Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Nothing like Family

One part of the family arrived yesterday afternoon. The grands headed into the snow. The adults started to talk. Dinner was amazing - both the food and the conversation. My ego received a Huge boost around the meal I had prepared ~ including a request that we have the same thing one more time before they leave. :D

We had snow over night - with the sun coming up in a clear blue sky this morning. What a day for tubing - or skiing - or just being out. Or even being in by the fire reading and talking and being together. Gorgeous day! Hope another family comes up at least for the day.

It's going to be a delightful week - the perfect start to a wonderful new year! ~ blessings

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Boxing Day

Often we think Christmas starts with the first carols in tv ads and ends on Christmas night. That may be true in retail. In liturgy it is just plain wrong. Liturgically we anticipate Christmas through the time of Advent - the waiting, the wonder, the anticipation. Christmas begins on . . . Christmas. Then is when the carols are sung, the birth is celebrated and the trees are lit.

I remember my father telling me that he and his siblings came downstairs on Christmas morning to the decorated tree. No tree before that because Christmas hadn't come yet. Well a lot has happened in the last 100 years (wow - that is amazing and as my dad was born in 1905, 1909 would have found him old enough to remember such delight.). Decorations go up even before Thanksgiving now and we have had our tree lit and enjoyed for a while.

Still - deep in the human soul is the recognition that something (the solstice, the birth, the candles) is just a beginning. And so my tree is lit, so are nativity candles and soon I will turn on the carols. It is a blessed time and will continue to be so ~ with Joy

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

May you have a wonderful day ~ a merry day ~ and a blessed day ~ filled with the wonder of children and the Joy of new birth!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

Anticipation and Excitement are everywhere. Strangers greet each other with smiles and good wishes. Santa is already on his way due to the international dateline. The morning unfolds in gentle stages bringing Light slowly but surely back to our time. And some where - in some hospital or tent or home or stable - a mother waits to give birth to a baby who just may change the world.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Did you notice? Did you see it? Light. Just a wee bit more than yesterday. Arriving just a tiny bit earlier -- and maybe staying just a wee bit later tonight. Light. Give thanks and be grateful. ~ with blessings

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Solstice is Coming

I can almost remember when I first learned that early, early Christians, moving into northern Europe, incorporated the birth of Jesus into the time of the solstice celebration when the people celebrated Light coming back to a darkening earth. So perfect. As a Christian I was delighted to feel this centuries long connection with my ancestors of the earth and sky.

This year I am particularly aware that we are within 48 hours of the solstice. The mornings have stayed dark longer. The evenings have turned dark sooner. The lights that sparkle on our tree and the candles around the nativity have made an effort to dispel the gathering gloom. Now it is time for the cosmos to change, for there to be just a little more light. Maybe just as much as an extra large star - or the bubbly smile on a baby's face. Just a little more.

No wonder the birth of the Christ slipped so nicely into what people already believed and hoped. Light ~ literal, metaphorical and existential ~ is coming soon. The Solstice and right behind it, Jesus. Amazing! Peace and blessed be ~ and a very Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Sounds of Morning

Dean has a morning routine - and when he gets up before me, I sometimes lie in bed and listen.

He makes his pot of tea. (opening of dishwasher, drawers; running and pouring of water; the beginning gurgles as the tea starts to brew).

He crosses the living room and builds a fire. (scrap of cold ashes being removed, footsteps to the deck for wood, the moving around of the wood as it becomes a stack in the fireplace, the click of the lighter, the screen being closed).

He walks back across the room to pour his first cup of tea (the gentle trickle of tea into his mug) and refill the pot (a stronger stream of water). By now the fire has begun to crackle and snap. Footsteps again as he crosses to his special corner of the window seat and settles in to write in his journal and prepare for his day.

The gentle aroma of his special blend of tea wafts into the bedroom. The fire continues to crackle. Otherwise all is quiet.

It is a nice way to start a morning, listening to the sounds of home ~ with blessings

Monday, December 14, 2009

Good Wishes

There are some in the conservative media who are upset because there are retailers, sales clerks and others who do not wish them Merry Christmas. They believe Happy Holidays or anything else is opting for being politically correct. Bah, humbug!

When I was little I always wondered how people wishing me Merry Christmas knew I was Christian and not Jewish. When people wished me a Happy Holiday, I always smiled and answered back. From my 66 year perspective on life let me tell you, if someone wishes me a heartfelt greeting this time of year, I take it with delight.

I lived for over 25 years in a town with one of the most conservative churches in the country. And because I attended a much more liberal congregation, people from the other church were always saying they would pray for me. I always replied "Thank you and I will pray for you." If someone wanted to pray for me - lift my life to the God of their choice - I accepted it. Perhaps they did pray that I change my liberal ways. Didn't matter. God knows me and is going to offer me the gifts that I need to be the person God intended me to be.

Whatever the words you are offered this time of year, whatever the reason and meaning behind them, I hope you will smile and offer back a sincere and caring greeting of your own. It is a hard economic time. Stores are still crowded and sales clerks hassled. You may be feeling edgy and wishing you had more to spend. The Spirit of Light and Hope, Peace and Love that permeates all spirituality at this season is more important to impart to each other than any argument over the words we use to convey that Spirit. ~ with blessings

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Time to Give

The time of giving is here. Churches, Synagogues, groups, teams, offices, schools all adopt families from various agencies and buy presents otherwise unavailable to that family. And this year you may be wondering if you can do that, because you too may be hurting financially. The economy is hard. Still - giving can be simple: the change from your car, a dollar, change from the groceries in the Salvation Army pot. The agency you donate to will take your change and put it with lots of other change and create a meal or other small miracle for someone.

Remember too that someone close to you may need that small miracle. However affluent you are, there is someone close to you - in the neighborhood, pew, book club, office - who may need an Angel this year. Giving need not be limited to those places where you get a tax write off.

This time of year all sorts of places are giving. Come May, your women's shelter will still have clients, need to pay their electric bill, and need soap, shampoo, deodorant and lotion for those clients. Mark a day in May or June on your calendar Now, a reminder to give again. Whether another dollar or hundreds, the donation will be welcomed and used.

And of course give of yourself. Hugs are a great way to give of yourself. Invite a friend to tea or hot chocolate, just because. Gather a group to go caroling. In the midst of all the busy-ness, smile and greet people with Joy. You can be a blessing to those around you and that just may be the most special gift of all ~ blessings

Monday, December 7, 2009

Snow Days

In Virginia we occasionally had snow days. There was just too much snow for the school buses to maneuver on the hills of Lynchburg. The kids stayed home, we played games by the fire, popped corn, drank hot chocolate and in general had a lovely retreat day.

Although we have no kids at home to worry about school schedules, Dean tells me that when he did, if there was too much snow in the morning for the buses to run, the kids just waited until the roads were clear about 10 o'clock and headed for the slopes.

Our economy depends on folks making it to the ski slopes and especially fresh powder. So we have one of the best snow removal operations around. I was awake in the middle of the night and watched the snow plow on the street in front of the house. They work around the clock so all those folks who have been panting for the snow to come can get here.

Nonetheless, today, Dean and I are taking a "snow day" today. I am going to decorate the tree, listen to carols, and keep the fire going all day. There are 18 inches or more out there and it is still coming. A good day to stay in and enjoy and be grateful that I don't Have to get out. ~ blessings

Friday, December 4, 2009

Proud grandmother

Tonight is another opening night in this family! The theatrical tradition continues as grandson J opens in High School Musical II at his community theatre. He played the role in HSM about a year (or more) ago and now is reprising the role in the next version.

I decided to go over and spend the weekend. See him tonight and tomorrow night. Spend tomorrow with my daughter who is selling her handmade jewelry at a craft fair. There are also trips to the book store, Trader Joe's and World Market planned. It will be a nice weekend. Dean will get a bit of a retreat as he will be on his own. I will get home before the snow flies on Sunday night. Looking forward to it. ~ with blessings