This year we were facing a really, really quiet Christmas with our son in Germany and our daughter in LA, so some long-time friends (of 44 years) offered to come from Virginia to share the holiday with us. We had met them when we’d rented the bottom half of their duplex in Newport Beach, CA, the first year we lived there (see my recent Moving Stories post). We had so many adventures with them including a camping trip to Big Sur, when we were nearly washed away in a flash flood, but that’s a story for another time.
This year they offered to accompany us to Mass on Christmas Eve. Our church is always crowded for the holiday Masses, but we got there very early with the assumption we’d get a seat. No luck! The church was crowded and people were standing five deep. The seats in the narthex were also full. What to do? Of course! Grab a seat in an overflow room the size of a gymnasium with a closed circuit TV screen at the front. Just the thing, and so uplifting! With the 80 degrees temps outside, hardly felt like Christmas … but I did enjoy meeting two young boys who were sitting next to me, and together we counted the ceiling tiles while waiting for the people in the long lines for Communion to return to their seats.
On the way out, I ran into a plate glass floor to ceiling window, thinking it was a door. No damage to it or me, except bruised pride from the spectacle!
Christmas day, two colleagues from my former life as an academic at the University of North Carolina joined the four of us for dinner. As we were about to serve, I asked my husband, “Have you seen Elijah Moon recently?” Elijah is our much loved and very spoiled 18 pound orange striped cat. It was getting late in the afternoon, which we call “Coyote Time” since this is when these local predators emerge to hunt any smaller, four-legged prey. Naturally, we thought if Elijah was outside, he could become a meal. So we dropped everything, made two tours of the house to see where he might be lounging. Not finding him, headed outside, calling and whistling. Elijah may be lazy but he always comes when we call him, but not this time.
By now, our guests were sensing our distress and volunteered to join the hunt. Turns out it didn’t last long, since this is where he was, the whole time!
Hope you had a peaceful, love-filled, and memorable holiday!
On a sad note, I want to extend my prayers and sympathy to sister blogger Jo Robinson, who lost her husband yesterday (https://africolonialstories.wordpress.com/2015/12/26/on-hold/). I hope she will be back amongst us soon, and that support from our community will buoy her during in this hard time.