Not a story this time.

Well this month started out with a lot of great ideas in mind, but I will definitely not be doing 31 posts in 31 days. But that's OK.  I will someday write the Great Amurikan Novel, but this is not the month for it.  For in the meantime, life hath intervened!
My goodness, where do I begin, dear 3.5 readers?  It has been quite a number of days since I last blogged here (or anywhere, for that matter).  It's the holiday season - a religious  holiday for Christians, another religious holiday for Jews, and a cultural drawing in for African Americans.  For me, it's a religious holiday - Christmas.  When I was a  child, Christmas meant I got presents, I didn't get in trouble (spanked), everything we did that normally would drive our Dad to distraction, got a smile, a brief intake of breath, and an "Aw, it's Christmas."  Our Dad the atheist was a better Christian than many so-called Christians I have met over the years, myself included.  At least he had a better grasp of what Christmas was about.  The best sermon I ever heard on Christmas Eve was delivered, ironically, by a priest who I later learned had sexually abused a number of my cohorts. But maybe it was precisely because he was such a sinner, that he understood the truly gratuitous nature of God's forgiveness.  His sermon was brief.  All he said was, "Christmas is about this and only this: that God loves you."  Seriously.  That was the sermon.  But here it is 35 years later and I remember it.  And here it is 35 years later that I truly need to remember it.  I need to remember that I belong here; that my life has a purpose and meaning and that my presence on this earth serves someone else and  not just myself.  And most importantly that no matter what my sins are, God loves me.  She/He loves me so much that She/He became one of us to show us how to love each other and love Him/Her back.  No one is their career, their relationships, and least of all is anyone their "stuff." Yet somehow when I don't do perfectly at any of those things I fall into a total self-loathing mode.  Why is that? It's downright silly and totally counter-productive! 
Anyway, Christmas - every year it means more and more to me and I love more than anything to see how it affects others and how much it means to them, too. More about that later! 
Now, to catch up on life:)
I have finally finished John's scarf!  As you can see, it turned out not too shabby:)  He likes it and that's what  matters.  He's actually worn it quite a bit, which says a lot, LOL! 
Also, I have finished the body to the armpits (lovely term!) and have begun the first sleeve in preparation for it's attachment to the circular needle holding the body for Nancy's
sweater.  My only concern is that it's going to be a little large.  If it's not TOO large, it should be OK.  I suspect she likes her sweaters comfy and roomy.  We shall see:) Remember that lovely multicolored yarn from KnitPicks (Seven Dwarfs)? Well, I tried this pattern for a scarf, and although it turned out rather well, I frogged it anyway.  I think I'm going to give Clapotis a chance.  This was my original plan with the yarn and I think I'll try again. So, thanks to Gail's cheerleading, I am running for the finish line on that sweater for Nancy.  I've said this elsewhere, but I'll say it again here: Nancy S is probably a genius.  She has a good heart and a sick sense of humor (primary reason why I love her dearly).  I am sure she doesn't get paid anywhere near what she is worth (what church musician does?).  And I am no millionaire either.  So, I knit her a sweater every year - sometimes twice if I can.  This is my way of saying Thank You.  It's a gift that lets her know I keep her in mind as I make it - as I do for everyone for whom I knit.  Keep your fingers crossed I get it done!
Last Saturday, the firm had its holiday party and John actually went with me!  He had a good time and so did I. We are a great group.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that we keep on keeping on.  The way things are in this economy, I grateful to be working in an area I love and for the best clients you can have:)!
Thursday, after choir practice, I was treated to the sight of a police helicopter hovering in the area of my home.  Nope - no escaped convicts - just Dori on a ride-along.  She texted one of her (many) sisters and none of them wanted to get out on the freezing cold deck.  I did! I was standing there waving at her and blowing kisses.  She later told me she only saw a "blob." Well, the way I felt, she wasn't far off, LOL!  The helicopter circled around about 5 or 6 times; it was quite exciting!
Friday, I was in Lawyer Hell - that special place you go when you think you have a hearing in the afternoon and sleep in a little bit only to get a call in the morning saying they are waiting for you at the courthouse and you are the only hearing on the docket.  That earned an Oh Shit! or three!  I did apologize to all concerned - especially the court of course! There was no reason for me to have made that mistake, but make it I did!  I doubt I will make it again, suffice it to say! The up side to that was that one of the the Sheriff's deputies, a fellow New Yawka, told me to take heart and had a few funny things to say, which helped enormously!
Last week was one rehearsal after another.  I am writing myself directions so I know where to be between bell choir and adult choir during the services.  Sad, but true, I need a roadmap!
Yesterday, I spent the bulk of the day knitting and babysitting the grandangels:) while their mommy slept after doing graveyard shift and their daddy worked.  They are so good.  I was never that good as a child.  Of course they must be geniuses, LOL!  
Afterwards, I went to a party at Beth C's house in Frederick.  I got to see a few colleagues and friends from my days at Heartly House some eight years ago.  It was wonderful to see how well Beth is doing.  She now has three attorneys and three legal assistants at her firm - which is more like a family than a lawfirm! There are precious few people in this world who deserve that kind of happiness - Beth is one of them! I left there feeling so good about her and so glad to have the pleasure to count her as a friend.  In January I will see Beth again when we both go to see a presentation on Brahms (one of my favorites) and a concert at the Baltimore Sympony Orchestra.  Hopefully then we will be able to catch up on each other's lives.  Last night I got to catch up with former colleagues and got to know their spouses and families.  It was truly wonderful.  I'm only sorry John was too tired to go with me.
Even though I got home at a decent hour last night and went to bed not too terribly late, I had the worst night sleeping and so only sang at the later service this morning.  After the late service and before the rehearsal with the professional brass players (Bay Street Brass) who are playing at our Christmas service, I went with Virginia W, Susan F, Mary S., Iris B., and Peggy B to drop off Christmas donations and sing a few Christmas carols and other pieces for the residents.  It was a perfect way to spend an otherwise lost 45 minutes:)  Things like that are what make Christmas for me.
Before I go any further, I do want to write here about Mimi M (our Deacon)'s homily.  It was about Mary and how her life was one of unrestrained, un-selfconscious service.  Mimi's delivery was refreshing and so welcome.  I gave her a big hug after church and thanked her for it! Mimi doesn't do many of the sermons - after all, we have three priests at St. John's - but this one was made for her.  She actually got me thinking about being a deacon.  I certainly do not think I am priest material, but the deaconate - that's about service - one foot in the church and one in the world.  A crazy existence, maybe, but then aren't I a bit crazy? I don't know if I could ever do it, but it is certainly something to think about.
The practice with the Bay Street Brass went fairly well.  Hopefully we will do alright Christmas Eve.  I'm hoping John and maybe one or two of the offspring will attend.  It should be quite an evening.  One thing we do at St. John's which just sends chills up the spine is to sing "Silent Night."  Nancy starts on the organ, but then drops out and everyone in the congregation is singing as the lights go low.  It's one of the most holy experiences of the year.  You really get a sense of the quiet night surrounding Jesus' birth.  Anyone who has experienced that small still yet enormously significant quiet in the wee hours of the morning rocking one's own child has a miniscule sense of the world waiting in anticipation for the Savior's birth.  Words cannot express what I am trying to convey here - only the small snapshots of pieces of our human existence.
Well, dear 3.5 readers, I will return before Christmas, but in any event, I wish you all a Merry Christmas,  a blessed Hanukkah, a meaningful Kwanzaa and a Happy New Year:)! Until next time, dear 3.5 readers, God be with you 'til we meet again.+
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