PIERINI FITNESS.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Memories of Christmas far from home


At this point in my life, I prefer to be home during the Christmas season. Just like Dorothy said in the Wizard of Oz movie as she clapped her shiny red shoes, there’s no place like home. There were four times in which that was not the case, each of which provided pleasant memories of Christmas far from home.

My first pleasant memory was Christmas 1974 when I was in the U.S. Army stationed at Osan Air Force Base in South Korea. While missing my family, I remember enjoying the adventure of being a young, wild and crazy guy in another country and in the company of other young, wild and crazy guys who were my fellow soldiers, one who is still a good friend.

My second pleasant memory was Christmas 1990, the time my wife, daughter, son and I went to Maui, Hawaii for a week vacation. We had a great time. I remember the excitement on our children’s faces when they opened their Christmas presents early and learned we were going to Hawaii for Christmas. It felt so good to be at the beach enjoying warmer December weather knowing how cold it was back home.

My third pleasant memory was Christmas 1992 when my wife and I took our children to England and Scotland for an 8-day vacation. It was our first time crossing the Atlantic. We departed on Christmas Day and spent December 26th roaming all over London on foot before heading as far north as Edinburgh, Scotland a few days later. We returned to London on New Year’s Eve and attended a theatre performance of Les Miserables. Afterwards, we hung out at Trafalgar Square as the clock struck 12:00 midnight to ring in the new year. We have lots of photos to rekindle pleasant memories.

My fourth pleasant memory was Christmas 1994 when my wife and I took our children to England and several other European countries for a 14-day Christmas vacation. We attended Midnight Mass celebrated by Pope John Paul II on Christmas Day in the Basilica of St. Peter at the Vatican. The next day, 14 years ago to this day, we walked all over Rome and visited all the popular tourist sites. The weather was great that day. A few days later we ended up in London on New Year’s Eve and found our way to Big Ben as the clock struck 12:00 midnight to ring in the new year. It was very cold that night. Again, we have lots of photos of pleasant memories.

Now that our children are adults living their own lives, it’s not easy to take those types of family vacations. I’m so glad that we did when they were young because of the pleasant memories of Christmas far from home.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

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