Rarely am I relieved to see rain. After all, there's plenty of rain around here, so it becomes rather monotonous. Raining. Sprinkling. Showers. Misting. It's what we get.
Except for nearly two weeks we didn't have rain. We had snow. We had freezing rain. We had more snow. We loved it. At first. Oh magical snow! Hooray for snow! But then, like the umpteenth gallon of eggnog in the fridge, it just didn't seem like such a treat anymore. The snow drifts piled up, the stores shut down, the mail didn't come. There is joy to be found in a slower pace, certainly. We couldn't rush around. We couldn't be frantic. We had to just be together. That's good stuff.
What wasn't so good is what it did to the local economy. Jason's dad couldn't keep his coffee shop open because the parking lot didn't get plowed and people couldn't get in. The snow came and the Christmas spending didn't.
But now the rain has come. There still remains some residual snow, streaking the yards, crouching in shadows, piled in the corners of parking lots. Mostly, though, it's is gone. And it feels like such a gift to have our rain back. It's so nice to see the road. Imagine! Actual pavement!
It's also nice to see the grass. Oh sweet green grass, you're so pretty to look at.
Especially the green grass on the 2.5 acres we now own.
Oh my goodness gracious, it's true. On Friday, Jason and I drove down to the county offices and filled out all the official paperwork that allowed my parents to deed over to us the land where we're building. Land that has an orchard of apple and cherry trees. Land that partially runs through a wooded area. Land that slopes down to Salmon Creek. It's all ours. The grass. The blackberry bushes. The nettles. The trees. The mole hills.
My parents have long told us that they were giving us the property, but yada yada yada, we never quite got all the forms filled out. Now, after two trips to the county office, seventy-five cents in parking fees, and a frantic search to get my dad's signature--he was helping out the mailman who was stuck in a snow bank--it's official. Once again, we are property owners who are going to be paying very real property taxes. Yes, I'm even thankful for those property taxes. Just like I'm thankful for the rain.
It was a good Christmas. Filled with lots of family, very little driving, plenty of toys and new socks, plenty of good food. In a dozen years, we may not be able to find those toys, and our family will look quite a bit different. But in a dozen years, it will be the present we got the day after Christmas--the property where we are building our house, where our girls will grow up, where we plan on living for the rest of our lives--that we'll still be talking about.
Thanks, Mom and Dad. I know you didn't draw our names for the Christmas gift exchange, but you still managed to give us one heck of a present anyway.
For those who are interested in highlights and all that, here's a little video I put together of our Christmas holidays. You'll even catch a glimpse of our new property, albeit covered in snow. And you'll catch a glimpse of what our life will be like, surrounded by family.