Well, as unexpected as it seemed, Christmas did indeed arrive in Adelaide, Australia without snow, freezing temperatures or egg nog!
We are lucky enough to have the hospitality of my good friend Rod Harker and his wife Anna who have generously let us settle into their home for a week. Teri and I are also being spoiled by the Steads - Darren, Leanne, Jack and Brooke - who have chauffeured us around to various family gatherings and allowed us to infiltrate their home! When I lived in Australia in 1995-96, I played baseball with both Rod and Darren and we have managed to keep in touch over the years. Rod has visited Canada a couple times in 1997 and 2001, and Darren and Leanne had also visited back in 1997 during their honeymoon (they even helped sandbag during the flood of the century!) We also caught up with Cherril Stead, Darren's mum, who put up (and put up with!) Mike and I for 8 months when we were here playing baseball in 95-96. It's great seeing her again.
We started Xmas day with a cup of coffee at Rod & Anna's in the backyard sunshine before heading over to the Steads to spend the day with Darren, Leanne, Jack & Brooke. Teri and I woke up early, only because the kids had to wait for our presence before they were allowed to open their presents! Christmas Day was a mixture of the familiar and not so familiar...familiar in watching kids rip open their gifts by the Xmas tree, tons of food and eating until you can't move, playing with the kids...; unfamiliar in working up a sweat playing cricket in thebackyard, no cheesy Xmas music in the background, shorts and T-shirts rather than ski pants and scarves.......and of course the absence of our immediate families. But we are really lucky to be with old friends who have made us feel like family over the past few days...thanks to them for that! The Stead kids got a Wii for Xmas so I was in my glory playing video games with Jack for the better part of Xmas day, even though Jack kicked my butt at most of the games.
Here it's now boxing day and we are heading to a cottage with the Steads for a couple days to do some fishing, eating, and relaxing.
We hope you all have a great Christmas Day and rest of the holiday season!!