I hope the fact that i've been a day behing on my blogging reflects the fact that I've been kept quite busy with the activities of a very real Christmas with a wonderful family.
Elmore and Martha have taken me in and treated me like one of their own over the last two days. Today I got a walking tour of their neighborhood as Martha and I exercised their giant Grate Dane named Merlin.
Then it was on to her parents house for breakfast with her family as well as Elmore's mother. It was great company, fantastic conversation, and an amazing spread of food which included my first taste of grits which I really like.
From there we walked (everything is nice a close around here) back to Elmore and Martha's to prepare for Christmas Day dinner for a bunch of their friends. I took advantage of a quiet moment to call a bunch of my family to wish them a Merry Christmas. In all of that calling I learned that my good friend Paul had just asked his girlfriend to marry him which was great news, congratulations Paul and Stephanie. I wasn't much help in the kitchen but I did draw from my camp food larder some fudge and Christmas candy my mother had sent. The 150 river miles it had seen stoed in my boat didn't matter and it added nicely to the spread.
I may have mentioned that Elmore and Martha are both artists. She does paintings and prints in a studio in the house and he carpentry in their back yard shop.
Always up to checking out a workshop I requested a tour of Elmore's work space. It turned out to be a carpenter/kayaker's dream place with a perfect mix of tools on the floor and kayaks in the rafters.
As we talked I learned of Elmore's involvement in paddlesports starting young he's done it all from competition slalom in white water to surfskis on the Mississippi. While touring his shop I discovered this link to my home town where Elmore spent many a day weaving around gates.
It was a fantastic day that finished with a full belly in front of a warm fire talking to a great group of new friends. I'll never be able to thank Elmore and Martha enough for taking me in over this special holiday.