Thursday, December 25, 2014
Merry Christmas, Everyone!
Our hopes for a white Christmas have been dashed -- it's just rainy and windy out there. But that's OK. If snow falls I have to drive in it, and I'd just as soon not try, Florida boy that I am.
We went to church last night with Dave's parents, to the Lutheran church where Dave spent his childhood. It was cool to see this mythical place that figures so prominently -- albeit sometimes negatively -- in his psyche. He knew some of the people and saw a few guys he went to school with, all grown up and middle-aged. Time marches on.
I was struck by how similar the church service was to the Presbyterian services I'm familiar with. Same candle-lit singing of "Silent Night," same gospel story of Jesus' birth. Of course I don't believe any of it, not literally, but I'm happy to participate. For me it's more about coming together with other people in a shared observance, a shared experience -- singing carols together, marking the calendar and reciting the mythology of our culture.
Then we went to a dinner buffet at the home of some family friends. They were happy to have me there though I'm sure I was a curiosity and possibly the subject of discussion and speculation. Or maybe I'm flattering myself. I was introduced simply as "Steve," with no elaboration, though I did mention to the room that Dave and I met while we lived in New York, and they know we both now live in London, so I'm sure it's apparent to them what's going on. We ate ham and baked beans and I had a long talk with Cousin Carl -- who was about 90 -- about genealogy. I just kept drinking wine, nodding and smiling and contributing a few words now and then.
Dave and I looked into shipping our stuff home via UPS, but I'm finding the same roadblocks I found with the coffee table. Insane prices. In fact the woman at the UPS store basically discouraged us from even considering it. (I suspect because it was Christmas Eve she just didn't want to deal.) We're going to try the post office, which as I understand it is more reasonable.
I hope everyone has a happy holiday!
(Photo: An angel aglow in a vacant lot down the street from Dave's parents' house.)