Lou and I were greeters at church on Sunday and we had a delightful surprise. We looked up and I mean UP to see two tall (one 6 ft 5 inches and one 6 ft seven inches) grandsons standing in the receiving line. We did not know they were planning on attending church and that started our Rice Family Christmas Celebration off in the right way. Our pastor, whom is also tall, remarked "that it was good to be able to look up to a member of the congregation".
Immediately after church, as many of Lou's family as possible, met at his house for a time of fellowship and exchange of gifts. Once again there was an array of food to tempt everyone's appetite. A granddaughter, that is studying in Italy, had flown home and she traveled down to Pennsylvania with her mother and sister. This was another surprise to the whole family, we had been following her travels in Europe with her blog, but seeing her in person was rewarding. She promised all of us that she would keep blogging for our enjoyment.
After the exchange of presents the grandson's that attended church were anxious to shoot their newly acquired 50 caliber muzzle loader. Seems that Santa was very generous to them. One of the boys had shown me a little about the gun. The only experience with a muzzle loader I had was when my son was young, he had an authentic Davy Crockett muzzle loader that his grandpa had made a honest to goodness powder horn for.
I debated if I should go outside with the boys and their father to see them shoot the gun; however, I was not dressed for the outside, coming right from church. I did remember I had gardening shoes at Lou's house, so I quickly got a pair of Lou's socks and put them over my pantyhose and pulled them up as high as they would go and donned my long winter coat and scarf and off we went. I am so glad that I did, as that was the highlight of my day. The oldest grandson explained everything he did to the gun to get it ready to fire, and not only did he explain what he did, but why he did it as he did. I learned different amounts of gun powder were used depending on what you were going to do. He even let me tamp the packing, gun powder and bullet down, which I learned is not as simple as it appears to be.
I wanted to get a picture as he fired his first shot, and thankfully, with the new cameras I was able to capture the shot, after I recovered from the sound and the smoke. He was darn accurate on the target, pleasing Santa and the boys.
The boys stayed on at the house until Tuesday evening and were able to get out in the woods to try their gun; however, as we spoke to them last night they did not see deer close enough to shoot at. The sad thing of all of this is that someone hit a deer in front of Lou's house, not only hitting the deer, but also taking out his paper box. Where is the justice in all of this??
Now all has settled back to normal and we have a pot of homemade soup brewing from the left over bones of our rib roasts, getting caught up on thank you notes and such. The Christmas decorations are all put away for another year and we are looking forward to going out to dinner tomorrow night and a party with our square dancing group to celebrate New Years Eve.