I kind of missed Sunday's Thought. (I am feeling like the mouse who was not stirring in Madeleine's Christmas, because 'like everyone else in that house which was old, the mouse was in bed with a terrible cold'.) Luckily it didn't come on until after everyone left Christmas night, and so Christmas was nice, busy, happy-- and rolled along to it's own kind of vibe, as they all do, it seems. Each one different. Each filled with the hopes and fears of all the years. This year my son-in-law made prime rib. A friend roasted venison, and my sister cooked a turkey. We didn't have creamed onions or mashed turnips, and there was cake instead of plum pudding, and too many people to sit at a table. Old friends were missing, but new ones came. The young men even turned on a ball game-- without sound. (I used to swear there would never be TV at Christmas. But I want us all to be together, and I want to be part of it, and sometimes that trumps tradition.)
This is such a nostalgic season. The grandparents I celebrated Christmas with are long gone, as are their white tablecloths and fine China. During one family breakfast I drew the plastic Christmas plate my son made "To Mom and Dad Merry Christmas, Love Christian 1996." (They all designed Christmas plates every year in school, so we have a big stack.) I did the math-- can it be that my third child made that plate the year he was the same age as my oldest grandchild is? (Then of course I missed him, as he is surfing in Indonesia.) I've been reading a Louise Penny mystery, and my bookmark is the card that same almost six year-old granddaughter made me in that same little child learning to write script my son had used on the plate. I can see and feel the big old wheel of life turning, in the best kind of way.
Walking on the snowy beach with a friend and our dogs yesterday at sunset-- to get some fresh air and clear my head cold a bit-- we talked of people we loved who are no longer here, and some who are very sick, with more than a cold, and the excitement of grandchildren Christmas morning, and our Christmas Eve's with the kids-- she had tacos with her grandchildren at their house and we had pizza with ours at my daughter's house-- and how for some reason in the middle of all the chaos on Christmas day neither of us had said or heard a proper blessing or toast, and we are both the kind of women who like that pause in the action to take a moment to be grateful and mindful-- and how maybe next year we'd go smaller, and simpler-- but then she said her husband did stand up and say "Merry Christmas" and at that moment she was so happy she cried. Our walk ended back at my house, which is still my favorite place in the whole world, especially when it is filled with people I love, and I said, "We are so lucky, aren't we?" and she said "Yes. I know. We are blessed."