People Look East (and Head South)

 Yesterday in church we sang my favorite Advent Hymn, People Look East. (I like O Come Emmanuel, but this is more festive.) The first verse includes, "Make your house fair as you are able, trim the hearth and set the table, love the guest is on the way." That always is my cue to find the Advent calendar, string some lights, get out the creche and the Christmas books and my Sue Smith hand carved Santas. We don't put up our tree until after the Christmas parade, which is next weekend. (If you are in Haines and would like to be in the snow dragon -I am, again, apparently- there is one more spot, I think, and a couple of adults are needed to hand out sparklers and light fireworks. Call Annette at 766-2708.) But this year  I'm not really doing any of the December house brightening because the whole family is spending the holiday in Mexico. I know, I can't believe I'm even writing that.  I'd rather be here. Oh, I know it will be fun, and with this weather I shouldn't complain, as the whole town would no doubt like to evacuate-- the rain and wind has wiped out almost all the snow except the rotting piles from the plow and it sounds like the end of the world out there this morning -trees are falling --but even so, I'd always rather be home making my house as fair as I am able than in a tropical paradise. Here is where my husband comes in from the porch with an armload of wood and shouts "It is really awful out there, be glad you don't have a Bernese Mountain dog to walk." (I had been debating getting one from a litter his cousin was expecting, but there were only three puppies born this weekend and they were all spoken for.) "Don't even open the door today," he said. I do have a little tree from the Lighting of the Library auction for the house-sitters which I'll get out this morning, and the Christmas CD basket will come up from the cellar.  (My must-hears are Handel's Messiah and Robert Earl Keen's Merry Christmas from the Family.) The trip also means no presents  (Mexico is plenty) so there is not the usual flurry of worry, either. We leave a week from Monday, but if you need some help with your gift list, I'm happy to personalize my books. Just drop them off at the lumberyard with a note explaining who they are for,  or ask Tom or Liz at the bookstore to call me to write a note in a book,  and if you aren't in Haines, call or email the Babbling Book at 907-766-3356 or and they will make sure I do it before I leave and mail it to you.



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