Sooooo, I’ve been a little behind on the blog. It all started two weekends ago when both the boys arrived from opposite ends of the country and all five of us piled into a rented mini van headed for a good old fashioned Christmas with the grandparents in Tennessee. It was a day’s drive, followed by a day of preparation on Christmas Eve, then Christmas Day when both of my brothers and their families arrived for a grand total of fifteen people. Because some arrived later, the big holiday dinner was set for the next day, December 26th, when everyone could be there. It was a rare gathering of (nearly) the whole clan, so we had a photographer come to document the event. Next day, we (the five Kingsleys) once again piled in the rent-a-bus and headed down to Newport News, Virginia (another day’s drive) where John C. met up with his buddies in the Greg Burroughs Band for a gig at Toby Keith’s I Love this Bar and Grill. Ted, Emma, Cameron and I went to the show and had such a fun time hearing the guys (loved seeing John rip the fiddle!) that we stayed through both sets (late night for us!). Our whole-family holiday ended when we said goodbye to John as the guys headed out for Boston. It was an all- night drive for the band while we collapsed in our hotel. The next day it was the four of us back to the farm, where all the animals were excited to see us and we got to catch our breath briefly before we went our separate ways for New Year’s– Cameron and Emma to NYC and Ted and I off for an overnight with our friends in Herndon to ring in 2014, with a late breakfast and a hike the next day and a return once again to the farm that afternoon. The kids got back from New York that evening in time for us to share the traditional New Year’s dinner of black eyed peas for luck, greens for money and corn bread for nothing but pure goodness.
The very next morning, it was off to the airport and goodbye to our Cameron. After his being away for an entire year, our time with him was much too short! His flight had barely lifted off before the snow started and we were socked in for the evening and the next morning, but we were happy that Ted’s sister Marj and her husband Jim were still able to make it for a short visit that afternoon on their back to Williamsburg. Around that time we got the call that the boys in the band were unexpectedly headed our way. They’d had two cancellations due to the blizzard in the northeast, giving them an extra night before their show in Woodbridge, Virginia. I headed to the kitchen to make soup, cornbread and brownies for the hungry gang. A few hours later, three guys and a girl piled in from their snowy trek, got something to eat and settled in front of a football game. I threw a few pillows and blankets at them and went to bed. They slept late in anticipation of another all night drive Saturday, getting up around the time my niece Susanna pulled in from Charlottesville to spend the weekend with Emma. Lots of coffee, tea, eggs, bacon, toast and conversation later, the GBB loaded out once more and headed off to the final show of the tour before their return to Nashville. Susanna, Emma and I didn’t waste any time heading out to Leesburg for just a little look at our favorite salvage shop and pizza stop, then back across on the ferry to home sweet home. More wintry weather today, a good time to slow down. Whew! Hectic but all good—love the holidays, the fam and the crazy life!