In no particular order:
Meeting a friend at Paneras for breakfast, waiting, camera on shoulder, a man walks up to me and states that they have been waiting for a photographer to come take their picture. What they did not expect was for me to turn around and say Ok, gather together, let's do it! What started as a casual comment turned into a 20 minute conversation with the invitation to join them for breakfast for they meet there every morning. What a wonderful thing to have a gathering place!
Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA rocks! After work Christmas eve, eve at Laura's, drinking, laughing, smoking, carrying on like good bad girls. A heartfelt exchange of bracelets that we have worn, each one speaking of the other. The best time and best gifts, gifts of self.
Delivering for Santa's Helpers Anonymous, all 4 of us. What an incredibly organized system! After we had loaded our Expedition, I took a shopping cart back to where the action was taking place, loading, maps, food, presents, etc. and I could not help but cry, witnessing the jolly (for everyone was!) helpers who had been there since who knows when in the morning handing out the boxes. All the volunteers who were there to deliver, the good cheer that went from one person to another. And the woman, who when we dropped off her packages, hugged each one of us, and told us Merry Christmas and God Bless.
Hearing my daugher sing Breath of Heaven always leaves me a mess.
The last minute shopping due to school, which practically gave me a breakdown, and the letter that stated I made the Dean's list with a 4.0 which made it completely worthwhile.
The smell of wonderful goodies from my youngest who works so well in the kitchen.
Shopping with my youngest who is a child after my own heart, get in, get what you want, get out. Laughing, making spectacles of ourselves, in the moment with each other, feeling our groove together and my heart warm.
Coming home from Christmas Eve service to discover that Gus, the old hound, ate my gift. A box of 28 chocolates from John & Kira's. Need I say more? I swore that if he did not die from ingesting that amount of chocolate, I was going to kill him. He ate through the UPS shipping box and the chocolate box and did not enjoy a single chocolate, just scarfed them down in a second or two I'm sure, then spent the evening pacing, drinking, and going outside. He then slept all day on Christmas, the shithead.
The art gallery in my living room on Christmas Day, supplied by my Uncle, the incredible photographer and photoshop manipulator, each of uschoosing what we wanted, but also the fact that what we chose was what Auntie had actually chosen for each one of us. The knowledge of family.
My daughters who believe in the birth of Jesus and the wonder it brings yet still leave cookies and milk for Santa.
The gathering of various family units that happen when you both come from two divorced parents and the joy that exists in each.
And just like that, it was over. We will not be together for New Year's this year. I will miss my girls, one is an adult and wants her own parties, traditions as it should be and one will be visiting her best friend who moved to California. It is a trip that she has been waiting for since the move in September. My Handsome Prince and I will host a small party with co-workers of his from that side of the bridge, Peach will join us and so will Mom. Peach and I will try the water on New Years Eve and New Years Day, because we can. She would like to make a banner like mine, so I will provide the supplies for banners again. I don't know if I will make a new one or not for I feel I am still working on seeking. We'll see.
Lucinda Williams plays in the cd player while I blog, knit, and pick up and drink a Dogfish Head, the girls are playing together, and the Smaj is messing with all the electronics like a boy does. Oh, and the dogs are all alive.