my parent's house, my father could tell I was still shuffling off the morning frost so he greeted me with a cup of hot cocoa. It was one of the most peaceful and pleasant holidays anyone in our family could recall. We wish the same for you and yours.

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