"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
3 hours ago