Christmas Day

Christmas morning hike among the Blue Oak trees covered with moss, stubby manzanita bushes and bark-peeled madrone trees. We could see San Francisco Bay, the Oakland Hills, Mt. Tamalpais and Sonoma valley from the top of the overlook. The surrounding hills and valley teemed with most every shade of green as a result of the recent rains.

The day was quiet without family or friends visiting; a morning hike and an afternoon movie (“Unbroken”) with popcorn. Saturday Doug’s family will visit for post-Christmas and pre-New Year’s Eve gathering. I’m baking mixed berries with peaches “sonkyers,” a southern dish similar to cobbler, which Alex introduced at Thanksgiving dinner.

I was homesick: for the boys, for my parents, for traditions that seem to have faded. Only a few stockings hung on the fireplace, a poinsettia plant purchased for the media cabinet and candy-cane striped candles on the mantle were the visible remnants of a family holiday. We enjoyed the neighborhood lights and the downtown plaza with palm trees and the city hall outlined in lights as if drawn by a child.

Next year I will be certain it’s not just the two of us; the time is too precious to pass without family with us.

[Sonoma Overlook Trail]