December 10: I groused my way over to the couch to catch up on a neglected pile of emails. (Could I wash dishes instead? Please?) Kevin shook his head: Emails, he said, are a lovely way to stay connected. I huffed and ignored him.
And of course he was right. In just a few hours, I reconnected with my best friend from law school (hi, Joan!), enjoyed the Christmas traditions of New Zealand blogger Thistles & Kiwis, shared mushroom stories with Singapore blogger Ju-Lyn, melted over snow photos from Maine’s Hinterland, and wobbled in amazement to see splendid photos of frost-trimmed leaves from Canada. And if you love doors as much as I do (a perfect Advent image, I think), click on Manja’s gallery from Italy and Slovenia. So many delights. And I’m still in my pajamas.
December 11: Prompted last year by the pandemic and reprised this year simply for joy, my church offered a living Nativity, with our young people presenting the Christmas story. Accompanied by recordings, children gathered around prophets and decrees, trembled “sore afraid” before hosts of angels, and of course clustered at the stable to honor and rejoice. My favorite vignette — indeed, my favorite Christmas story — was Gabriel’s visit to Mary, where a teen angel narrated the Annunciation in American Sign Language. Her dancing hands and swaying body conveyed invitation and promise. And she smiled gently at me as tears twinkled in my eyes.
December 12: We gathered at Kathy’s as we do each year for Christmas cheer and a “Yankee Swap” of inexpensive, pleasing gifts. (I scored a fragrant candle encouraging me to live, laugh and not take myself quite so seriously.)
This year, though, Kathy waved us grandly into the darkness to enjoy festivities she — wink, wink — planned just for us. In the deep still cold (and Kathy’s coats, which we borrowed) we walked through her neighborhood enjoying the colorful lights and curb-lining luminaria. And then, right on cue, a highly decorated fire truck booming Christmas songs passed by with Santa Claus enthroned on high. He passed us twice. Each time, we waved and hollared. And then we happily returned to sip our wine before Kathy’s warming fireplace.
December 13: I’m still chuckling about my Saturday night adventure. The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington promised tap dancing elves. They delivered the elves, along with muscular lightly clad snowflakes. They also presented a frantic hilarious Twelve Days of Christmas and a lugubrious Jingle Bells set unexpectedly to Fur Elise (seriously, try it.) The masked voices were strong and alternately comic and sincere, even when a Christmas tree rotated to become a wigged and bejeweled drag queen. Dancers and singers alike wished us a “very gay Christmas.” I certainly left happy!
December 14: In lieu of a December meeting, our book club crossed the river for an afternoon at Hillwood Museum. (Yes, my idea: why not visit twice in two weeks?!) Mary entered with a walking stick unlike any I’d seen before. “Did you make it?” we asked. Yes, she said. “The bamboo is from my backyard and the rubber tip was $.49 at the hardware store.” And Mary had popped a small bouquet of faux flowers into the hollow at the top. Adjusting her lovely matching scarf, she said, “I get so many smiles when I use it. I call it my Joy Stick.”
December 15: I always admire the Fabergé eggs, jewels and porcelain at Hillwood. But today, thanks to an excellent docent, I continue to think about Hillwood’s creator, Marjorie Merriweather Post. Born in 1887 as the only child of industrialist C.W. Post, Marjorie Merriweather Post became, at the age of 27, the owner of her father’s business.
Her father had groomed Post to step into his shoes, and starting in 1914 she strode into the future with insight and fearlessness. In particular, Post expanded her father’s company to become General Foods, and she introduced to overworked women such labor-saving products as Maxwell House coffee, Hellmann’s mayonnaise, Jello and — her proudest achievement — Birdseye frozen foods. I would have gladly accepted an invitation to sip from her Romanov-family glassware and to eat from her Sèvres porcelain. But mostly, I think, I would have wanted to hear her stories and her wisdom for girls today.
December 16: Sunshine and temperature in the 60s called me to the beach. I wasn’t the only one in a rollicking mood. No wave before me was more than 24 inches high (most were just 12). Yet they curled and splashed like their grown-up Hawaiian sisters.
Unlike those muscular Hawaiian beauties, though, these Assateague waves rolled onto the beach in busy families: babies reached for my toes in a foamy glaze; a wave like a two-year old toddled behind it, standing and then falling down; next came slightly bigger youngsters, erratic and wild and tumbling comically toward me. These were followed at last by teenagers and young adults: shapely, organized waves, just small. Again and again, these “family members” crested across the surface at the same time, making a washboard of the surf and a family portrait I could try to capture only in words.
Bonus: As I type this, I watch a nearly full moon rise above streaks of sunset-salmon and beyond the reach of bare trees. The fleeting periwinkle sky welcomes us both.
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16 thoughts on “Delights: December 10 to 16”
Hi, Carol Ann!! I was delighted to reconnect too! Your blog makes me happy!
Glad to hear it! It’s funny what I find when I look — and when I check my emails!
Thanks for the mention! The tree and table at Hillwood are quite magnificent. What a nice week.
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Another lovely week! Sorry to have to miss you all, perhaps can see you over the holiday week. Xo
Hi, Cindy. I’m glad my Delights gave you a peek. We missed you too! I do hope I see you soon.
Ahh, how lovely that my doors have made it into your delights. 🙂 I appreciate sharing them. Thank you kindly.
However, I cannot visit any other of the four posts mentioned in the same paragraph! It says Page not found when I click any of the four links. Please have a look to see if it’s only my problem. But I think it’s because the URL contains “comments”. I see that I must just remove the last bit of the URL and then will be able to visit.
You certainly know how to gather delights and joy. Let the good times continue!
Dear Manja – THANK YOU for catching my linking error. You helped me not only to fix this post but also to change a flawed practice. Yay!
I love your blog and your artist’s eye. I’m glad you are finding pleasure in my Delights. I certainly find delight in your photos and your ability to see beauty everywhere.
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Many thanks for the mention. That tree and table are glorious. And how I would have loved to have heard that Gay Men’s chorus.
Thanks for your note about Hillwood and for appreciating the Gay Men’s Chorus, Laurie. It was truly an adventure, 100+ voices in all. And wild costumes!
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Oh, wowsah! Wish I could have seen and listened to that chorus.
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I loved discovering your blog and have read through several weeks. The way you describe details makes me feel like I am right there. Thank you for sharing.
Dear friend — Thank you for saying hello and for your VERY kind and encouraging words. You are so right about the details: since starting these Delights, I’m struck by how much life (and love) is in the details. I’m glad you’re here with me!
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Hi, Carol Ann. I am enjoying “delights!” I attempted to send you a longer message and a Happy NY “card,” but the link I clicked was not to your email, as I thought, but rather to a comment box. So that message was rejected. If you send me an email I will resend it. Hope you have a great ’22!
Dear Bob — How lovely to hear from you and to know you are reading my blog! (Thank you!) I smile remembering working with you on CWA Reauthorization and so much more; I love connecting (decades) later in our new equally creative lives. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy 2022!