Friday, December 29, 2006

2006-12-26, 27 and 28

After the extremely reviving day of rest which Jim and I took on Christmas Day, we arose on the 26th ready to welcome visitors. My brother Jim Rueckert, his wife, Kai, and his son, Fluke, arrived first, in the late afternoon. Fluke is eight and English is very much his second language, as both he and Kai are Thai. Jim and Kai have been married almost two years now, but due to difficulties with the Immigration and naturalization Service, it took him the first year of their marriage to bring Kai to America and it has taken most of the rest of the time to bring Fluke – his name is pronounced Folk – to join him.

Next to arrive were my cousin, Carlos Rueckert, his wife, Flora and their child, Naira, who just turned three. Carlos grew up in Spain and Flora grew up in Peru, so that whole branch of the family lives in Spanish. We got everyone settled in, discovering that in both families, the child sleeps with the parents, which gives us an extra guest room to offer the third branch of the family tree if one of them decides to stay over here instead of at the Brown Hotel, where the Craver-Rueckert branch has a suite.

My brother Tommy Rueckert, his wife, Mary Craver-Rueckert and their three children, Rosie, E. J. and Ted, arrived the next day, stopping at their hotel first to get settled in and bathed and then coming here for supper. Naturally, with kids and cats and news to catch up on, it was a madhouse, but a very good sort of family bedlam, with lots of love.

The group has shopped and has wandered around downtown near the Belvedere, which overlooks the Ohio River, and taken in the Muhammad Ali Museum and the Science and Natural History Museum. They intended to go to the Louisville Zoo also, a most worthy menagerie, but in the end decided to have a leisurely time of it and goof off. We did not even hear from the Craver-Rueckert crew until suppertime on the 28th.

We have enjoyed good suppers together, with the clans gathered at the end of the days, eating the good food which Gary and Jim cooked ahead. Last night after our big meal we planned out the subjective “Christmas Day” for our tribe, which will take place tomorrow, December 29th. We plan to gather by 10 AM – a goal hopefully attainable by my sleep-loving brothers and cousin – and open presents until about 2 PM, at which time we will have the pre-prepared feast of turkey, dressing, gravy and all the trimmings. Any presents unopened by then will be opened after lunch and then the family will dissolve into that Christmas Day somnolence in which new toys are examined and used, gift books are scanned and the very young and the oldsters like myself find themselves taking small walks and napping.

Later in the evening, Kai will make a Thai supper for us! That should top off our Christmas celebration well. Tommy and I had planned to do some singing for the family, but I got so weary that I fell sleep in my chair, and so the rehearsal was called off! I imagine we will sing, though, as the whole family is musical.

In the midst of all the comings and goings, for both days I have worked as I could at catching up with e-mail. Ian and I discussed at least a dozen topics ranging from the Book of Days project to the Don Elkins niche we are readying for placement on site to PayPal work – we would like to establish a PayPal feature permanently on site but have run into repeated difficulties with software details – to the Aaron/Q’uo Dialogues to the possibility of offering audio CDs through the site for a small fee.

I sent everyone on the Board plus Steve Moffitt a big thank you for their good work during the Annual Meeting of L/L Research. It was good to try to stretch ourselves beyond the Mom-and-Pop store we have run for decades. Jim and I need a Board more and more, as the site and the work grow. Asking for help is the first step.

I sent those people, plus Bill H and Jean-Claude K, the Minutes of that meeting and asked them all to continue to ponder the issue of developing a stable income stream for L/L Research. This will undoubtedly be years in coming, unless one of the books I am working on turns out to be a mainstream best seller – something that has never happened to me or to our group! Yet I know a lot of folks value the material and want to see it remain available. I know in the end, this will work out perfectly. We have always had just enough to move forward as spirit has called us.

I spent hours tapping away at personal e-mail. I must have answered a dozen Maine Reports from Rick C, my buddy since college. He and his wife are working on organic farming up there and run into many of the same issues we do at Avalon, so it is always fun to compare notes. Also, Rick is remastering our tapes into CDs, using his considerable skills on our behalf.

Many people had written in to say “Noel” and I responded to folks such as Sue S., Dave C., Dana R, Sandie S, Michelle M., Linda W-P and Dianne S. such work leaves me cradled in love and affection. Our friends are the best.

When I wasn’t working on e-mail, I was snoozing. The heavy, almost drugged feeling – I guess from the anemia – continues to make my eyes droop shut at the most inconvenient times. Like morning, noon and night! At one point this afternoon, my brother Jim was snoozing in one chair and I in another. Now that’s the perky group we know so well! The snoozing Rueckerts! Let’s face it – the whole family is resting up and enjoying their vacation here in the best way possible.

Mick’s and my Morning Offerings are being done upstairs so as not to disrupt the even tenor of the rest of the clan’s day, as are the Gaia Meditations.

The Mick and I even found a time when every soul in the house was gone on trips out to shop or visit, and had a lovely, lazy, sensual romantic tryst. What an unexpected pleasure! Our independent family has not at all swamped us with togetherness as I was concerned might occur. Their rhythms of coming and going are easy and spontaneous and I know everyone is having a great time.

The kittens have not fared that well with the company, especially Chloe. They are used to the quiet ways of Mick, Gary and me. Naturally, families with kids are going to be noisier. And the kids come to the cats and want to play, whereas our cats are used to initiating contact with us when they are feeling affectionate. The D Man is a cool cat and simply scoots away but poor Chloe takes to growling from time to time, over-stimulated by too much attention and noise. Pickwick, on the other hand, is a past master at having lots of guests in the house. He burrows under a quilt in one of the bedrooms and does just fine ignoring the situation!

The Christmas tree is almost hidden under its burden of presents now. With thirteen in the house exchanging gifts, the present-opening will take a while tomorrow, as our family does not attack the presents willy-nilly. Heavens, no! We open one present at a time, starting with the youngest person and going through the age groups to the oldest person, which is I, the matriarch now at 63. My brother, Jim, is 60; Mick is 59. Tommy is next and then Mary, Carlos, Flora, Kai, Rosie, Ted, E. J., Fluke and finally Naira. Gary may be here for the great unwrapping too – he is back from Ohio but spending some time with Valerie and here daughter, Ocean, helping Valerie move through her own Christmas schedule. Or he may pick up a shift at Cracker Barrel.

‘Tis the season, subjectively, at the Rueckert’s! Holly, ivy and Merry Christmas to you all from Camelot and our loving, obstreperous clan!