Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How Winn Dixie Saved Christmas

"What the hell are we going to do," I asked Michael, "It's Christmas day and we have called every restaurant in the area! Who would think NOTHING would be open on Christmas day?!"

"We can go for a drive and see what's open, but I'm not sure what we'll do." Nice I thought, it's not only Christmas, it's Evan's birthday and I wanted to take him some place really nice.

Michael tried to reassure me, "You know Evan, he won't much care where we go or what we do; he's just glad we're here." Hmm, not good enough I think...but instead of arguing I answered, "Well come on let's at least go to the beach and let the dogs have a run."

So that's how we spent Christmas morning in Pensacola Beach...we went to the beach and watched the usually placid Gulf whipped into a frenzy by the tornado warnings that had just passed through the night before. And, it was the most different Christmas I've ever had in my life!

I've only seen the Gulf one time...and it was beautiful, but still not the Atlantic Ocean and its power. I've seen the Pacific Ocean and was humbled. But, on Christmas Day, while I didn't see Three Ships Come Sailing In, I found my eyes were filled with tears and not because the wind was blowing. No, I got emotional because I was yet again reminded how different and wonderful my life is now.

The beach was all ours. No one but Fiona and Rory, my Boychic, and my Beloved with me.

Not constrained by time with no obligations and places to visit, we split up and rambled at our own pace. And examined what the storm had belched up onto the white pillowy sand. Gifts of the Sea on a Yuletide...

And, I was mesmerized by things I've not seen before....like the surf line leaving what whimsically seemed like sea lace...

But, by far the best Christmas gift I received that morning was watching Rory have the freedom for the very first time in his life to run without constraint, without a leash, without one of us shouting, "No Rory, that's far enough! Come Now!"

I watched with a huge smile on my face while my Boydog ran flat out for as far and as long as he wanted. And, was rewarded by catching him in a Butt Tuck Zoomie...doing his best Rocket Dog impression.

There are still some who do not think animals have emotions and I'm done arguing the point. I know what I know. And I just know that when I see this picture, I see an animal smiling with exhilaration and delight.

Happy to have the freedom that all dogs should have, but sadly so few do. Yeah, Rory sure did enjoy his Christmas morning.

He got to commune with his 'big brother,' who is one of his very favorite people in world.

And we watched the Gulf crash and roll in beautiful rare waves.

We stood alone and together and marveled at the open stretch of beauty that was ours for the day.

And, I dropped back and watched my family enjoy their time and sent a thought to Melissa and Zach who weren't able to join us to be with Evan.

I saw a young guy who was in high school when I first met him, turned into a man. Serving his country, crafting his life independently from ours. Yet still tied to us by love and affection.

And another gift I got is this picture... now my new favorite. Because it's four of my favorite spirits all together. I couldn't help but think, how different the world can be in one year's time. As on that day, last year, Evan was in basic training and sad and trying to adjust to difficult surroundings far from home. Now, he is settled at Hurlburt Field and making friends and a name for himself. I am so proud.

And, not to be out done, Fiona, who doesn't care for the dire warnings about how Scotties can't swim, took her bossy self repeatedly to the edge and got soaked by waves that caught her off guard. But, did she care?! Not a bit.

My wee girl taught me a lesson for Christmas as she proceeds undaunted and continues to stay open and curious about the big world around her.

Oh yeah, back to Winn Dixie. Turns out when we left the beach, the only thing that was open was a Winn Dixie food store. So in we went. And we shopped for a lasagna, garlic bread, salad and a cake. One of Evan's favs.

No, there are no pictures of that, because well, we've all seen lasagna before. But....

...thanks Winn Dixie. You saved Christmas. Hope yours was as magical and different as ours was.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka Airman Frock's Mom


Ribbon said...

Hi Holly...
I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your excitement at being at a beautiful beach with your loved ones.
Is that a long drive from where you live?
I need to get a world map out and have a look at the lay of the land as I don't really understand where yourself and a lot of our fellow American bloggers live.

That was a beautiful Christmas post.

best wishes

LionKing said...

I was there, but your inimitable style and heart brought back memories I didn't even know I had...one of the best Christmases ever...Thanks, my Love...

Rocky Creek Scotties and Java said...

I loved this. Thanks so much for sharing it with us. And your Rocket Dog boy is precious - and so is your little gal.


Nina P. said...

What a perfect Christmas. Family and Fun on a beautiful beach! I was down in Pensacola back in the early 80's going to Ultrasound school It's a Beautiful area. You were truly Blessed with the simple beauty of the season. Blessings to you and yours. Love and Light, Nina P

Sr. Ann Marie said...

Ah, memories! I lived and taught in Pensacola for 3 wonderful years. True, it was a long time ago but I'll never forget the wonderful people there--and the beauty of the beach. Thanks for the memory!

Joanna Jenkins said...

That is an absolutely joyful picture of Rory on the run! I swear-- if there was a Hallmark version of something for dogs, this could be it! You know what I mean-- one of those unexpected commercial moments that make you cry because it's just so darn cute. This is it!

So glad you had a wonderful Christmas with Evan. It's always a little strange for me to be away from my usual surrounding for a holiday and not feel a little let down-- but it sounds like this was a wonderful Christmas for you all. And I'm sure your lasagna was way better than the only place you could have found an open restaurant-- at a hotel-- and we all know how bad and overpriced hotel food can be, especially on Christmas.

Thanks for sharing this special day and your gorgeous photos Holly.


Momlady said...

Whoever thinks animals don't have souls or feelings doesn't know animals. Your pictures show such wonderful spirit. Glad you were able to spend the holiday with those you love.

Life With Dogs said...

I almost feel unfortunate to not have a Winn Dixie nearby. :)

Love the beach pics, it's been way too long...

Desert Mermaid said...

If I celebrated holidays, that would be how I'd do it -- something unique and UNEXPECTED, every year, for every event. no tinsel, no cursing strings of inoperative lights, no consumery scar on winter ... look at the gift you received, at the gift you've now given to us? That photo of Rory, alone? Santa, who? Give me a pooch in an all out butt tuck any day!!! Everything you say about Evan is what I see in David (my oldest) ... Kevin? not so much. Yet. I'm NOT impatient.

Anonymous said...

What a nice Christmas you had, great pictures and I can see the one right now framed on the side table for all to see when they enter your home.

Take care,

Alix said...

And examined what the storm had belched up onto the white pillowy sand. Gifts of the Sea on a Yuletide... Wow. Talk about poetry.

And I LOVE your description of sea lace.

And the photo of Rory doing his best Rocket Dog Butt Tuck Zoomie. Hilarious.

Those dogs really are adorable. And anyone who doesn't believe animals have emotions are dead in the eyes and heart. They show us with every breath how emotional they are. In fact, I think my animals are more emotional than most of the people I know. And here's an even bolder statement... I expect them to be waiting for me when I get to heaven.

Stop laughing Holly. I'll be there.

Jeanne Klaver said...

To me, you had THE perfect Christmas. Seeing dogs run free like the wind is the best sight in the world.

jkc said...

I have been waiting to hear about and see pictures of your trip. As usual, you did not disappoint. The pictures are wonderful and the commentary...well, just as thought provoking and funny as I would have expected!

Alix said...

Me again. I'm back just to ask this important question:

Who the hell wears CROCS in the snow?

LOL, you crack me up.

Chester said...

What a great Christmas! New experiences with "old" loved ones! Thank you so much for inviting me over from Chester's blog.
The picture of Rory runnin' like a wild dog made a smile come to my lips and a tear come to my eye! You need to use that as his FB profile pic sometime

Chester's Mom ;0=)

cinner said...

Holly, it really was a nice Christma, everyone being together. Glad Rory and Fiona got to run around. They would have been in heaven. big hug to you.

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

I so totally see the smile on Rory's face. He is exhilarated and loving every minute of it!

Dogs have more emotions than humans, I believe. They just know how to control theirs better than we do! :)

Glad that your celebration was very special.

Eva Gallant said...

What lovely beach photos! and I love the abandon with which your doggie runs!

I came here from the Fifty Factor and did some browsing. I think I'll linger a while!

Dreamwriter said...

The picturew are gorgeous. You are an amazing writer with a sense of humour, too! You should really writer for a column!

Anonymous said...

What a magical Christmas you had! Your photos are incredible, if I had to choose just one it would be your happy little scottie racing on the beach!

Anonymous said...

holly, this was magical in every sense of the definition. To see your puppies running and being so happy placed the hugest smile upon my face! I love and miss Winn Dixie! When I lived in New Orleans I ALWAYS shopped there. I'll share a few stories with you about my baby girl and Winn Dixie some day soon. Was never a dull moment there with her around! LOL


spottedwolf said...

Pensacola in winter is a beautiful place. I know....because I've been there too. Lovely pictures Holly....all the boyz look filled with life.

gayle said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful day...loved the pictures!!

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