A Slow Day in the Neighborhood- thank goodness!

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.
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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."

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13 responses to “A Slow Day in the Neighborhood- thank goodness!

  1. Kiri would do it for me too. I have her on video in Der Rosenkavelier and on a few other things, mostly concerts, as well. I think I have a Don Giovanni too.

    I lost track of you and never did say Merry Christmas and now it’s Boxing Day, at least some places. Early Happy New Year in case I have another senile moment.

  2. I took a break from the blog most of Christmas Day and today. Today I had to navigate the Medicare prescription forest for my folks. A couple of doctor calls tomorrow to ask about changes in a couple of medications that could save over $1000 next year and maybe we will have this settled.

    Mr. Rhett loves, I mean loves his sac of catnip. The others do as well but he tries to keep it for his own. He has posted a letter for Sophie.

    Glad you made it to balmy Florida. Too bad about the camera. My brother got me a new one. More megapixels and whiz bang stuff. I am reading the first of several manuals that came with it.

    Mom and Dad went to the Christmas Eve service while I was in the middle of the Potica bread. Christmas morning we went to church and Stephen sang. He didn’t need a microphone and the high note really reverberated. It was wonderful, though I’m biased. We did breakfast after church, then gifts and then later had supper.

    Tomorrow, actually it is later today we are off to see “The Lion King”. The Broadway production traveling company is playing at Chrysler Hall.

    Get some rest. Does Abby get back down before you have to head for home? Nyssa has to go back before my birthday, I think on the 14th. She worked until Thursday before Christmas and is working Wednesday through Saturday down at the beach again. My brother leaves on the 2nd for New York and then back to Vienna a couple of days later, back to Dresden a day or two after that and to Brazil in February.

    Thank you so much for the surprise gifts, they are absolutely stunning. I know a lote of little birds are going to be very happy.

  3. it sounds like you really did the holiday well! i’m glad you’re taking the time for r & r. enjoy!

  4. Hahaha! My mother always makes the joke that she needs to take out some kind of insurance me as I’ll misplace myself before long. (I nearly lost my wallet at the airport: eek!)

    Your Christmas sounded swell, the funny presents and the family and the yummy food and making it out to balmy Florida. The temperature has actually risen here so while not quite Florida it was prett nice. All the best for the new year!

  5. Definitely filed under “too bad” 😉 Glad you’re enjoying yourself. Wish I was there!

  6. Sorry about the bike! Yikes, I would be somewhat ticked off. Dinner sounds positively heavenly; next year, come here and do that for me, okay?
    Happy to know you got down south okay. Our weather this upcoming week will be almost florida-like (mid-high 60’s) and I am so looking forward to it. Have a safe trip back home.

  7. “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.”

    I love you Vicki!

  8. You are such a writer, Vicki.

    Glad your Christmas was so full.

  9. Hey, you’re in the tropics (well..subtropics) so slow down a little. Sounds like you had a great, but busy Christmas.

  10. I don’t know if you got my card before you left or not, but it will be there waiting when you return. Just wanted you to know.

  11. “Let all mortal flesh keep silent!” *weeping at the pure beauty of this exquisite hymn* ‘Tis from Habakkuk 2:20 – But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him. Lyrics date back to the 4th century and were harmonized by Ralph Vaughn Williams in the 17th century. Your testimony of faith is a thing of beauty that possibly trumps your incredible penultimate post! I’m honored to know you, dear Vicki!

    P.S. The hats, mittens, and scarves have arrived!!! I am wearing my beautiful scarf (perfect for Seattle snow!) as I type this. Do blog buddies inherently know one another’s favorite colors and textures?! Look for “A Squared” mailman as we celebrate the 12 days of Christmas through Epiphany!

    WHERE IS GENE??!!

  12. Kenju: HERE I AM!! Hee.

    Vicki: There was a lot of “too bad” going around in 2005. Maybe next year will be the year of “so good.” (But I doubt it.)

    (This is a good post, you little Christian you. I’ll go now to read about Buckyball.)

  13. Yours is my favorite Christmas story I’ve read… Because I love the Christmas Eve service more than anything too (although you wouldn’t know it reading my post on the matter) and because I LOVE “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent” and had completely forgotten about it and because overall, this post was just beautifully written and I felt like I was there. Or I wanted to be there. Anyway. I’m going to read your Bucky post now.

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