Under One Roof

alternatively titled: flying to Bethlehem on Christmas!

Despite the 1,198 miles separating the Piersons (E's family) and the Pearsons (C's family), Evan and I managed to accomplish what we've never done before: we spent Christmas with both of our families. After a wonderful Christmas Eve and morning in Lake City, and a quick packing job and unexpected workout shoveling our stuck car out of our alleyway, we found ourselves en route to none other than Bethlehem.

....Bethlehem, Pennsylvania that is.

We thought that was quite the Christmas coincidence, until we landed in Chicago to discover Santa must've been craving some deep-dish pizza and needed a pit-stop on his way back to the North Pole.

Actually, this was our second Santa-spotting of the day. The first was a regular passenger who happened to look an awful lot like Santa, strolling through the airport with two black duffles in hand that read "TOYS" in red letters. Some kids actually called out to him, "Santa!" The airport is quite festive on Christmas, and we wouldn't be surprised if we hop on that sleigh again in the future for another Christmas Day flight. Just check out the quaint little Bethlehem airport -- much cozier than our typical Philly or Newark destination.

But the best thing about our visit out East was not our Santa-spotting -- hard to believe, I know. The highlight of the trip was simply that for two short days my family was all under one roof.

Let me tell you a story about Carolyn as a little girl. I must've been seven or eight when I started playing the "under one roof" game. Whenever I was worried about my family growing up and growing apart (in the physical sense, that is), or just when I felt insecure and needed some support, I'd shut my eyes tight and picture us all together holding hands in a line. I even included the pets in my little game. Yup, even the fish. It makes me laugh every time I recreate that little image in my head, because when I was little I'd often imagine us all going somewhere together like this, such as church. Here comes the Pearson family up the aisle: mom, dad, the girls, and the dog, complete with the fish-tank bringing up the rear in the little red wagon. I think that image must've made me laugh a bit back then too, which was part of my trick of calming me down from my worries. I'd realize that it would be silly and peculiar if we were all together all the time. We're a family even when we're apart, and I'm a Pearson no matter what. 

This photo was taken August 2009, right before Sarah headed off on her Global Semester with St. Olaf College. After this, we weren't all together again until August of 2010.

Although I don't imagine my family hand-in-hand parading into church with the dog and fish anymore, I do often remind myself that you don't have to be linked together to remain close, or even live in the same state, and we don't have to be under one roof to be a family. But it sure is a treat when I can fall asleep knowing all six seven of us (now there's Evan) are snuggled in under the same roof -- plus or minus a few fish.

Christmas 2008


  1. I had never heard that story before....very cute! And thanks once again for the post. I too love it when we are all under one roof, even if just for a day or two!

  2. Hahaha, that image is funny. Which fish did you put in the tank, in your mind? I bet quasi was in there :) Or maybe the angel fish who lived for 5 years.
    It's true, we are a family no matter what. Too bad there are so many states in-between. ~Kirst

  3. that story is kind of funny....it just shows that you were/are quite the little worrywort in a good sense....I think I'll have to adopt this image to give me a laugh from time to time...=)


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