Wow, almost two weeks - where do I even begin?

Well, it's been quite a while since last I blogged, dear 2.5 readers, and I suppose I ought to just write down a few things to catch up.  I have been busy and by the time I have a block of time to sit and write, I'm exhausted and have to get to bed, so, sorry for not posting more often. Let's see, a few things have happened - a wedding at the New Jersey shore, an attempt at arranging an  intervention, Thanksgiving Eve 
singing, Thanksgiving, the ballet, and lessons and carols at the Washington Cathedral  - and other events in the continuing saga that is my life.  I'll try to get them right, LOL:)

The Wedding

The Friday before Thanksgiving, John and I (after running around getting things ready for the trip and for work) took off for the "Jersey Shore" from beautiful snowy, yes, snowy Merlin.  It's hard to believe that this was the view from my desk  that afternoon, but indeed it was.  Travel north felt like we were heading into a blizzard, but once across the Delaware bridge, the sun  came out and we arrived in Avalon shortly after a glorious sunset over southern New Jersey's flat farmlands.
That evening was the rehearsal dinner, hosted by John's sister and brother-in-law - Holli and Brian.  We had a terrific time - seeing people  (again) that we hadn't seen in YEARS.  Weddings are really kind of fun that way.  Of course I was the pariah when politics was the topic, but I think I held my own...maybe.  We stayed at the home of friends of John's youngest sister, Kate and her husband Don.  It was nice to stay at a home for a change.  Sure,
 you have to watch what you wear on the way to the bathroom and you have to be a little bit less of a slob, but it's nice to relax and stretch and even (dare I say) get a little knitting in during those between times.  After the rehearsal dinner, John and I had a great time standing around the kitchen, having a few drinks and  catching up on family goings on.
The next morning, Kate and Don had their two oldests' football game to attend about three hours north of the wedding site.  John and I (God help them) had responsibility for their three youngest, thankfully all school-aged, LOL:) We went out to breakfast at one of their favorite local spots.  One of their younger kids has a  number of awful allergies, and he knew what he could and couldn't eat on that menu.  We had a great time.  We devised a plan to find out the score for their  brothers' game during the wedding mass:  Kate (their mom) would text  me the score every so often.  I would give certain hand signals to Tommy (who was serving as  altar boy) and the girls (who with another child from the bride's side) were bringing up the gifts to the altar during Offertory).  Unfortunately, they lost the game.  It was a tough one because the winner is playing in Giant Stadium! 
But the wedding was delightful.  It was at a beautiful Catholic Church in Stone Harbor.   The priest performing the ceremony was Father Frank, a dear friend of  Holli and Brian.  I really like Father Frank - he has a wicked sense of humor.  I think Holli eventually forgave him for his homily.... eventually!
The reception was held at the huge house that many of the family rent to get together over the Thanksgiving weekend.  It is ENORMOUS and sits on the bay side of the peninsula/island. Kate's boss, an interior decorator, did a lovely job arranging and just making the place even more elegant than it already was.  It was a fairybook wedding and a great time was had by all. After the reception, Kate and Don crashed, having been up at 6 after going to bed Saturday at 1, traveling six hours round trip, so say nothing of sitting outside freezing during a three-hour football game.  John and I sat up and talked with his nephew Kenny until about 3 a.m.
Next morning, once I was able to rouse my lazy behind out of bed and get cracking, we all went out for breakfast.  Kenny had already left early for home - he has a wife and five little  ones himself - so we went with Don, Kate, and their five: Jack, Henry, Abbie, Tommy and Janie. Speaking of small people, we all found out that another of John's nephews- Patrick and his wife Jeannie - are having twin boys in May!  
Anyway, I know that the Jersey Shore is fairly quiet in the cold months of November.  But what are the chances that all of us remaining would show up at the same coffee shop? Well, we did.
 Good old Uncle Bill's - there are two in the Avalon/Stone Harbor area and we all congregated at the same one. Who knew? John had a nice birthday breakfast, complete with hand made cards from some of his nieces and nephews - and at the restaurant he was presented with a nice T shirt from Uncle Bill's that says "Got Pancakes?."  A bright green, this will be the perfect haute couture for Christmas morning!
After hugs and kisses and a quick packing, we were on our way home.  That evening, the kids gave John a nice birthday party and we heaved a sigh of relief - no more weddings and the week to come was to be a quiet one for both of us.  Not one court hearing for me and John was taking a number of vacation days.
On Monday, I tried to arrange what is known as an intervention for a family member.  Since it's a touchy subject and the business of the person involved and not mine nor yours, dear 2.5 readers, I will not say much more except that I met a lot of nice people over the phone, including
 a lady I've known for a couple of years at the courthouse who gave me her  home phone number so I could contact her if I needed to, an interventionist who seemed like a gem and a couple of wonderful (if prohibitively expensive) treatment programs and their personnel.  But it was not to be.  More about that I cannot say.
The rest of the week was quiet as far as hearings go, but I had plenty to do - meetings and visits and paperwork and the like.  But by Wednesday, things had slowed down to a stop - a good thing since we closed the office early.  
Wednesday night was a service at my church - the choir sang hymns and there were bible readings and graces and blessings in gratitude for the blessings we have in our lives.  That service is for me a quiet respite from the insanity of what is euphemistically referred to as
the "holiday season." It's before Advent, yet it summons a quiet, a peace that really does defy all logic. Not many come to this service, and perhaps that's what makes it so much more meaningful because it's not the big dramatic production one so often sees on the big feast days, yet it was
 excellent.  I had a similar experience this past Sunday - more on that later.

Thanksgiving

On Thanksgiving day, I woke up a little late after a much-needed sleep.  I had chopped the p
arsley, onions and celery the night before, so I was good to go.  Usually the two days in the year that I really cook are a blur to me and this one was no different - but I did have a few moments of quiet.  Everybody at least came by if they were working  - as in Kristin's case - or having dinner with their family - as in Sonny' case. Danny brought his guitar hero/rockbank thingie  and I got to play a couple of times - even sang "Gimme shelter!" Whoo hoo.
We were off on Friday  and I did virtually nothing except the odd load of wash.  I'd like to say I got  some knitting in - but really just a little.  But Saturday... that was something! Nancy and a good friend of hers have a standing thing where they have been getting season tickets
 for the ballet every year for the last 15 years or so.  They go together at the Kennedy Center and have a great time.  Nancy's friend was to be visiting her family on Saturday when one of their performances was to occur, so Nancy kindly invited me along.
Now, I love the arts, but the ballet is something  I hadn't seen in person since about 1965.  Oh, I've seen  Pilobolus, on TV and in person in 1974  during my sojourn at Middlebury (I babysat one of the company's little boy). I've seen the Nutcracker on public television, but never all the way through.  But the last time I'd seen a professional ballerina up close and in person was in the fall of 1965 when Maria Tallchief was doing a series of farewell performances.  My dance class got to go and it was quite a moment, but I was 11 and who knows  how much of it sank it - I do recall thinking that they made the enormous effort look effortless. 
Going to the Kennedy Center was a treat.  I have lived in the MD/DC/VA area for almost thirty  years now and this was my first visit.  It was worth the  wait, but I wish I hadn't waited so long:) The ballet we saw was Giselle, performed by the San Franciso Ballet.  The orchestra was excellent, the dancers were wonderfully expressive and the view we had from the top row was just  amazing! It is wonderful to see the formations from above as we  did.  The New York Times reviewed the performances and it appears we got the better players in the afternoon! Nancy and I usually talk our heads off, but there was little time for talk during this performance - you wouldn't want to miss any of it.  Thank you Nancy:)!!!
Later, she invited me to join her and Rennie for dinner at a nearby Greek restaurant.  Great conversation, great company - I am so blessed.
Sunday, John had a ballgame to bartend, and I had my first time reading at the lectern in church - scary, LOL!  Later, I went with Nancy, Rennie, Tom and Donna H, and Sally L to an Advent service of lessons and carols at the Washington National
Cathedral.  It was lovely and the music was out of this world (no pun intended!). The readings were appropriate to the season of Advent and they were done so well. It was quite a feast for the senses and the spirit.  I said to Nancy as we were leaving that this must be a relief for her - she can actually worship without wondering what was up next and constantly multi-tasking.  She laughed and said she actually was subconciously - or consciously - doing that throughout the service.  I guess she's got it in her blood - she's been doing this since she was 13 years old!  Sally wasn't feeling so well, so I took her home, as I had to be back to get dinner for our Sunday leftover mangling.  As it turned out, only Kristin and Sonny were able to come.  John and I arrived home at the same time, so it worked out well.
Now that the week has begun, I am cautiously getting back into my regular pace - cautiously because I keep having that nagging feeling that there are things I'm forgetting.  Fortunately - or unfortunately I write them down... and find them!
Last night was another chapter in my Stephen Ministry training - it is such an oasis to me.  I cannot begin to explain it.  Someone at church gave me such encouragement this past Sunday - thank you Judy!

What's on the Needles...

Well, the good news is, I'll have enough knitting to do into the next millennium.  The bad news is, I don't think I'm going to live long enough to finish all the projects I have going on now.  And I haven't even begun my Christmas projects yet! Oy!
Still working on John's scarf - I'm about halfway done with that.  And of course I picked up some KnitPicks sock yarn in a colorway that I loved (can't just keep knitting one color - it makes me crazy). I'm dubbing it the Sampler Scarf because it's basically a sampler (so far) of some stitch patterns I know or am learning.
Well, I'd better get back to work if I'm to continue to be employed. Tonight is bell choir and I want to make it on time.  So until then, dear 2.5 readers, God be with you 'til we meet again!
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