Here we are in the midst of the fastest and--I do believe that old cliche--most wonderful week of the year. I threw a pork roast in the crock pot Monday. One thing doesn't have anything to do with the other. I just thought for historical record it should be noted that I cooked my first roast.
One of the highlights of my holiday season thus far has been having the opportunity to go caroling. I had either never been caroling or hadn't been since I was in school. It's hard to say as my memory gets foggy once you get past November.
Friday night, a group of ten of us loaded up in a rented church van. (Oh, the great tales that have started with that line.) We began by just going to houses of elderly people in the area that one person or another knew. But at the end of the night, we wound up at the nursing home.
Originally, we went there to sing for a specific person, but shortly after entering we found ourselves in an area where five or six residents in wheelchairs were sitting around. It just seemed like we should do something, so we sort of did an impromptu performance right there in the hall. After that, we wound up going to a couple of different rooms.
It was hard to see people who were in such bad shape. I wondered how frequently they had visitors. Or infrequently. I felt guilty when I thought about what my Christmas would be like compared to theirs. The image of a bedridden man mouthing the words to "Joy To The World" as we sang in his room--that will stay with me.
None of us said much as we left. It's hard to put the experience into words. But I think it's safe to say we were all affected. We were all glad we had decided to stop there, and I think to some degree, wished we would have gone there in the first place.
It was a re-centering of perspective, for sure. A reminder to be thankful for what I have. That time and good health are two things never to be taken for granted.
I'm off now to purchase a last-minute gift. I always like to go out to the stores a day or two before Christmas to soak up the atmosphere, be amongst the crowds, feel the cold, and hear Christmas music playing. You know, because I'm deranged like that. I dunno, that's a pure life moment for me. It only happens once a year, and the years--well I've learned to cherish them more as I go.
So Happy Festivus (today) and Merry Christmas from my humble abode to yours. I hope the season finds you in good health and good humor. But especially good health.
"Of all the gifts, love is the best..."