Halfway through church on Sunday we paused to bless the new coffee pot. Dwight led the procession to the kitchen carrying a cross, and Jan and Deacon Georgia and Nancy-- all in their vestments-- gathered close while we stood back a ways. Jan said a few words to God and the percolating pot, and then asked that the "liveliness of the bean" (as in coffee) "be a reminder of the liveliness of God's love for us." This kind of event at tiny St. Michael's is why I attend church there.It has also prompted one much more formal Episcopalian friend to dub us "St.
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The timing of our snowshoe up to Camp Weasel for Tom and Jane's Boxing Day open house was perfect. My friend Linnus and I managed to be outside in just about all of the available daylight, join Tom and Jane for a cold beer and hot venison chili and make it back down to the road before it got too dark. The fresh snow (about two feet, it seemed) was bright, but heavy and wet, especially with the rain. Tom said he figured no one would come in this slop.
Ziggy came to church on Christmas Eve. Ziggy is an Australian cattle dog, with big ears and a rough red and gray coat. He is a year old, but appears older, partly because of the gray in his fur, but mostly because of his wise brown eyes. He watched and listened as we stood and sat and prayed and sang, as if he understood all of it. He checked out the creche near the altar, and much to his master Darren's relief he did not lift a leg, or chew one of the stuffed animals our congregation warms up the white porcelain nativity tableau with, although he was very interested in a plush fox.
There's a winter storming today, for weather that poses an "imminent threat to life and property" according to the weather service. Which is a bit melodramatic, to say the least. Eight inches of snow is not a hazard, it is a blessing. Yesterday I went for a walk with Annie and Paul up behind their house and the Salvation Army. The ground was frozen and mostly bare. We wore crampons and carried snowshoe poles. It was cold, about 14 degrees, but we quickly warmed up climbing the very steep wooded and rocky slope. The ground under the trees was hard and mostly bare with a frosting of white.
JJ made us waffles this morning, and they were so good I thought I'd share her recipe. Plus, it is crazy around here. My daughter Sarah and her husband Brian are in Juneau waiting for the baby. They took the ferry down yesterday. (There's no hospital in Haines.) Brian says if she's born on Christmas Day her middle name will be Holiday. I think he's joking. (He also says if she's born on New Year's it will be Champagne.) Her due date is January 5. My son woke us all up playing the guitar again.
What did one Christmas tree say to the other?
You light me up.
It's the last Sunday in Advent, so we lit the fourth candle on the Advent wreath, and sang the first verse plus verses 5 thru 8 in "O Come Emanuel." We also sang one of my favorite's, "People, Look East" which includes the line "make your house fair as you are able, trim the hearth and set the table" which I have sort of done already this evening, as we're having a family dinner with moose steaks and mashed potatoes, a salad, peas, and sliced mozzarella and tomatoes.
The new Dispatch column is up, and it is about the changing of the guard in the snow dragon. And, today is the last chance bazaar at the ANB Hall, borough clerk Julie Cozzi will be singing, and if you haven't heard her, you really should. She's a jazzy night club kind of singer. Also, there all kinds of holiday specials around town, and just about all the stores are open for Christmas shopping.
We missed the party at the Klondike last night because an old friend arrived from Anchorage, over the rivers and passes and through the snow. He was kind of groggy from the 900 mile drive, especially the last 150 miles in a white-out following the snowplow's tail-lights through the Chilkat Pass. The Haines road was closed, but a Yukon maintenance guy said he could follow him at his own risk, so he did. The least I could do was give him a cold beer and cook him a warm meal.
I sort of promised to write about Sarah's baby shower in my Dispatch column this week, but I was a little frantic, the way I am on a deadline (today at 4:00pm) and I couldn't find my notes. So I didn't. Also, I had a library board meeting this morning and went to Morning Muscles, and time was running out. I had jotted down all kinds of sweet and funny things on the Baby Shower Bingo card. But I lost it. I guess that pink corsage with "Grandma" on it suits me better than I had thought.