Monday, December 28, 2015

A White New Year

Today I woke a whole hour later than a normal Monday and to noticeable darkness.  As I sit here with my cup of coffee, I can detect the faintest of flurries wafting in the finally chilly air.  Rumor has it snow, and lots of it, is in today's forecast.  That will please the skiers and sledders in my household. Me too, I think, although now that I see it accumulating I'm not entirely sure.


After a whirlwind weekend of birthday celebrations both for Jesus and T. Bone, it is back to reality for me.  I think I'm ready, but again I'm not 100 percent sure.  If I'm being honest though, I surmise there is very little about which I am absolutely certain of especially at this time of year when I'm caught between looking back and moving forward.  This last week of the year is always as much about penance as it is about celebration.


Looking back over the last few days I do get that warm fuzzy feeling.  That is to say it was a very merry and bright Christmas. I keep visiting the memories made.  They are keepers.  I will remember sitting between my my brother and my son during Christmas Eve mass all year.  It meant a great deal to me to have my brother and sister-in-law join us for this tradition that is one of my best loved and most meaningful of the season. Something stirs within me when we open with Adeste Fideles and then close with Hark the Herald Angels Sing.  I like to close my eyes and imagine what the celebratory chorus of our voices on Earth sounds like in Heaven.  The joy and the energy is resounding and uplifting.  It has to be heard.  I'll also remember the touching words my brother offered to each of us gathered around his table one by one before dinner later that night.  I felt very blessed indeed.  Everything was intentional and beautiful...delicious and thoughtful. Special.


Christmas morning Lily came to wake us, but we were already awake and just waiting for the kids to rouse. We had to wake Ted who thinks nothing of sleeping the morning away perhaps even on Christmas.  We took our time opening our bounty of gifts.  Santa delivered even without advance notice of desires or accounting of behavior.  The cats made sport of the empty boxes and discarded ribbon, and maybe had the best time of all.  I do believe we were all sufficiently spoiled and we still had two Christmases to go.


Go we did and too soon.  We were due for brunch at Grandma and Grandpa's where we were met by quite a spread.  More presents too.  Lily enjoyed the year of the boot and scarf.  She yielded five of each.  For Teddy, it was the year of golf and PS4.  He said in passing that he now feels the pressure to play well and make the team.  I think the best part was the white elephant exchange.  My Uncle kicked it off by opening a selfie stick despite the fact that I doubt he has ever taken one.  Lily ended up with it and I must confess it has gotten much use.


We arrived home long enough to sleep, make another dish and head out for our last Christmas Saturday.  It was another fun family gathering.  My niece and my nephew are now old enough to have a beer, and that just makes me feel plum ancient.  The years amble on and I scarcely see that I am older until I am presented such stark evidence.


Evidence like a 15 year old child.  I was up to wish Teddy a Happy Birthday as the 26th became the 27th.  Years are minutes I tell you.  We had an impromptu party yesterday in his honor.  So spontaneous that the lemon cake he requested went unfulfilled.  We ordered pizza and ate carrot cake instead, and I got to test out my new, but still unfinished kitchen.  The flow is good.


Life is good.  We are blessed with another Merry Christmas, one more year, the prospect of a Happy New Year, and 10-12 inches.