Wednesday, December 24, 2008


I awoke early today, which was a signal blessing! I had my chapel time, wrote my Camelot Journal and Holly Journal entries and penned my UPI article for this week, all before it was time to join Mick for a wake-up cuddle and our Morning Offering. I decided to write about my childhood memories of Christmas for today's column. It was fun, looking back and remembering!

I got a call from Dianne S, who planned to go with me to Images Salon for her cut and color, as I was preparing to drive to the Salon and become a purple-haired lady. She said that she was concerned about the weather up her way and had canceled. The great thing about that is that just after she cancelled, a client called up Images with a sob story about a relative coming to their home for a visit with a horrible haircut. The client was in tears. “No problem,” said Jazz, bring her right in!”

Dianne’s concern may well have been accurate. Later in the day, Romi and Gary left to drive up I-71, which is how one gets to Avalon from here, to travel to Ohio together. Romi is having car trouble, so Gary volunteered to drop him off at his brother’s home on his way to visit his Mom and sisters. They got halfway to Cincinnati and were stopped cold on I-71. For four straight hours they moved about 100 feet per hour. Finally they saw a chance for a U-turn and drove back to Camelot where they will spend the night. They will try again tomorrow. It is supposed to continue warming up and will be in the fifties tomorrow. That should be better!

It rained all day, in 33- to 35-degree F temperatures. There was no ice in the rain. However the ground and roads had been frozen solid by sub-zero temperatures for the past several days. As the rain hit, especially on some exposed surfaces like bridges and overpasses, it turned to ice. People were driving too fast, and they got into trouble in record numbers.

I had no trouble at all, thank you Lord! After I became purple-haired – which I love! – I had a slow and delicious lunch all by myself in the bar at KT’s. There was a long wait for a table, and I like bar booths just as well as dining room tables. Fortified with good food, I went on to the grocery, got myself an electric cart and foraged for a picnic butt half-ham, a stewing chicken and lots of items for creating the meals for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and the eventual onslaught of Rueckerts on the 27th.

I was very fortunate that the grocery people kindly helped me put my groceries in Stanley, and when I got home, Gary ran out, sprinkling calcium chloride on the walk and back deck for me. He got me into the house safely and then got the groceries in. What a guy!

By bath time, I had baked the ham and stewed the chicken until the meat was off the bones and the carcass had disintegrated. The chicken and chicken broth will become chicken chili for the Rueckerts. The ham will be their entrée on their first night here. I found an interesting recipe for apple, pineapple and orange salsa which will go over the sliced ham.

Then I pulled the recipes for the other groceries out of our database – corn pudding, mashed sweet potatoes, peas with Portabella mushrooms, meat loaf, turkey hash and green bean casserole. I made a grocery list of the things I had forgotten and called Melissa with them. She will stop at the grocery tomorrow morning on her way down from Avalon. We’ll have a grand time together cooking in the morning and afternoon, at the end of which we should be all set for Christmas food. On the day after Christmas, Mick and I will punch up the other recipes in readiness for the Rueckert clan's visit of the 27th through January 2nd.

In the cracks I took a couple of gifts I ordered for Melissa that had come in today, just in time, whew!, and put them in gift bags. We're all ready under the tree now!

I never did get back to the computer today! Bath time came late as it was, but it felt super great to have our plans for hospitality so far advanced. I marvel at how we seem to slip into Christmas, with so many chores and errands on our minds, all of which get done somehow. It will be sweet indeed to come to the end of the afternoon tomorrow, have a bath and then proceed into the peace of the actual events of Christmas, starting with the Midnight Mass. I will sing my heart out!

I offered the closing prayer at the Gaia Meditation tonight. Then Mick went into the kitchen and sliced the ham to freeze until after Christmas. And he cut up the turkey for the turkey hash and the chicken for the chicken chili. We’re ready for tomorrow’s cooking! Here comes Christmas!