Monday, December 17, 2012

December 17 and Counting

With packages being mailed away, I feel like I am suddenly caught up and ready to enjoy the holiday season. That is always a false security but this weekend I sure made a good start at it.

In spite of storming winds and pelting rains, David and I set out to the Port Gamble Theater on Sunday afternoon to watch the local thespians play the Herdmans in the "Best Christmas Pageant Ever". It was a fun experience and a good holiday activity, matching well with the weekend of package wrapping and cookie baking.

There is nothing like spending the day baking, while the wind and rain swirl outside and visitors stop by to say hi. That last part was the real gift of the weekend. In the midst of baking in my old blue sweater and fleece pants, my great friends Lynnea and Linda stopped by to say hi. We don't often get to visit after Labor Day when Linnea moves back to Seattle. She brought with her a beautiful Swedish Yule Krantz which David dove into this morning for his breakfast. Leslie Nelson also stopped by with her wonderful homemade rolls and  stayed to share. Because of our divergent lives throughout the year, I recognize how important these old traditions with old friends have become. They serve to remind us all of the kindness and love that is out there in our lives, even when we aren't touching it.

So, my words of enlightenment for today are:  Follow old traditions and make new ones but always include the people you know and love even when you don't remember when you last saw them. Now I offer you the enlightened words of the Best Christmas Pagean Ever for the 17th of December:      
“That’s you, Leroy,” Ralph said, “and Claude and Ollie. So pay attention.”
“What does it mean, Wise Men?” Ollie wanted to know. “Were they like schoolteachers.”…
While we sang “What Child Is This?” the Wise Men were supposed to confer among themselves and then leave by a different door, so everyone would understand that they were going home another way. But the Herdmans forgot, or didn’t want to, or something, because they didn’t confer and they didn’t leave either. They just sat there, and there wasn’t anything anyone could do about it.
“They’re ruining the whole thing!” Alice whispered, but they weren’t at all. As a matter of fact, it made perfect sense for the Wise Men to sit down and rest, and I said so.

Now- sit down, smile, grab a cookie and rest!

Monday, December 10, 2012

On the tenth day of Christmas...

Wow, already ten days of the holiday gone by and it seems the elves have been busy on Tulin Road. Decorations abound and the tree is up with old decorations full of memories and smiles. There is the smell of cookies baking mixed with the scent of fir branches and I am a slave to the US Postal Service. I don't really think they have the right "Christmas elf" attitude.

Saturday I was the busy Christmas Santa with lots of helpful elves. I picked up my Christmas present in Tukwilla with a cargo van from U-haul! After more than 25 years of service the old, recovered loveseat was saved another attempt of recovering. I found a new brown leather loveseat to fill the living room. It weighs at least 5 tons but with the help of 3 young neighbors and one of their friends, it found it's way into our house and the old one was removed to the van and hauled to the dump. An easy project for me and a real adrenaline rush for the others!

So that is the scene set for those of you far away. Lots of busy activities and a very little bit of shopping, which is really only an excuse to look into the galleries and studios I normally don't pop into. The generosity of Christmas seems to fill the community every year and with the recent damage of Hurricane Sandy , it is all the more obvious. People want to help those in trouble. The question of how best to do that has recently been on my mind and of course I have a solution in mind, so all of you with energy and/or connections listen up: We need a national, non-profit organization committed to helping people restructure their lives after an emergency. We have the Red Cross committed to helping people survive the moments of a tragedy but for the hard work thereafter, there is no structure to funnel all the good will of people with generous hearts. I want a nonprofit, not governmental, structure that offers grants and micro-loans to people as they rebuild their live. A family needing $5000 for basic furniture in their apartment after their home is destroyed or a coffee shop needing to pay for clean-up and employee salaries until FIMA or insurance can kick in. This umbrella organization would also organize sponsorships, where a school in a safe part of the country might want to focus their fundraising for another damaged school or a neighborhood sponsor a family suffering. You get the idea- now run with it!

It is all in the spirit of Nancy and Plum:  " Why Plum," Nancy said, and there were tears in her eyes."Uncle John hasn't forgotten us and he did send us Christmas presents." Plum said," Yes, and where are they?"

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good week ahead.
Love, Mama Llama

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The count down begins

Advent calendar
Happy Advent one and all! Just like in days of old, we begin the count down to Christmas with anticipation and excitement. At my age, I also add anxiety, wondering if I can squish all my expectations into a few short weeks.

In any case, counting down gives me a perfect opportunity to share Christmas on Tulin Road with everyone who can't be here to have biscotti and wine on a cold wet afternoon and to see the chaos for yourself.

Counting down
The Advent season really starts at Thanksgiving in our family. This year we were together at Lynne's with Anita and Linda's aunt Inge. Dave and Kyrsa flew up and joined us from California which made it especially fun. We ate, drank and talked, enjoying being together to start the holiday season. On December first we celebrated the upcoming arrival of Kyrsa's baby girl with a very fun baby shower including all of Kyrsa's great girls. Being with great friends and a pregnant lady is the best way to start of the holiday.

But really, this is all about the "count down" and sharing the days as they evolve here in Kingston. SO - on the first day of Christmas the message is :" ...Joseph and Mary, his espoused wife, being great with child..." Pregnant!" yelled Ralph Herman. "I don't thing it's very nice to say Mary was pregnant," Alice whispered to me. "But she was," I pointed out. In a way, though, I agreed with her. It sounded too ordinary. Anybody could be pregnant. "I'm not suppose to talk about people being pregnant." Alice folded her hands in her lap and pinched her lips together. "I'd better tell my mother." "Tell her what?" from The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.

Now, on with your day and remember it is the Christmas holiday to do something special for yourself and also include someone you love. This is a holiday to remember to share your love.

Love to you all,
Mama Llama