Friday, December 26, 2003


It was definitely an odd Christmas. I've read in the New Age books that your inner world shapes your daily outside experiences so maybe that's why I found my sojourn into the right wing's lair and the holiday to have the same quality -- all reaction and no contemplation. I encountered too few people reflecting on the spirit of the season and I didn't see one Christmas classic. Ron, who flew off to London today into a stunning sunset, tells me he saw two versions of Scrooge (including one with an all black cast that I've never seen before) but there were none available on the limited listings in my TV package.

Feeling deprived of my video tradition, I took the time to watch Pollyanna this morning. I have a long history with this story having played the lead role in my 4th grade school production and it's really just another version of Its a Wonderful Life, without the snow.

I haven't seen the movie in a long time. As a child I loved the rainbow maker concept but I have to say my new favorite scene is now of the musicians at the benefit. These old ladies dressed in Sunday Baptist best playing really rocking music just blew me away. The drummer, who looked to be about 65 years old was outrageously good and you could tell she was having a great time.

The other theme in the movie, around finding the good in bad situations always resonated with me as well and I was happy to be reminded of it today. Come to think of it, irrepressible optimist that I am, I believe I've been playing this game and the role all my life and there were bright moments in an otherwise bleak season.

I loathe driving on holidays and often opt out on the family gathering for that reason, but this year I hit the highway and had a lovely visit. I found a radio station that was playing all carols, all the time. I never inflict my singing on others but I do love to sing. Being alone in the car, I rendered heartfelt renditions of all my favorites. I belted out Chestnuts Roasting on An Open Fire at least four times, turning the dreaded hours on the road into a pleasant pastime. I sound pretty good to myself.

* * * * *

The saga of the Christmas tree story had a happy ending. Michael and Irma have custody but I have visiting rights and we all agree that we have the most perfect Christmas tree in the history of mankind. I strung the lights and they hung the ornaments. The tree really did turn out to be naturally crooked so the top piece is off center, nonetheless, none of us has ever had a better tree. It just makes you smile. I like to think it's because a tree that bent would have ended up culled anyway and it was happy to end its life as a symbol of fellowship instead of just an anonymous BTU.

* * * * *

Speaking of fellowship, I regretfully missed a lot of the holiday returnees this year, Tom McClung springing immediately to mind, but I did get to spend some quality time with the Fort Lauderdale contingent and look forward to seeing them again before the season ends. And much to my delight, as I was composing this post, my dear friend Maki called. She's back briefly from Japan and is about to spirit away her whole family for the next semester so there's a party tomorrow.

This crowd, which includes many local musical legends who I have neglected terribly since I started the blog, hark back to my deepest roots in this town and I'm looking forward to catching up with some treasured friends and hearing some great music. I'm hoping their computer is still set up and we can blog from the scene. Updates to follow on this one kids.


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