a Holiday Pictorial

First and foremost, thanks to everyone for your kind words on Saturday. The funeral arrangements are finalized; they’re…a little unusual, but then, so was Gail.

We were with my family for Christmas Eve festivities this year, and I learned something that I really should have guessed: my grandmother is an Uno shark. Oh, sure, she’s over 80 and blind in one eye, and she’ll you that she can’t tell the blue cards from the green, but don’t think that will stop her from trouncing you and anyone else at the table. Ooooh, no. ¬†When I was very little, she and my grandfather and three of their closest couple-friends used to play cards – canasta mostly, and rook – on the weekends, sometimes till wee hours of the morning at our kitchen table. We had a little bar-like area in the family room of that house and I used to set myself up there with water, soda, and a bucket of ice and serve as “bartender” till I had to go to bed. Should’ve known her deprecating demeanor was just hiding her card hustling skills. Last night she and I and John played game after game of uno till nearly midnight.

But before all that, there was dinner and playing with the pets and opening presents and…general happy togetherness. Fantastic evening.

And I have pictures!!

The Shortest Day – Susan Cooper

So the shortest day came, and the year died,
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive,
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us – Listen!!
All the long echoes sing the same delight,
This shortest day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, fest, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!