Sunday, December 24, 2006

Happy Merry Christmas!

Ah, the eve of Christmas Eve! The bustling has gradually slowed to a rhymic shuffle around Freeman House, and I'm pleased to report that all is ready for the holiday. Wish you could be here!

Today is actually a very relaxing day, in spite of the piles of sheetrock, scaffolding, and tools that have to be maneuvered around in the front half of the house. (In addition to the huge entryway tree... see right.) Men have been working on the ol' place all week, and the hallway and sitting room off my bedroom are nearly done! Yea! Anyway, this morning I brewed hot tea, took a long, leisurely bath in the clawfoot tub, and washed sheets and towels. Oh! Reminds me... they're still fluttering on the line underneath the magnolia tree! Better grab them before it gets too dark....

...Okay. Back. So, anyway, I opened and read all my Christmas cards on my outdoor patio while the Methodist church bells downtown played Christmas carols. Friends and their beautiful children all seem to be doing well. It's funny how Christmas cards - unlike anything else, it seems - record the evolution of a life... a family. One year my college friends are sending quick, stylish, girlie cards. Six years later, the cards are simple Kodak picture cards with grinning toddlers on the front, and there are typed newsletters enclosed, too. Times change, and I'm glad.

A last minute shopping run this afternoon produced some hand-quilted stockings, a stash of classic DVDs and an old, shabby chic flour tin. Score! I rushed home to stuff, wrap and distribute to the neighbors up and down the street. My walk, accompanied by Cornbread and Okra, my neighbor's dogs, took just over an hour. In and out. Fun.

Again, too bad you're not here. Tonight is homemade dinner followed by hot chocolate and carols at the organ. I love having friends and family around! Then the plan is to watch old holiday movies until bedtime. Yea! I hope the sheetrock allows for people to make it through the house without breaking their necks... or knocking over the tree.

Speaking of the tree, I was walking by it yesterday and noticed that an ornament was moving. Oh... wait... that's no ornament. There was a real, live BIRD sitting on my Christmas tree! I screamed and screamed. The bird flew into the library and the cat shot into the dining room. I slammed both doors to the library shut, but not before retrieving Maebelline (the cat) and putting her in there with the bird. After several minutes, I expected to open the door to find Maebelline standing over a still, silent bird. Ha! I cracked the door open just enough to poke my head in to see Mae lounging on the floor and the bird perched on the scaffolding. Shoot.

I finally realized that perhaps I could open one of the ancient library windows from the outside, (I could), so I pulled Mae out of the window as if the house was on fire, and ran screeching into the yard. The bird soon followed. Whew. Close call. I almost had an Alfred Hitchcock Christmas.

(By the way, one of my presents from the neighbors today was a wine cork/sealer kit. No wonder. I'm sure with all the weird-looking things I do -pulling my cat out of a library window and run screaming into the yard- the neighbors must think I drink. A lot. )

Ooooooh boy. Anyway, all is well here, and I say all this to say that our holidays -whether break-your-neck hectic, or lovely, leisurely, and peaceful - are too often taken for granted. We are blessed - truly blessed - beyond measure, whether we recognize it or not. Praise God for His goodness and His ultimate Gift! During this blessed, long Christmas weekend, I wish you all a special time full of peace, love, safe travels, sweet dreams, and much, much happiness and joy!

Happy, Merry Christmas! -Brin

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