Christmas at the assisted living residence in Racine, Wisconsin; Mom refers to it as "Downton Abbey." (The photo's a bit blurry – shot by a busy but patient nurse!)

Christmas in Wisconsin

by Helen Holter

It’s sad that so many of us in the U.S. – and especially in Seattle – live so far away from our families, our parents, our loved ones. That’s why spending time with my widowed mom means so much to me, here for Christmas in Wisconsin. (Click on first photo below to begin slideshow with captions.)

Christmas at the assisted living residence in Racine, Wisconsin; Mom refers to it as "Downton Abbey." (The photo's a bit blurry – shot by a busy but patient nurse!)
Christmas at the assisted living residence in Racine, Wisconsin; Mom refers to it as "Downton Abbey." (The photo's a bit blurry – shot by a busy but patient nurse!)
A winter solstice sunrise from my mom's place in Racine, Wisconsin.
A winter solstice sunrise from my mom's place in Racine, Wisconsin.
Mom will be 88 in January: going strong, so cheerful and kind, and sharp as a whip. When I grow up I want to be just like her... This is Christmas Day in Racine, Wisconsin. (BTW, at age 19 Mom was teaching in a one-room schoolhouse in the outback of northern Montana. She is just brimming with stories!)
Mom will be 88 in January: going strong, so cheerful and kind, and sharp as a whip. When I grow up I want to be just like her... This is Christmas Day in Racine, Wisconsin. (BTW, at age 19 Mom was teaching in a one-room schoolhouse in the outback of northern Montana. She is just brimming with stories!)
No visit to Racine, Wisconsin is complete without multiple walks along Lake Michigan – regardless of the bitter wind chill!
No visit to Racine, Wisconsin is complete without multiple walks along Lake Michigan – regardless of the bitter wind chill!
Lake Michigan's rocks, enrobed in ice. (Racine, Wisconsin)
Lake Michigan's rocks, enrobed in ice. (Racine, Wisconsin)
arewell to the house of my teen and college years: now for sale and pending in Racine, Wisconsin.
Farewell to the house of my teen and college years: now for sale and pending in Racine, Wisconsin.
The living room's empty, but still filled with sunlight in my parents' home of 50 years, now almost sold. I'm standing where the 100-year-old piano was, which I played endlessly as a teenager. (Racine, Wisconsin)
The living room's empty, but still filled with sunlight in my parents' home of 50 years, now almost sold. I'm standing where the 100-year-old piano was, which I played endlessly as a teenager. (Racine, Wisconsin)
My oh-so-favorite Wind Point Lighthouse, on the shores of Lake Michigan in Racine, Wisconsin.
My oh-so-favorite Wind Point Lighthouse, on the shores of Lake Michigan in Racine, Wisconsin.
B-r-r-r! In every season, I gravitate to Lake Michigan's shores – here at the Wind Point Lighthouse.
B-r-r-r! In every season, I gravitate to Lake Michigan's shores – here at the Wind Point Lighthouse.
Sunset from my mother's place at the assisted living residence in Racine, Wisconsin. Yes, they still have silos, farms, and dairy cows...
Sunset from my mother's place at the assisted living residence in Racine, Wisconsin. Yes, they still have silos, farms, and dairy cows...

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