Yesterday I was in the bookstore when Lucy Harrell came in with her friend Jim and I asked if she was buying gifts and she said, "No, I'm giving them." She handed Liz a check for 1,000 dollars for the Arts Council. (Liz's husband Tom is the president.) Liz gave it to me to bring to my husband, who is the treasurer.
I was so grumpy this morning that I had to say to myself "find the good" when I rolled out of bed at 5:15, which is kind of funny. I was at rehearsal last night from about 6-9 at the Chilkat Center for the Holly Jolly Follies (Saturday at 7pm. It will be a great show) and sort of missed dinner.
"Remember: you are not who you think you are. You are what you do. Be the kindness of soft rain. Be the beauty of light behind a tall fir. Be gratitude. Be gladness."-- Kathleen Dean Moore in Wild Comfort
The sun is out and the shadows are long. There's a north wind blowing and it's cooler. While there's no snow in town to speak of, we may have skating ice soon if the weather pattern holds. The line up for the Christmas Parade tomorrow is at about 3:45 or 4:00 at Thor's Gym (the old Elks Club) and for the Snow Dragon it's the school cafeteria next door.
I have been writing Dad's annual Christmas letter, the one he always titles "Season's Greetings from Sunnyside Farm." My mom used to write the letter, but since she died, he has done it, with my help. Some years I have had more edits than others. But Papa Bob as we call him, is a good student. This year, all I did was type it up for him. This part is worth sharing right now:
Age must sharpen the senses. I find myself constantly remembering the past. Mostly happy memories, but some sadness. The loss of family, friends, and especially Sally.
"When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability... To be alive is to be vulnerable." ~ Madeleine L'Engle
I would rather view today as a week from Thanksgiving than four weeks 'til Christmas. Blame it on my Episcopal raising, but I like to have a season of Advent between my two Turkeys. (Although I have strung up lights on the porches and garage and there's a tangle in the bushes at the end of the driveway so I can find it in the dark.) What I wanted to tell you was about the afternoon when I was shopping last minute for cranberries last week.
It is so dark. I think the rain makes it even worse. I know it's not helpful to complain, and that the weather isn't personal, but honestly, have you seen the forecast? Rain all week. There's a mud slide on Lutak Road. Still, the Lighting of the Library was packed in spite of a drenching gale, and the rain even turned to snow before it was over --it turned back to rain the next morning, but what can you do? Christy Fowler and Haines Headstart won the 100 gallons of heating oil raffle sponsored by the Friends of the Library, which is pretty great.
"Whenever I am ready to rail at God," Rabbi Gary Bretton-Granatoor writes, "I find those moments of gratitude. Those moments of satisfaction and joy help sustain me through those horrific moments of loss or pain or defeat- to know those momentary joys is to feel the poke in the ribs from God, saying,'I'm here too.'"
It was a hard night for friends and family of Steve McPhetres, the former school superintendent, runner, outdoorsman, musician, Juneau church leader, family man-- husband, father, grandfather, friend all around wonderful guy-- died at Harborview in Seattle following a fall deer hunting, or, I have heard, a stroke, or perhaps a combination. It doesn't really matter. He's suddenly gone, that's all I know. A light is out and I am sad.