Back to Front,,,,

…..is how I read a magazine. And how I am going to write this blog about my Christmas. Why is it necessary to write about Christmas? Well, I am not quite so old that I want them to go by in a complete blur and six months from now I won’t be able to remember what we did for Christmas, so this helps me remember. So here it is.

First, we’re home. (Starting at the end). Before that we got caught in a snowstorm. Few things scare me like being in a car in snow. Maybe I have scars from my childhood from the  back of the station wagon Midwestern winters, but I just kinda lose it. I am not even sure what to pray except, “God, can you get us outta here QUICK!”  And I’m not being profane! Joel said, “I could make a New Year’s resolution to not drive in snow.’ And we agreed to take the next exit. Three hours later we took the next exit. The traffic was really bad, getting jammed at every interchange starting way before the snow did. It surely didn’t get better with the snow! We stopped for gas at a service area and none of the pumps were pumping. It was 5 miles from there to the next exit and we spent two hours getting there. Took the first place, a Marriott and it was lovely. Had a nice fireplace. We got a little snack and went to bed.

    Earlier we left Jeannette’s where we had spent our Christmas in their new home. I had arrived a week earlier to help get settled. I am the box emptier and emptied as many as I could. Then I went out and picked up pine cones with the boys to watch burn up in the fireplace. Pyromaniac instinct antenna was up. J Jeannette had gotten us tickets to an Early Music concert in Cambridge by a group called Blue Heron, I think. It was mostly singing with a couple pieces accompanied/played by a vielle and harp. More ancient stuff. I like this music usually 1-3 songs at a time, but this was all exquisite. It was in a big old church and I am sure the excellent acoustics played a part. Plus, they put on a good performance, changing it up and you could see their hearts were all into it. Mostly in Latin, a few in French. The place was packed with all kinds of people. They had to bring in extra chairs. We took the subway part of the way so we wouldn’t have to fuss over parking and I was able to finish up a pass I bought last summer when we were in Boston! Gratifying.

  So I took the train from Lancaster to Philly to Boston. It was a pretty decent ride. Saw a lot of graffiti! I love to watch the Lancaster countryside going by. There wasn’t ANY countryside from Philly till we left NYC in the dust of dusts. I had to share my seat only between Philly and NYC so it was pretty comfy. We traveled right along the beach, sometimes with the waves slapping sand almost right below my side of the train.

    Before that, we went to a Christmas party at our friends’ Matt and Linda Young. Can’t remember when I last went to a Christmas party other then Christmas Eve and work parties. Anyway, we were playing a game in which we had to write the name of a well known character and pass it around until they are mixed and w/out looking, put it on your forehead and you do a 20 Questions sort of thing and figure out who it is. Earlier in the day, Joel had gotten a Droid and hadn’t set his own sounds yet and when he would get a message it would make a robotic sound saying ”droid”. He gets the character Darth Vader and while he is taking his turn,  it goes off and we all shriek with laughter and I tell him that is the best clue he is going to get! He quickly got the answer! Lotsa fun.

    Before that we had our little Christmas program at Poiema and those little kids made their teachers so proud! I accidentally sang part of a song while I was playing. I usually do because I love to but warned them I would try not to. I wasn’t entirely successful. I have an old tune to ‘Away in a Manger’ by Reginald Jacques. Look it up on Youtube. It is exquisite and they did it. At some point I figured the reason children learn only two verses of that song is because they just start to get lost in all the words. But they got it! One kindergartner was singing it at home and her mom thought she might be tone deaf but her older sister assured her mother it was “just an old tune that no one sings anymore.” I did link it to my FB page a while ago.

   Before that I was having lunch with friends and one of them was passing put tickets to a Messiah performance for which she was playing the harpsichord. I got a couple and Joel and I went. I think it was the Wheatland Chorale. It was the Christmas part plus a few concluding with the ‘Amen’ . It was just right and well done. It was in a church downtown I have been in before and thought it would be a good venue. I started to look around from my balcony seat to see if I saw anyone I knew there was one of my former Latin students on the balcony across from the church from me. We had a nice chat catching up afterwards. Saw a few other friends, too. Luisa wrote to me that she had listened to the Messiah that day and it felt like home. I replied that I was going that night and Margaret Marsch was playing. Luisa candidly remarked it would be news if I wasn’t going and MM wasn’t playing!

   And that is my Christmas.

Happy New Year!

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