Have you ever had one of those times when a “hooray” and a “boo” are equally valid? Christmas Day 2017 was like that for us.
Let me explain: it rained.
Yay, because it hasn’t rained noticeably for seven weeks, the grass has gone from lustrous Kiwi green to bleached Australian blonde, and an official drought was declared just the other day. In short, the land needs rain.
Boo, because it was Christmas Day. Could there have been, I don’t know, any other day in the past month when the drought could have broken?
But never mind. Our first Christmas in the Mustard Yellow House, our first Tiny Christmas, was a pretty joyous day.
It started sinfully late in the morning with a cup of tea. Tom and I sat on our pallet deck and sipped from our best tea cups. Tom gave me a perfect tiny-house-conscious gift — a little vegetable chopper that uses muscle power rather than electricity. (And we’ve since discovered that it works great!)
Then it was all action as we got ready for a Christmas lunch hosted by our landlord/neighbours at Makahuri.
With a chilly-bag of drinks and chicken skewers and a bowl of newly made potato and egg salad, we made our way with the dogs over to the gathering next to the building that used to be a Catholic chapel.
Along with the landlords’ family and a group of young touring farm workers from overseas, we enjoyed a wonderful lunch — crackers, hats, turkey and all.
Drew, our landlady, presented us with a tree decoration that she’d made specially for us: a stitched picture of a peacock with “Makahuri” on the other side. Whatever happens in future, that decoration will hang in our home every Christmas. Even if with our current tiny tree, it tends to overshadow things.
As we tucked in to tradition Kiwi, German and US food, the rain started. But nobody cared because a) The land needs rain, b) we were under cover, and c) It was Christmas.
A session of Secret Santa was a lot of fun, especially with an added rule that allowed a limited and good-humoured amount of gift theft.
Then, in the rain, I drove to pick up my mum, who joined us for dessert and cake.
Afterwards Tom, mum and I came back to the tiny house for mince pies and a quiet viewing of family photos saved from Facebook. The welcome rain drummed on our tiny roof.
By the time I got mum home, the rain had eased. Her neighbourhood, only 20 minutes’ drive from our tiny house, was dry. The rain seemed to have fallen in a patchwork of showers
Then I came home to this:
I raced for my iPad and took photos, but couldn’t capture it in one shot: a double rainbow spreading out across the sky. It was so intense!
The arches stretched from horizon to horizon and divided the sky into distinct shades of grey. The inner rainbow seemed to end in the farmlet over the road, but I couldn’t resist making our house the end of the rainbow:
(Look closely for Peabody out on the left, and Connor standing on the deck.)
As my brother Phil said, there’s no excuse now for naming our house anything other than Pot-O-Gold!
Christmas 2017 ended with Tom and me heading for bed for a long, blissful sleep, interrupted only at 3.30am by an unmistakable but lately uncommon sound: rain on the roof.