christmas and sanity

So, the holiday season is firmly upon us here in Fridge Country.  We are ramping up for the two week celebration that is Nor Tari, two weeks devoted to celebrating New Years and Christmas (the ‘Christian’ one, as I’ve heard it said in many households here).

As I’ve said before, there are interim traditions to be performed.  Skype again was this years Santa Claus, delivering the gift of Texan family right into my friend’s Armenian living room.  Christmas Eve was Apricot-Garlic pasta, cinnamon chocolate cake, three good friends, and Elfin Dice.  Christmas morning was six o’clock on the dot Skyping with my incredible family, who had me direct my little sister’s hands in the openning of her gift to me (a well thought-out combination of my favorite Christmas movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas, with a desperate need of mine, socks).  Then there was the eating of Reese’s peanut butter cups (I only participated through gustatory memory) and subsequent pitching of balled up wrappers at the camera.   And my PCV friend here in Armenia was quite suprised to find me sitting on his couch at 7 am rolling dice on the cushion while I played a favorite game with the rest of my family.  An incredible Christmas morning.

Christmas day… well… it wasn’t great, and we won’t waste your time with that story.

My return home, however, has punctuated this holiday season with some fantastic developments.  First of all, let me introduce you to my newest pal, Sanity, otherwise known by the close-to-Armenian translation, Voghjamik (Ողջամիկ).

She came into my house on the first day of RUNNING WATER!  She rides around in the hood of my sweatshirt when I’m cooking or doing dishes.  She sucks on her tail and then falls asleep on my knee while I’m reading.  She’s a natural when it comes to charm.  She’s going to keep me sane by allowing me another soul to talk to (although last night I told her, “I’ve GOT to go to bed. SOMEbody has to go to work tomorrow to put food on the table.”  So… Sanity may not promote her namesake… ktesnenk.)  A Christmas gift that one.

And speaking of Christmas gifts, I got an fantastic Christmas package from the parents!  I got them on speaker phone for the openning, and it was almost like Christmas, right there in my little cottage.  There was new underwear, NEW WHITE LONG SOCKS (!!!!), WOOL SOCKS (!!!), cake mixes, cookies mixes, lemon bar mixes, chocolate chips, vanilla, work out stretchbands, and CHIPS AND DIP!!   Those two souls, Mom and Dad, are an incredible gift.

So, now I have running water, socks and Sanity.  I’m ringing in the New Year on a good note, I do believe.


  1. christine

    :D AWW!


  2. Armenian kitten! Sanity is great! We’re coming to visit you know that you have a little kitty friend.
    From Lara and Kristin who are together.

  3. Lisa Hines

    She is precious!!!!! I’m very happy for you!!!

  4. Nancy Beth

    Brento! You are so articulate in describing your surroundings, the love for your family, and your new friend, Sanity. Sanity is adoreable!!! I think of you often. I appologize for not contacting you sooner via this website or facebook. You are doing wonderful things. Love ya lots!
    Nancy Beth

  5. OMG
    that is THE cutest kitten i have ever seen. ever.

  6. […] This was also the year in which, because I was missing my traditional versions, my family holidays were recreated in new ways.  A paper me was present during Halloween festivities while I hosting my own version with my new Armenian friends. (Flat Me also made it to Thanksgiving and Christmas, too!) Thanksgiving was a 100 person celebration at the All Volunteer conference, and the 2009 American Christmas was both an undesirable in-country event, and one that I will hold dear to my heart thanks to Skype. […]

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