So it’s Christmas Day. Pam and I slept in ’til about 9:00, and have been reading most of the day. She polished off a Nora Roberts book, and now is well into another book, which she’ll no doubt finish tonight. Me–I’m reading Brown’s Requiem, an excellent hard-boiled detective novel by James Ellroy (better known for writing L.A. Confidential). I’m almost done.
I heated up some vegetable soup I made on Sunday, when Pam’s family came over. Pam and her brother and sister spent all day Saturday at Chuck’s condo, continuing to divide things up. (I got a nice heavy tan coat with some black grease stains on one shoulder, and a fine London Fog jacket with fur lining that will fit nice after I lose a bit more weight.) The question, “When are we getting together for Christmas?” came up. It kind of depended on when Jodie had the kids, and this weekend was it. So how about tomorrow? At our place? Agreed.
And so, at 5:30 on Sunday, after Pam and I gave the house a quick picking-up and vacuuming, everyone showed up at our abode. Everyone except Chuck, of course. The previous Sunday, we were all at the funeral home for the viewing. So that made the get-together very different. And yet, it was no mopey affair. We had a great time. Lots of laughter. Kelly brought a superb potato soup, Pam made her delicious ranch beans, and my experiment with vegetable beef soup actually succeeded. Throw in a Papa Murphy’s pizza, and we had a real party.
The only living person missing was Spencer, Jim’s oldest, who had to work. He’s a college student here in Fort Wayne, living on his own. Chuck had a couple cases of corn beef hash, and most of it went to Spencer, who loves the stuff. We also wrapped up a case for him to open. I had wanted to see that, but alas. However, on Monday, Jim brought Spencer to our house, along with one unopened, wrapped, very heavy present. Spencer unwrapped it on the kitchen table, and we all got a kick out of it.
At 4:00 that afternoon, on Christmas Eve, Carolyn and Allen came over, along with Connor and Dennis Michael, who was born on Tuesday. Less than a week old. They were actually all in church on Sunday, which is practically unheard of nowadays–bringing a newborn to church on his/her first Sunday of life. But there they were, and I got to hold Dennis. What a joy.
Now, at our apartment, I got to hold Dennis much more. We unwrapped gifts for each other. I played with Connor, who is now practically running and has a strong affinity for grabbing cat food (not to mention cats). He fell, butt first, into the water bowl. Nice.
Then it was off to church for Anchor’s Christmas Eve service. The sanctuary was set up in the round, with the piano in the middle. I played ten minutes of carols as a prelude, then we sang a bunch of carols. Tim did something for the kids, then gave a meditation for everyone. Then a couple more songs. Forty-five minutes–that’s how long the service lasted.
At home, Pam and I watched two Season 2 episodes of The Unit, on DVD. Love that show. Then we opened presents. We hadn’t gotten much for each other. This has been a very unusual Christmas. We’ve both been ill during the past few weeks, and since Chuck went into the hospital on December 7, our lives have really been thrown off-kilter. But Pam managed to find me a bunch of hard-boiled detective novels, and I got her a batch of eight or so Christian novels. I actually managed to find books she hadn’t read. There were a few other minor gifts. And that was sufficient. We’re at the age where we just don’t want or need much. Books are always good.
And that’s pretty much how our Christmas has gone. Right now it’s 5 p.m. I’m gonna call Mom and Dad, see if they’re home. Go visit them a while.