|Sunny, but cold, Christmas Eve views|
So on Christmas Eve eve (the 23rd of December if I've lost you) my hubby and I packed my trusty Subaru for the long drive to Montana. Although I was worried about winter driving conditions in Montana, we found the worst roads were in Oregon. Forty miles of black ice through the eastern Gorge.....not a lot of fun.
|My snow-covered car on Christmas Day|
But my hubby and I arrived safe and sound at my son's home that evening. I thought the temps were a bit chilly, but was still surprised when I awoke the next morning to -6 degrees F! Mighty cold for this wimpy Oregonian. Still, it was a lovely sunny day, and the blue skies and white snow made for some magical scenery on a chilly walk around my son's neighborhood.
|A blanket of white on the streets|
Christmas Eve my son was busy "working" - presiding at four masses throughout the day, so my hubby and I were left to fend for ourselves. We ended up attending the 8 pm mass that evening in one of my son's outlying satellite parishes, a tiny old country church about 20 miles away. It was a thrill to watch my son say Christmas Eve mass - still hard to believe it sometimes when I see him up on the altar, or preaching from the pulpit.
|Lovely red barn nearby|
The crowd at this country church was mostly lots of families with kids. Near the end of mass, a small group of young children came up front and sang three verses of "Away in a Manger." Their performance was so sweet, it brought tears to my eyes. Upon conclusion of the service, everyone was invited outside for an excellent firework display to ring in the Christmas holiday. We all stood in frigid 5 degree weather oohing and aahing over the colorful pyrotechnics. (And quickly dispersed into warm cars immediately after it was over) Only in Montana!
|Snowflakes against the red|
Christmas eve, the skies had been clear when we'd gone to bed at 10 pm (except for my poor son who still had to preside over midnight mass). Imagine my surprise to awake Christmas morning and find six inches of fluffy powder on the ground!
|A very Christmassy scene!|
It snowed hard all day. My son, who didn't get home until after 2 am, was up bright and early for one final Christmas morning mass at 9:30.
|The snow is getting deep in the backyard|
So again, my hubby and I were left to entertain ourselves. My poor hubby fighting a bad cough, made worse by the cold outside air, was confined indoors. But, itching to be out in the beautiful new snow, I donned coat and boots for a Christmas Day walk.
|Snow on tree branches made interesting patterns|
The snow was so light and fluffy! It blew right off my car windows. A few people had cleared their walks, but I delighted in plowing through the unshoveled snow. It gathered in tree branches, adding a festive touch - Mother Nature's Christmas decorations.
Walking around my son's neighborhood, I came upon a beautiful old red barn. Although out of place in this residential area, it looked mighty festive coated with winter white.
|This statue has a snow cap|
The snow continued to dump all day, finally accumulating to over a foot when night fell. It made lots of pretty shapes as it piled up on the outdoor patio furniture and statues. This little dog figure had quite the unusual hat!
|Deer sleeping in the backyard|
Deer were abundant where my son lives. A large grove of trees bordered one side yard, and many deer took shelter under their large branches.
|Another large buck in the neighbor's yard|
After my morning walk, hubby and I entertained ourselves watching the wildlife traipse through my son's backyard.
|My son's Christmas tree|
Finally my son returned home, finished with his duties for the rest of the day. After a late lunch, we gathered around the Christmas tree to open our gifts.
|Colorful gifts under the tree|
I always love to photograph the colorful wrapped boxes under the tree. They were so pretty it was almost a shame to open them!
|No fireplace to hang our stockings so we improvised|
My son didn't have a fireplace, so I improvised and set the stockings next to his entertainment center. Santa had no problem finding them.
|My son relaxing after a busy holiday|
Here's a very tired young man, happy to be done with his Christmas duties, and relax with his family.
|My men unwrap their gifts|
It was a cozy end to a wonderful couple of days. As we finished unwrapping the last of our gifts, I was glad we'd made the long journey to Montana to spend Christmas with our son.