I know--the "how do I love thee? Let me count the ways..." poem is generally applied to men and not towns, but Forest Grove is more lovable than ever these days. Chalk it up to a case of absence making the heart grow fonder perhaps, but it's a truly delightful place. First of all, they sell peppermint mochas here at every coffee shop or coffee drive-through--something that Arlesheim and Basel should definitely consider emulating. If that isn't wonderful enough, the downtown looks adorable! All lights and little store front windows filled with...I don't know...American stuff. And then there is that hometown "connected" feeling you only get from putting around your own stomping grounds, listening to country music, and waving at every neighbor you see driving the other direction.
We've had snow here all week, including Christmas day. Yesterday my neighbor and oldest friend Steven Nelson and his wife stopped by. Steven is my cousin's cousin (but not my cousin) and we've been friends our whole lives. He said he was thinking he's got three inner tubes that need to be used, so the plan was to get up early and go sledding on the other side of the hill down into the park. It rained too much overnight though, and there wasn't enough good snow left for sledding today, so it's postponed until the next time it snows. But still! How fun! Just planning to go sledding with the neighbors makes my heart happy.
In other Forest Grove news, my Mom's cancer-removal surgery seemed to go well yesterday. Thanks for your prayers (those of you who knew!) She starts radiation soon, and will have 30-some days of that. So I'll keep ya posted on how she's doing. She's supposed to be a lady of leisure and take it easy for a while, but if you know my mother you know that's not likely. We're prepared to bungee-cord her to the couch if necessary.
Pictures of Christmas:
Our tree and my friend Anne, hanging out by the fire (which was actually just candles, but it looks pretty convincing, huh!?)
Ah, cousins. Micah, Annika, Laura,and Steph.
My cousins got Powell's books gift certificates for Christmas, but they had to do one of those little maze puzzles to open the box and get to the money. That kept them busy for a while.
Gregg and Sarah at our house!
My cool Grandpa!! Don't you think he has a great smile!?