This morning Sean and I go out to the Modern Diner for breakfast. We are supposed to be talking about our experiences with cancer, but instead talk about many other things. I know Sean from church, he was my Alex's mentor when he was in the eighth grade coming of age class. I don't see people who go to Sunday services that often, since I am usually in the kindergarten classroom. Sean has been cheering me on throughout my cancer journey, and we decided it might be nice to talk in person, rather than on line.
If you have never been to the Modern Diner for breakfast, it is well worth a visit sometime. They have one of the most extensive omlet menu's I have ever seen, serving combinations like bree with apple and maple bacon; kilbasa and cheddar, and many other delicious combinations. It is all served up in a1940's era dining car, with cool art deco details. Not in the mood for an omlet, both Sean and I got eggs with corned beef hash, toast and hash browns. Great minds think alike.
I finish up most of my holiday shopping on Hope Street in the afternoon.
I am a greeter at church this morning.
The atmosphere is very festive today, everyone is excited about our pick up Christmas pageant. This is the Christmas story told with a Unitarian Universalist twist. While the story is being told, children from different grades come to the back of the church and get into costume to take a part in the play. Since I am already near the entrance of the church, I help out with the costuming. We have many of the usual characters, then add in some of our own. A dancing and twirling second grade angel leads a parade down the center aisle, followed by the littlest angel, a toddling one year old barefoot love who has recently learned to walk. We quickly help the children and adults find costume pieces and send them off toward the manger scene. Our special baby is a tiny infant, one of the newest members of our congregation. There is also a big brother in the manger scene, keeping a careful watch over his baby, with Mom and Dad.
There are traditional hymns sung at appropriate places throughout the play, ending with our star of wonder, carried down the aisle by a boy high above the ground on his father's shoulders. A star of wonder indeed.
Once the pageant is over, Steve picks me up so I can be freed from my chemo pump. I take a short nap and then Steven, Alex, Filipa and I go hunting for a tree. For years we have had good luck buying one on the twenty first at the old farmer's market behind the Paul Cuffee school in Providence, but for the last couple we haven't able to find it. We thought it might have moved, but when I was out that way last week I noted there was a tree stand, the same one we used to buy from. We head over to find it today, and there is no trace of it having been there. Am I imagining things?
We go out to Atwood Avenue in Johnston. I saw a stand out this way when we visited Dr. Lentrichia last week. This turns out to be a good choice, since all of the trees on the lot are on sale today. My feet are hurting again, so I opt to stay in the car while Steven, Alex and Filipa choose a tree. They find a beauty, and the attendant cuts it down to size for us. When we get home we place it in the tree stand and bring the decorations up out of the basement.
This evening my family and I will eat dinner and decorate the tree by candlelight as we celebrate the winter solstice. It is not often that I have this day off from work, so it is nice to have extra time to prepare things in the light of day. Once the sun goes down we only use candles to light our way. We have celebrated the solstice with our children since they were very young. It was our own special holiday that no one else in the family celebrated, a way to be together just for a short uninterrupted time in a season filled with so many out of our house celebrations. We still celebrate Christmas with our friends and extended family, but this has always been our own special family time.
Ayla is working until six, so Alex, Steven and Kaileigh help to prepare dinner while we are waiting. Steve gets our lasagne ready, Kaileigh makes up a salad, and Alex bakes some brownies. I get the table set, and the sun starts to sink in the sky. We light our first candle, and Filipa makes a wish. We take turns making wishes as we fill the kitchen with light. Soon Ayla and Chauncey arrive. We eat a leisurely and save dessert until we are finished decorating the tree. Ayla and Filipa put the lights on, then we all help hang ornaments. We have a lot of decorations, but we manage to get them all on the tree.
We take a break for some peppermint stick ice cream brownie sundaes. I have forgotten to buy whipped cream thinking that the can in the fridge is full, but find it is almost empty. We hope it will last for all of our sundaes, and somehow, it does.
Once Julia gets home from work, we move into the living room and gather up our gifts for each other. We pass things out one at a time, taking turns and watching as each person opens their gift. It is such a lovely, intimate way to celebrate. I love our solstice together.