Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Last night we put up the Christmas trees in the church

--there was only a 4% chance of new snow over night. --and we got it. A thin, fresh new blanket. The trees have been making snow for us --catching moisture in the breeze and it freezing in large flakes until it gets too heavy, and then it falls to the ground... or roof, making the roof a drum and driving the dogs crazy because they think some one is there. The trees have been dropping several inches of snow every day. I have had to sweep the walk to the house several times a day --trying to prevent the packed snow that turns to ice when the sun strikes it. This morning, I will have to shovel the whole walk again. Actually, I will probably only have to use a broom... it's light and powdery stuff.

Paeha is the funniest dog I have yet seen in the snow --we had one dog, Olaf (a California dog), who liked to run full blast in the snow with his mouth open --a dangerous endeavor we finally convinced him not to undertake. Clio (an Oregon dog), who was raised by Olaf, just liked to roll in the snow. Mr. Witty (a southern California desert dog) prefers just to mark the snow and then stand in wonder, sniff the air, and look at the horizon. He is, after all, named after a philosopher. Paeha likes to leap erratically like a drunk bunny, roll in it, and then eat it, and begin again --energetically. He is undoubtedly still pretty much a puppy --being just a year old.

And, pretty much until today, it has been a foggy endeavor --or low clouds, whatever. But, today, the sun is shining brightly and it is blinding to look out the window --the light coming in the window is blinding, undeterred by the curtains.... This time of year --this month, in Lakota, is called "the moon of the burning eyes." I will be looking for my sunglasses today....

Today will be the warmest day of the week --it will reach the scorching temperature of 30F. I got a phone call late yesterday afternoon, and I will have a wake/funeral on Friday and Saturday --a tough time for a family to bury a loved one --the high temp on those days promises to be 19 degrees. I hope his pall bearers don't try to dig the hole by hand... it's gonna be difficult enough to break up the frozen dirt to fill the hole, much less try to break through the frozen ground.

Last night we put up the Christmas trees in the church --we were all chilly, even though the thermostat was set at 70. Things are just radiating cold... but we organized, sorted, put up garlands and lights, ate pink yogurt covered pretzels and then some popcorn --and after the trees were standing and the garlands draped we sang carols, some in Lakota, some in English --and then we prayed Compline and put the day to bed.

And we got a phone call first thing this morning... our funniest dog yet in the snow is finally scheduled to get his pockets picked --if you know what I mean.... We've been waiting four weeks for the local vet (40 miles away) to schedule a 'small animal day'. It has been an urgent concern for us because we had to put down a $100 deposit at the shelter, promising to get him neutered or the $100 would be forfeited. There was a month deadline. Today is exactly a month....

I can't believe this little one has been with us a month already....

And then the guys came over to get the key to open the church to get ready to serve a hot lunch today... when they brought the key back, they had already swept our walk.

Such is the world of generosity....

So, it is a gentle morning.... A morning of light snow and bright sun, good coffee, caring for our little dogs and folks getting ready to serve a hot lunch.... And the only thing I have planned is to prepare the readings bulletins for Christmas --and, oh yeah, write something the children can read at the four o'clock pageant on Christmas Eve that will tell the glorious story of God With Us... and find some fabric we can use to drape the small bodies and tell them they are now prophets and angels --and perhaps some will want to make the necessary animal sounds... among other things.

At prayer this morning; Canticle: A Song of Faith (1 Peter 1:3-4, 18-21)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, *
by divine mercy we have a new birth into a living hope;
Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, *
we have an inheritance that is imperishable in heaven.

Thanks be to God.


Anonymous said...

Dear Margaret, Are you a fan of U A Fanthorpe? Perhaps this might interest you:-

U.A. Fanthorpe

I am Joseph, carpenter,
Of David’s kingly line,
I wanted an heir, discovered
My wife’s son wasn’t mine.

I am an obstinate lover,
Loved Mary for better or worse.
Wouldn’t stop loving when I found
Someone Else came first.

Mine was the likeness I hoped for
When the first-born man-child came
But nothing of him was me, I couldn’t
Even choose his name.

I am Joseph who wanted
To teach my own boy how to live.
My lesson for my foster son:
Endure. Love. Give.

Charley F-B.

it's margaret said...

Never heard of Fanthorpe --will go a looking now! Thanks Charley.

Nij said...

Dear Margaret(et All),

Having been a perpetual dog owner, I really appreciate your discernment re: how various dogs respondf to snow. My funniest little guy was a Shetland Sheep dog named 'Trevor',. who seemed to resent the snow and raced back and forth, leaping high as he could and snapping at the flakes. Jock, our beautiful gold and white collie would stand and stare at this performance. Every inch of Jock sent the message "You are such a fool"! Jock was not only beautiful, but he was also a haughty person who somehow had been born in a dog's body. They both spent a good deal of time chewing the snow and ice from their toes.
For me, Advent is the gentle time, when you sense that a big time is coming and go through the days doing stuff but not quite able to forget the celebration ahead......
Come, Lord Jesus, indeed! Happy for you for this beautiful, for once peaceful morning!

JCF said...

Happy Snippy Puppy, Paeha! ;-X

Anonymous said...

A couple more that Fanthorpe put in her home-made Christmas cards. (Some say the donkey is the only reliable witness.)

Can't find anything about daft dogs dancing in the snow though.


No room in the inn, of course,
And not that much in the stable,
What with the shepherds, Magi, Mary,
Joseph, the heavenly host -
Not to mention the baby
Using our manger as a cot.
You couldn't have squeezed another cherub in
For love nor money.

Still, in spite of the overcrowding,
I did my best to make them feel wanted.
I could see the baby and I
Would be going places together.


This was the moment when Before
Turned into After, and the future's
Uninvented timekeepers presented arms.

This was the moment when nothing
Happened. Only dull peace
Sprawled boringly over the earth.

This was the moment when even energetic Romans
Could find nothing better to do
Than counting heads in remote provinces.

And this was the moment
When a few farm workers and three
Members of an obscure Persian sect

Walked haphazard by starlight straight
Into the kingdom of heaven.

U.A. Fanthorpe (1929-2009)

Its the duty of us irreverant types to relieve the darkness of you devout, depressive and slightly dangerous clerics!

Happy Christmas - and sure to eat and drink too much, Charley Farns-Barns.