Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I'm Dreaming...

...of a White Christmas! This week I suppose I'll have to settle for a green and brown Thanksgiving. But last Saturday, it was all about Christmas; You know...days merry and bright, Christmases of white. Christmas music. Christmas desserts, and Christmas cocktails. And an Ethiopian feast. But let me backtrack a little.

We're lucky to have some GREAT neighbors. When we moved into our neighborhood in 2005, we were certainly the only people under 50, and probably two of very few under 70 or 80. I loved my "old people" and often visited, took cookies, soup and rolls and enjoyed some nice conversations. But I never would have said that we had a "fun" neighborhood! Over the past six years that we've lived here, the demographics have changed, slowly but surely. As older people have moved away, died, or entered assisted living homes, their houses have sold to people more in our age bracket. And among those, luckily enough for us, are some great friends who live right across the street!

We've gotten to know Candace and Michael over the past year, and have a lot in common with them. Candace and I share a love for Ikea, thrifting, early morning "running" (which is usually more of early morning walking...), cheap wine and Target. Michael and Neil talk homebrewing, cooking and (unexpectedly!) golf. We like (and hate!) the same TV shows, the same music, the same books. We all love good ethnic food, and trying new things from other cultures. We share things back and forth like books, ladders, plants, music, gardening tips, and food. We plan lots of impromptu get-togethers for shared meals, bonfires, or drinks. And we all go to bed much earlier than your average young person. (Except on nights when we all hang out together!)

On one of our early morning walks, when Candace and I spotted the signs for White Christmas playing at The Grand Opera House, we decided it was a "must-do" for the four of us. We made a plan that got bigger and bigger, and soon came to be known as "Eubachman Christmas!" (That's Eudaley/Loebach/Pitman!) We looked forward to it for weeks, and finally got the enjoyment of a great night on Saturday!

Our wonderful babysitter arrived at 5:30, and we walked across the street to Candace and Michael's house. We began the night with an Ethiopian feast! We've never tried it before, and it was a totally new experience: eating with your hands, using tortillas, on a communal plate! Candace made delicious appetizers, five different "stews", and the tortillas from scratch. And it was delicious!!

From there, we boarded the pilot and headed downtown. We went and watched the play, which was great, although the pictures are quite shoddy. It totally got us in the Christmas spirit, and was one more reason to lament the awkward timing of American Thanksgiving, and laud the wonderful placement of Canadian Thanksgiving during October.

After the play, we headed home to find our two cherubs soundly sleeping and ended the night with some grasshopper pie (made by me, a la Pioneer Woman!), Christmas cocktails (made by Neil!), and our first monthly installment of winter beer tasting and rating!

It was a great time, from start to finish. The only disappointment was that we didn't walk out of the theater into a winter wonderland of snow! But more than just a fun night, it was just great to be reminded of what a difference great neighbors can make to a neighborhood, and how much fun it is when your friends live across the street! Candace and Michael, we're thankful for you, and we're so glad you live in the little yellow house that could!

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