Monday, December 31, 2012
A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year
I made it a point to be more social this holiday season. The activity really began with the "Peace Program" at Madeline's school, which was absolutely fantastic, and by far the best school performing arts program that I have seen in a long time. The following week I had the delight of listening to Madeline perform Swan Lake at her piano recital. (She made the mistake of letting me take pictures with her ipod!) Next on the schedule were several holiday parties leading up to Christmas.
I attended a holiday gathering on Friday 12/21, hosted by some dear friends from church, which provided the opportunity to visit with some folks that I rarely have the chance to really talk to beyond the passing moments between Sunday school and the worship service. After leaving that party I then headed to another friends house for a "end of the world" poker party.
Now, I've only played poker a couple of times in my life, and the last time I played for money (over 8 years ago) I started out strong but wound up leaving with what I had arrived with. The friend who was hosting the poker game has been after me to play for years and said that he wouldn't take no for an answer this time. In fact, he paid the $10 to get me in the game. Somehow, Christmas came a little early for me that night. I did well, not great (because I felt guilty cashing out when I was way ahead), but I managed to win about $35, which was a shock to my friends in the game, especially me!
I spent the following evening with my family, including Uncle Mike who had just arrived from Atlanta, and the Nardo's (who live next door to my parents and have become extended family). having grown up next door to their house, I have been inside many times, but this was the first time since they had purchased the house, which was shortly before my accident happened. It was a special treat for me to see how elegant that home has become in their care.
Of course, after their party I had one more to attend before I could head home. A visit to my friends, James and Alice Budden, who were hosting their own holiday party. Several of my closest friends were there as well giving us the opportunity for many hugs and holiday well wishes. I was already tired when I arrived, but got lost in the merriment and stayed out far later than I intended. Especially when I had to sing at church the next morning. Of course, as a result of all this merriment I wound up staying up late on Sunday night wrapping Christmas gifts!
Christmas Eve, which is the highlight of the holiday season for me, began with the 5pm worship service (which Madeline, Dad, and I were involved in). Every year the children's choir and the Dad's/Uncle's/Step Dad's/etc.. sing a song at the Christmas Eve service. While driving to the church I sneezed, and I knew right then that all this activity was starting to take a toll. After church we headed back to Mom and Dad's for our annual Christmas Eve ritual of appetizers, holiday drinks, family, friends, and laughter!
I awoke early on Christmas morning with a head cold that just seemed to get worse throughout the day. My family was very accommodating and let me take a long, much needed, nap that left me refreshed enough to watch Elf, and then make it through dinner. Though my body felt rough I still had a wonderful time being at home with my loved ones. The snow storm the next day was a welcome excuse to rest on the couch.
The time since then has been spent mostly visiting with my friend Mark (who came home from Minnesota after the roads were cleared) and is staying through this week. In fact, I'm off to join he and his family now for New Year's Eve. My resolution for this year...to figure out how to be more social without overdoing it and making myself sick. The head cold still lingers, but I'm on the mend. See you in 2013!