Now that we have baked our cookies and trimmed our trees,
now that we have wrapped our gifts and planned our dinners,
now that we have hung stockings, sent greetings and set tables,
assembled toys, trimmed wicks, written Santa and hung wreaths,
the time has come to abandon it all,
if only for a moment. Hallelujah « The Task at Hand.
Today on her blog, Linda Leinen posted her version of Hallelujah. The first stanza is at the top of this post. I find I must have missed it when she posted it in 2010 as A Hidden Hallelujah, I am glad I found it this year. To tell the truth, though it seems as if I’ve been reading the Task At Hand for ever…It was actually probably only after she posted this that I started following her regularly…
I was reading through my emails and Google Reader feeds today when I came across Jim Casada’s December Newsletter. As I was reading his list of childhood Christmas Memories I found myself nodding on more than one occasion as my own memories mached up with Jim’s.
Here are a few that I particularly liked…
The Christmas Day feast at the home of my grandparents. It was a meal rivaled only by the spread at Thanksgiving.
Grandpa Joe “sassering” a cup of Russian tea and smacking his lips as he drank liquid hot enough to scorch most lips.
The concluding words of every blessing I ever heard Grandpa deliver as we were preparing to eat: “You’uns see what’s before you. Eat hearty.”
I think it was the”sassering” that really hit a nerve though. I learned to drink coffee with my Grandma and Grandpa Sewell. And it was the saucering and blowing across the almost boiling coffee that still brings them back into the fore of my memories. Instant Folgers stirred into water so hot it foamed as it swirled around the cup…poured from the cup into the saucer before being cooled by blowing across the pool until you could sip it from the side of the saucer. Then repeat… Over and over until the cup was empty.
Twice a day every day. The ritual didn’t change other than the addition of whoever might be around at 10 and 2. Sometimes, the addition of cookies or cake would take the ritual to another level. But most days it was just coffee…”Sassered” and blowed.
Last year we started a new tradition around the Coffee Muses homestead when I had the photo at the top of the page printed and framed to remind us of the Christmas Miracle that happened in 2004 when we had the only Christmas eve and Christmas Snow ever recorded in this area. Now, every December as we decorate for Christmas the picture is moved over the mantle at the fireplace… Both as a reminder and a wish…
As everyone who lived along the Texas Gulf Coast in December of 2004 will never forget, a white Christmas isn’t just a dream for those living north of the Mason-Dixon line…Miracles do happen. And when snow begins to fall on Christmas Eve evening, why you make snowmen…and snowballs…and snow angels. I am sure most of the country knows what you do when the snow comes calling.
The image above was taken on Christmas Morning as my family slept in for the first time ever on Christmas day. They had spent most of the evening and half of the night outside playing in the falling snow. This wasn’t the snows we normally (once or twice a decade) see either, these were big, fluffy flakes. Flakes that drifted down lazily until the landed with an audible plop that you could almost feel through the ground. It was a loud snow…and not just from the sounds of joy and glee that were bubbling out of everyone’s mouths.
In 2005 I put this image on the Christmas cards we sent out to family and friends. A copy of this shot now resides above the fireplace mantle as a reminder that yes, miracles do happen…You can have a white Christmas even on the Texas Gulf Coast. Some of the deepest snowfall that year was recorded right on the beach…Go figure.
As my virtual friend, Linda, put it back in February…
In the beginning, it didn’t seem miraculous at all. There were only a few flakes, lost perhaps, or misplaced by the Storm Gods. Perhaps they’d taken a wrong turn somewhere east of Denver or west of St. Louis and headed south. They should have melted before they hit College Station. Instead, they drifted and swooped, lazed along the cloud fringes and hitchhiked on the wind, finally floating to ground in southeast Texas.