Just wondering - did everyone get what they wanted this year?
My family had a very lovely Christmas. The only thing that could have made it better would have been having my eldest home, but she will be here later this week and then we can celebrate all over again.
That is not to say our Christmas was perfect. In fact, there were a few unexpected twists I could have really done without. Like my mini panic attack about playing my Native American flute at Christmas Eve Mass. I'm less than an amature, and usually only fiddle around on it for my own pleasure, but was somehow persuaded to play along with our pianist and choir. Warming up beforehand, I couldn't remember the fingering for my song, and then the flute got so full of moisture it could barely produce a sound. I tried to back out at the last minute, but - praying to escape with dignity intact - I conceded to at least try. (I did fine by the way; only a few squeaks and shaky notes).
Or, the Chinese restaurant we traditionally dine at afterward (In honor of my husband's favorite movie of the season, A Christmas Story) not having a table for us (we've already made reservations for next year). We ended up driving around looking for a substitute, and finally went to a buffet style Chinese restaurant that frankly, even the thought of leaves me feeling a little nauseated. My husband loves it though, and the kids thought it was fun. I ended up eating less - waaaay less! - than I usually do, and felt better for it.
Worst of all was the devastation wrought by a dastardly weasel! At least, that's what we think killed three of our chickens - Richard included - sometime between dusk and when we got back from dinner to shut them in. (I'm glad I immortalized him in my last post. I will miss that beautiful bird, and the hens, too.) Esther, the Hen of Nine Lives, seems to have elevated status now due to her incredible ability to survive anything. She and the other four remaining hens appear unfazed.
The thing is, we still had a great Christmas. (Well, not the chickens, but...) We made the most of what we had rather than lamenting what we didn't have. Sometimes, I think folks get too wrapped up in the negatives. We focus on shadows and not the light. But Christmas is the season of light. If we let it the Light will dispell the darkness, if not entirely, at least enough for us to see what is truly important. This Christmas, and every Christmas, and all year long.
The best gift I got this year was one I've gotten a miliion times before - an optimistic attitude. And it never gets old.
This is Richard.
Sometimes, when he is being particularly chivalrous, I call him Sir RIchard, These days, however, he pecks, more than protects our hens, greedy glutton that he has become. The other day, eager for treats, he flew over the fence the moment I stepped outside, and landed with a -pouf!- in over a foot of fresh powder. Silly Richard. Poor RIchard! He was stuck, literally, up to his eyeballs. If he had still been his old, sleek self he would have gotten away with his escape attempt, but now, being the size of a small turkey, he couldn't even turn aound in all that snow. I wish I had gotten a picture! As it was, he had to sit there freezing his...comb off, while I first rescued the hen that flew the coop with him. Once she was safely inside, I took a shepherd's crook (flockherd's?), and half-lifed/half-scooted him back toward home.
We used to let our chickens free range, but after loosing one for almost a month, finding the poor, bedraggled bird at the neighbors', capturing it in the forest during a downpour, and then nursing it back to health, we decided to limit their territory - at least for the time being. (Also because I got tired of having to hose down the porch!) The henyard we made for them is spacious and sheltered, but has shrunk now with the coming of winter. No wonder RIchard wanted a little adventure.
My husband questions sometimes why we keep him, now that they are enclosed. We aren't raising chicks - none of our hens seem interested in sitting - and he takes more than his fair share of feed. But, I just don't have it in my heart to dispatch such a glorious creature.
Come spring I will start letting the chickens out into the yard for a little roam each evening. For now, Richard is definitely ruling the roost through this wintry season by mere kingly presence. And, like his namesake, growing fat.
Or was that Henry? I never could keep royalty straight...
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No big important message today. I just feel like rambling, so thanks for indulging me...
Today is an ordinary Tuesday. Six-plus inches of fresh powder fell yesterday, blanketing the yard and creating the perfect excuse for me to sit inside by the fire, reading. Even the chickens don't want to come out of their coop. It's a cookie baking kind of day too, so that is what's on the agenda for this afternoon, besides writing. I may or may not get there.
We put our tree up early this year (part of it is pictured above.), so I'm also enjoying that. Normally we wait until my husband's birthday on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, but we wanted to include our Christmas fanatic, college student daughter, and waiting until she comes home for the holidays would be putting it off too long.
My family tolerates me tweaking the decorations - a wild conglomeration of homemade craft projects and oddball church bazaar finds - which I do throughout the season. This constant editing is a carryover, I suppose, for writers. I can't seem to help myself anymore than I can stop mentally correcting people's grammmar. But, payback is finally coming; my children now correct MY grammar. Gleefully, I might add.
This will be the first year we won't all be together for Christmas. I sent my eldest some decorations for her tree, mostly those given to her by her godparents over the years. It will feel strange not having her here, but time moves on, and eventually, so do children . I was able to give her the gift of some great news yesterday via a video chat, and was rewarded with the kind of happy exultation you see when a child opens a package containing their wildest dreams come true. Her brother was with her there, sharing in the good news. Watching them, feeling thier joy, made Christmas come early for me. Maybe that's why I'm so content today, sitting here under the tree.
I think, perhaps, every day can be like Christmas if we appreciate what we have more than dwelling on what we still long for. Today, I am thankful. Hope this Tuesday finds you thankful, too.