(This post is probably going to be kinda messy, there are gonna be a lot of photos and I’m uploading them all from mobile so they’ll probably be weird sizes and stuff).
We made it to Illinois around 8:30 last night!! We ended up taking Luke’s SUV so the ride here wasn’t too bad. Lily and Dean rode in the back seat with Luke’s brother and Odin rode in the hatchback, so there was no dog fighting which is good. It was kinda cold though, since the heat in the SUV doesn’t work haha. Oh well, I’d rather be a little cold than try to cram 3 dogs, 3 people, and Christmas presents into a tiny Kia Forte.
Anyway, first we stopped and Luke and his brother’s dad’s house, so we could give their dad, step mom, and two younger brothers their gifts. We figured we might as well give them their stuff when we got there, since they had a bunch of presents to open today anyway. They all seemed pretty pleased with what we got them so that’s pretty awesome.
While I was there, Luke’s dad was telling me about all the cookies he made, so of course I had to sample several of each kind. He also made these rum ball things which were super tasty. After eating way too many cookies it finally felt like the holiday festivities had officially begun!
After giving them their gifts and stuffing our faces with cookies, Luke, his brother, myself, and Lily and Dean went to my grandma’s. Luke and his brother stayed and talked for a little bit, but they wanted to go back to their dad’s before he went to bed. Lily, Dean, and I stayed the night at her house though. We sat and talked for a while which was really nice. I had to go to bed around 11:30 though. I was getting really tired and I planned on getting up pretty early this morning, so I needed to get some sleep.
I ended up sleeping alright I guess, I probably could have slept in a little later, but there were some places I really needed to go, since this will probably be the last time I’ll be able to. My grandma’s house got inspected a few days ago, and it’s sounding like if that went well the house and farm will be sold.
Anyway at about 6 o’clock I geared up and headed out into the chilly, wet, and dark Christmas morning.
I actually considered getting up an hour earlier, but since the sun didn’t come up until 7:18 this morning there was no point getting up that early. I mean, I know the farm/woods like the back of my hand, and it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve had to wander around in the dark, but I figured visiting the places I wanted to see one last time just wouldn’t have been the same if it was pitch black outside.
Since it was still pretty dark out, the first thing I did was go to my parents’ house. I haven’t heard any talk about it getting sold in the near future (although they are trying), but I still probably won’t be back to visit my childhood home. Once the farm is sold I don’t want to go back, even if my siblings or parents are at their house. It’ll just be too sad for me to see other people here, so I kinda walked around their house (which was super depressing since it’s basically empty and no one was there) said my goodbyes, then headed back outside.
By then it was 6:40 and still kinda dark out, but the first few hints of light were starting to show, and the steady drizzle that had been coming down was starting to slow a bit.
Because it was still kinda dark out I walked around my parents yard and the cornfield for a little bit, then once it started getting a little more light out I headed out behind the “new” pond and the cow pasture.
After letting the dogs run around in the pasture for a little bit, I made my way to the woods. There were a few things out there I wanted to see, mainly the concrete bridges and my grandpa’s deer stand. I made it there around 7:30. I climbed up the ladder but the boards were really wet and creaky, so I was afraid to actually get all the way in it. Oh well, I just wanted to see it one more time. After that the dogs and I just walked around the woods for a little bit.
After I had seen everything I had wanted to see I decided to get a mile for my streak done. I ran around the woods/pasture while wearing my boots to get it done haha. I suppose I could have walked all the way to my grandma’s house and change into my running shoes, but I was worried that I was running out of time, so I just started running. 😄 This was probably one of the most difficult runs I’ve ever done, these boots at freaking heavy haha! But hey, I feel like basically got a run and strength workout done at the same time, so that’s pretty neat!
Running my mile brought me right up to my grandma’s house, which was convenient, because it was well past the time I should have been there, so I didn’t have time to shower. Instead I ate breakfast with my grandma, and then got dressed.
At around 9 am, Luke finally showed up to pick me up and drop Odin off with my grandma (she said she was perfectly happy to have all three of them in her house today, so more power to her), and that’s when our running around began.
First we stopped at Luke’s dad’s to open our presents from “Santa” (apparently he knows we aren’t in Kansas and dropped off our stuff here 😉). We hung out with all of them for a while, then around 12:30 we went to Luke’s grandma Becky’s. We ended up making it on time for her big party, so that’s awesome. After that we went to visit with his grandma Wilma. Oh man by then my shorter night of sleep was catching up with my, and I’m sure all the food I ate at grandma Becky’s was catching up with me at this point, but we still had one more party to go to.
Luke’s dad made dinner for all of us and his wife’s family, so we had to visit with all of them before we left. So that’s exactly what we did. We ate, opened more presents, and hung out for a little bit.
At about 7 pm we left Luke’s dad’s party, stopped at a gas station for snacks, then went back to my grandma’s to say goodbye to her and pick up the dogs.
Now it’s 8 pm and we’re on our way back home. It’s crazy foggy out, so this is going be interesting.