Traditionally when my family gets together for the holidays we usually make it at least once to the Potomac River or canal for a nice long walk. Somehow that pleasure got skipped this year, perhaps because my parents’ new condo is adjacent to the golf course and a county park, making for easy beautiful walks right outside the front door. My dad’s office window (where Chad, Christian, and I stayed) had a great view too – I love the way leafless trees crisscross the sky in the winter.

In the past, I might have made fun of my parents for living next door to the country club. Now I can see the benefits of living next door to acres and acres of beautifully maintained outdoor space that abound with deer and fox. The county park is on the other side of the golf course. I think, from time to time, during the last two weeks, each of us enjoyed slipping out into the woods and away from the clatter and din of ten people in the house.