Eating Christmas

My morning walk with a neighbor friend always brightens my mood. Yesterday he, my husband, my dog and I attended a 3-hour nature walk to learn about edibles in the wild—not the kind recently legalized in Colorado, but the kind that could keep you alive in an emergency.

Although Ranger was unimpressed by the presentation, he nevertheless nibbled on the succulent grasses surrounding us. Attendance was more than 30 people ranging from age 4 to about 74 and my 85-pound pup behaved beautifully. Still, I kept to the back of the group and didn’t learn as much as I could have. My hubby and friend would fill me in, and I thoroughly enjoyed the beauty of my surroundings.

This morning my friend and I searched along our route for the new growth at the end of pine branches, an excellent source of vitamin C. Sage bushes were everywhere and I started chewing a small sprig while searching for the new pine. Sage really packs a sensory punch, and when I finally added a few new pine needles to my mountain trail mix I was instantly transported to a childhood pre-Christmas day.

My little sister and I galloped around the living room to “Sleigh Ride” in our footie pajamas, our excitement for Christmas morning building. We had already found our longest knee-sock for the fireplace hearth; Santa always put a large piece of fruit in the toe on Christmas morning, so we wanted to ensure there was plenty of room for other surprises.

Mom was in the kitchen preparing the family feast for five girls and whatever extended family might arrive, and the smell of stuffing mixed with the fresh aroma of Christmas tree pine and happy holiday music wafting through the air . . . well, it just didn’t get any better than that.

My blast from the past was powerful on this very un-Christmas June morning and made me just a little homesick. I think I might have to squeeze in another visit this summer and forego the Boston lobsta for a turkey dinner. I’ll bring the sage.

By author

Laurel lives and laughs and publishes and podcasts in Colorado's Rocky Mountains! She has published several multi-genre books and hosts the podcast "Alligator Preserves," where she interviews fascinating people, talks about the human condition, and shares scary stories from her "Dark Ebb" collection.

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