Tuesday, December 26, 2006

2006-12-24 and 25

Christmas Eve saw Jim and me doing a thousand small things as we finalized preparations for having he Rueckert clan’s Christmas Gathering here. After Morning Offering Jim worked on changing the upstairs toilet seat and I found linens for all our coming guests. By lunchtime we were satisfied that all was in readiness.

In the afternoon we took time out to have a luxurious nap together and then Jim was working in the garage, cleaning his mowers with 409 and orange-based de-greaser while I greeted Carmen, who had come for a visit. We enjoyed conversation until Jim came in from his chores. We ordered out pizza and watched the latest Mission Impossible movie together. It was humorous to me that we stopped for the Gaia Meditation in the midst of the most horrific action scenes! With our culture being so violent, it is clear that peace is not of this world. But we want to bring it on into this world – truly, we do.

Soon the movie was over and we went to St. Luke’s, where Mick and Carmen sat in the back and I sang in the chancel. It was a most satisfactory Christmas Eve service and quite put me into that mental place where I “know” and feel that Christmas is here, or as the Evergreen Liquor store sign has it, “Merry Christams”! Though members of the choir were joking about Festivus poles, we at Camelot are awash in Christmas lights on our tree and house. The whole house is outlined with them, and when we turn the lights on, our little bungalow looks like a gingerbread house.

On Christmas Morning, after Morning Offering, Mick and I opened our presents to each other. They are modest this year, as we would like to treat ourselves to a new DVD/VHS player in my bedroom. Our technology is ancient up there, with a very old videocassette player limping along, unable to read half our tapes. We had a good Christmas even without having gotten our mutual big gift yet.

I got Mick four new pairs of black casual pants, made like jeans but in nicer material, so that he can finally retire the pants he’s been wearing this past year. Those have flaps on the back pockets, and finally we have gotten him out of those. Mick promises only to use the flapped pants for work. They will not last long with Mick doing his heavy outdoor work, and I will be grateful to see the last of them! It is funny to see what tiny little things, like pocket flaps sticking out, will aggravate me. Mick also got a dozen new bandanas. He uses them for work, and likes the colorful hankies rather than the traditional white ones.

I received a new back-rubbing vibrator shaped like a four-legged spider. The body of the massager fits in the palm and the rounded knobs at the ends of the “legs” massage an area with a circumference of about four inches. Jim tried it on my always-sore back and it felt grand.

He also gave me a wind-up flashlight/radio/alarm clock. It does not depend on any plug-in or battery technology. It is a clever gadget and the next time the power goes out, which it will, inevitably in this forested environment, I will be all set. And we gave each other many CDs, as our old favorites are still making music! We look forward to hearing some new sounds from Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Steve Earle, Eric Clapton and several other good old bands. These guys are around our age and have been gracing us with solid rock and roll for many decades. I am so glad they are still inspired to make music.

And we opened presents from many friends and well-wishers from all over the world. One gift I thought was especially lovely was a little book of some of St. Francis of Assisi’s sayings, with beautiful calligraphy and illuminations, which Barbara B. sent.

After clearing away the acres of torn gift wrap and storing the now-empty gift boxes for re-use, we enjoyed a leisurely lunch while watching Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Man’s Chest. We snoozed reputedly throughout this rousing adventure and decided it would be good timing to get a bath and a nap afterwards. This we did, adding a romantic tryst into the mix.

When we awoke, it was dark! It was a grand nap! We came downstairs to enjoy supper and the Gaia Meditation, ending our day as we usually do, snuggling with the kitty cats. They also had received presents, a catnip toy for each cat, and these were a terrific hit, affording us much watching pleasure as all three cats wrestled and snuggled with their “mice”. It was a delightful, if unusually solitary, Christmas for us. We are now rested up for the coming onslaught!