I put my heart and soul into both Christmas and my little long post below on Bucky Fuller. I cleverly posted it on Christmas Eve so no one much would read it but a few hearty souls did and apparently they liked it. I thank you.
Then I threw myself into the frenzy of the days and shopped, wrapped, cleaned and organized a lovely Christmas Eve dinner of lobster tails and steak on the grill, homemade spinach pie, baked brie en croute, basmati rice and Caesar salad. Cleaned up from that, wrapped some more and then stopped to remember the reason for the season.
I would say that the late service was that hour and a half of nirvana that brought me to tears, humbled me, blessed me, raised me to my feet in song and dropped me to my knees in worship and reminded me that I am eternally grateful. I am Christian so for me that is what it is. But for anyone of faith- whatever that faith- this is the sort of evening that leaves one awestruck. Because I believe that somehow I have been blessed by the gifts given to me, for no reason beyond that I breathe, weep, laugh, fight, forgive, judge in error and in the end stand, or lie, naked as I came. Gifts of tiny lizards and egrets and other women who love their cats and gifts of big weather and friends who have the courage to raise many fine children and of old men in homes for the wizened and quirky, smart, persevering and funny. Gifts of children who are the most nearly perfect of all children, even though we arrive in Florida to find that one in particular came home to Michigan on Christmas break leaving my brand new Florida road bike tied, for two weeks, to the sign post of a local tavern, where it was surprisingly stolen. The gift of a partner who I’d like to kick in the ribs by the time Christmas is over but fall madly in love with all over again on the plane out of town. Most of all, for me, the gift of Someone who would give His most precious gift to little me so that I could be mindful of all I need to do, to learn and to sacrifice in a pathetic attempt to imitate His love for me.
Then it was home to bed with the glorious sounds of music staying on in my dreams. And up to chaos. Dan was up all night burning gift CDS and electronic equipment was pulsing on every surface of my kitchen when I came down- where I needed to make both Christmas breakfast and dinner in a mere six hours. BY 10 AM (HA-HA! you mothers of wee tots!) everyone was up and assembled. Dan slept in the living room chair and woke up at one point to say, "Could we please turn down Christmas a bit? Those druids ( I believe "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent" was playing on the stereo) are bothering my sleep!" Everyone else enjoyed gifting each other and finally Dan woke up long enough to laugh hysterically at the calendar of dressed-up ferrets posed in little cars that Abby gave him for Christmas.
Then it was a flurry of activity to throw away paper and serve the Christmas ham and vacuum up the catnip strewn all over the living room and pull the half ingested rag that used to hold the catnip from McCloud’s throat. And we raced for the airport as the snow began coming down as thick as I’ve ever seen it. Two de-icings later we were in the air and on our way here.
I have discovered that I can get somebody’s wi-fi signal sitting on the park bench in the front yard of our tiny historic Arts and Crafts bungalow here in St. Petersburg. No longer do I need to brave the stench of burned coffee at Panera’s.
So here I sit, in the pitch dark save for the most beautiful Christmas lights imaginable. There is, of course, our three dimensional polar bear with his nodding head and our colorfully lit Norfolk palm and one Sago palm with those big colored lights up the trunk. Jordon across the street has his 3 giant palms with white lights up the trunks and brightly colored lights in the fronds. The neighbors on either side have gone all out, too. I am listening to Strauss: Vier lezte Lieder with Kiri Te Kanawa and life is, well, nearly perfect. It is a bit nippy but my heavy sweater does the trick.
I didn’t bring the camera this trip but Rich just came out on the porch and said, "Where’s the camera? I need a picture of this." Must be what scientists call, "Too bad."