Friday, December 3, 2010

7 Quick Takes: Thanksgiving into Advent and Beyond

ONE: I hope your Thanksgiving was as lovely as ours! We spent the holiday near Blacksburg with my parents, my brother and his new wife (I need to come up with blog names for them. I'll call my brother Tuba Man because in high school and college he played the tuba in the marching band. My sister-in-law will be Auntie J until I can think of something better), and my parents' friends, Mr. and Mrs. B, came over for dinner as well. We had a lovely meal; Mr. and Mrs. B told us stories of their recent travels to Yellowstone (I blogged here, here, and here about our adventures there) and Alaska--a place we're hoping to visit, possibly this summer or maybe next. Maybe. My dad and Mr. B talked about how when they were kids, they had very little as far as material possessions, and how their home life was rich and full of love and life and how they didn't realize growing up how much of a struggle it was for their parents to raise and provide for them. The only photo I took on Thanksgiving day was this one of my mother's cute centerpiece:

TWO: On Friday Joe wanted to take the kids to a park that had a basketball court so Curly could practice dribbling and shooting. We thought there would be one at a certain local park, but there wasn't. We decided instead to go looking for a geocache hidden somewhere in the vicinity of this caboose. We didn't find that, either.

We finally found a basketball court at the old abandoned middle school building that Tuba Man and I had attended, and where Mom taught many more years ago when it was still the high school.

The hoops were so old and rusted, the boys were almost afraid to use them for fear they would knock them over with the ball.

THREE: While the boys were shooting hoops, I took a stroll around the school grounds. There are a lot of memories here, and it made me sad to see the building standing empty and neglected.

FOUR: Mom celebrated her 70th birthday recently, and we decided to treat her to dinner at Mountain Lake Hotel, where Dirty Dancing was filmed. (I didn't take this photo, of course; it was dark outside.)

Tuba Man and Auntie J, being newlyweds, had been calling each other "Baby" all weekend. (So sweet. Joe and I have never called each other Baby.) During dinner I was tempted to take a photo of Auntie J. sitting against the wall next to one of the stone columns, have Tuba Man standing in front of her with his hand out, and caption it "Nobody puts Baby in the corner." I didn't.

FIVE: On Sunday Joe and the boys performed their annual male bonding ritual, Leaf Blowing, Leaf Raking, and Leaf Hauling. They'll probably be doing that again this weekend.

We lit our Advent wreath (we're pretending that the red candle is really pink)

and had beef stew and cornbread for dinner. (Stay tuned to Cooking Nick's Books: A Sparks Fan's Food Blog for the recipes, which I hope will be up this weekend.)

SIX: When Larry and I visited the National Shrine Basilica a couple of weeks ago, I bought this devotional book:

Each day there is a quote from Chesterton or one of his contemporaries, a scripture passage, a prayer, and an action to perform in the spirit of Advent. Today's Chesterton quote was this:

All ceremony depends on symbol; and all symbols have been vulgarized and made stale by the commercial conditions of our time...Of all these faded and falsified symbols, the most melancholy example is the ancient symbol of the flame. In every civilized age and country, it has been a natural thing to talk of some great festival on which "the town was illuminated." There is no meaning nowadays in saying the town was illuminated...The whole town is illuminated already, but not for noble things. It is illuminated solely to insist on the immense importance of trivial and material things, blazoned from motives entirely mercenary...It has not destroyed the difference between light and darkness, but it has allowed the seller light to put out the greater...Our streets are in a permanent dazzle, and our minds in a permanent darkness.

He wrote these words in 1927. How true they still are today.

SEVEN: Christmas cards have started to arrive in the mail. People are putting Christmas lights on their houses. The whole town will soon be illuminated. Which means I'd better get off my duff and start doing something Christmas, like sending out cards and ordering presents. I'll stop back by here to say hello between now and the 25th, maybe with a Small Successes post about how I've finished everything I need to do way ahead of time and all that's left is to sit around and drink egg nog. Wouldn't that be something?
Head on over to Conversion Diary for Jen Fulwiler's Quick Takes for this week!

1 comment:

  1. "Thanks" is the most precious word in the world. It fills better. During Christmas time forgot old things and give a thanks to most people as you reach to them. It is a good habit.


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