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» Wednesday, December 24, 2014The Long Coast Until Christmas
All that preparation, and it all leads up to this: the day before Christmas! All the gifts are wrapped and under the tree. How quickly it's all gone by! It seems like yesterday we got back from vacation and were getting ready for Thanksgiving!
It was the usual at first this morning: get up, walk the dog, eat breakfast. It was still gloomy out, but not cold at all, as the cold front wasn't expected till this afternoon. I spent the morning working with some old Christmas photographs to post on Facebook, including two from my first Christmas, when I was only two weeks old. I had BBC4X and was listening to Christmas radio shows, one about stars, David Sedaris' "The Santaland Diaries," and the first part of the very last episode of Cabin Pressure.
About 12:42 Snowy burst out singing, and not much later James arrived home. He seems to have a time sense the way Frisky did when I was a kid; he'd always start singing at 3:30 when my dad left work and then put his head under his wing and fall asleep when he arrived. It was as if his job was finished and he could relax! Dad always wondered why the bird was always asleep when he got home! If Frisky didn't sing, invariable Daddy would call to say he was working late. Mom would say "I know, the bird isn't singing."
We watched Mercy Mission: The Rescue of Flight 771 as our late afternoon offering. I think this is James' favorite Christmas film, along with Mickey's Christmas Carol. An American pilot flying a small plane to New Zealand is lost when his navigation equipment fouls up and a New Zealand airliner piloted by an American expatriate is the only one who can help him. Considering the stars spend three-quarters of the film stuck in a cockpit, this is amazingly suspenseful, and after years of viewing we still cheer at the end.
I also watched The Night Before Christmas, an animated story about how "A Visit from St. Nicholas" was written, but didn't have time for The Little Drummer Boy because we went out to look at lights. We did some neighborhood lights first, including that development on Old Concord Road where all the homes have double glass doors as front doors. One house is very striking, with white lights and a red spotlight on the front. Then we drove on to see "The Lights of Life" at Life University. The traffic was bumper-to-bumper until you got to the place where you had to pay (alas, no longer free!), and then the rest of the drive was fine. Santa and his team were taking off in their usual place over the playing field, "Santa's Flying School" was up on the main hill surrounded by Christmas trees of all colors, and they had the religious iconography (a nativity, a Menorah, and Noah's Ark) in an alcove in the rear. The sea serpent swam in the pond and near the apartments Victorian couples celebrated with a kiss and bears snowballed each other and penguins cavorted before igloos. Then we came back by way of Spring Road and the Park View community before returning home and I put on The Homecoming: A Christmas Story as always.
Later NBC played Midnight Mass from the Vatican, but Channel 11 cut off the Pope smack in the middle of preparing Communion for yet another replay of the Spellman-Morehouse College concert. And a Merry Christmas to you, too! Besides, it was bedtime anyway.