Things just keep rolling on with fun and joy and love.
Last night the Preston-LeBlancs came over for a evening of seasonal music-making. It was the first time we’d ever tried anything like this, and while we were excited we were all a bit anxious too. It all turned out beautifully, even with the cold-suffering Tallis squirming in her mother’s lap while Paze played the alto recorder. Jeff’s guitar work sounded fabulous. I mostly played pizzicato in order to not drown Jeff out, but when we got people singing the better-known stuff I switched to arco. So much fun! The Bailey’s certainly helped, and HRH did his part by keeping the kids corralled and occupied until it was present-opening or singing time.
The quiche I made was delicious, too, although we never got around to drinking the mulled cranberry juice and I forgot about the Brie and pate. The afternoon started later than expected because HRH and I got stuck in several kinds of traffic in different places, throwing us an hour and a half behind schedule (the music only got bumped a half-hour, but there was a lot of lost time in there that cancelled other things such as hors d’oeuvre prep). When we got home after being in traffic for two hours and fifteen minutes, we found a three-foot snowbank in front of the driveway. The snow-clearing crews had done the first ploughing but the snow-blower hadn’t come by directly afterwards to remove the banks. Scarlet pulled up right behind us and she and HRH dug out a single car-width, then each pulled into the driveway one after the other. Naturally the blower showed up once they were done. But even that couldn’t dampen our enthusiasm for playing the real, traditional Christmas carols.
Today we awoke to another foot of snow, which gave HRH the opportunity to do something he’s always wanted to do. Our back deck has an oddly-placed gate that opens out into nothing. Once upon a time there was an above-ground pool in the backyard, and the gate opened onto a set of stairs that went into it. As there hasn’t been a pool in years, the gate has been fastened shut and is essentially just a part of the railing. Today HRH got the pile of snow in the backyard up to the level of the deck, so he opened the gate, and the boy now has a one and a half-storey snow slide from the back deck to the yard. The boy is shrieking as he throws himself down it on the little saucer sled and mumbling happily to himself as he trudges back up the stairs to the deck to do it all over again.
My parents arrived safe and sound in town last night (ahead of the storm, thank goodness) and will be here in an hour or so. (Which means I should wrap presents.) My mother will arrive laden with Christmas baking and a home-made tourtiere, our standard Christmas Eve dinner. There will, of course, be wine as well, lovely lovely wine that we cannot get in this province, and crab cakes. But best of all there will be my parents, whom we do not see often enough.
Family, music, joy, and love. It’s a good time of year. Not that we don’t experience these things during the other fifty-one weeks of a year, but this is a week we can all count on. I cherish these days, and count ourselves lucky to have them.