Compared to my Vermont family’s snow, or for that matter my Tennessee family’s December chill, it is shameful of me to write about Christmas weather in the Southwest corner.
Monday, when i was outside after sunset, i had to wear a top shirt. We have a fire going in the hearth and nearly all of the windows are closed. i was cold when my telephone golf buddies teed off at Cottonwood at 7:30. i was in a short-sleeved shirt and wishing i had on shorts when we finished.
Yet, Christmas was in the air. Christmas. Yeh, it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. i’m feeling it, too. i hung “NOEL” last week, and i will be posting other of my Christmas misadventures from the past in the next couple of weeks…if i can find them.
Friday, i felt it was beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. Not because of the weather. Maureen and i made our second visit, this time with friends, to the old Naval Recruit Training Station chapel, now preserved and a venue for shows and weddings. The whole NRTC has been turned into a huge shopping area with a few townhomes added to the mix. Many of the old buildings have morphed into unique purposes.
The first night we went, we listened to Vivaldi. Friday, it was Mozart by a string quartet. It was beautiful.
Although it wasn’t exactly Christmas music. It was beautiful and the musicians were…well, they were rather unbelievable to me.
It was Christmas to me. i could feel it. i have experienced such feelings before, not always about Christmas. This one kept telling me it was about Christmas. It wasn’t about blow-up lawn decorations or even the rather incredible tree Maureen and Sarah decorated. It wasn’t about gifts under that tree and all of the other presents under an untold number of trees, real and fake — we gave in due to travel and got a fake one several years ago; i still miss the cedar trees we cut down on “Papa” Wynn’s farm — it was not even about that fat old man dressed funny and riding a sled from ages past. The Christmas feeling wasn’t about caroling and cantatas, one of the latter which we will watch from long distance when my sister and her granddaughter perform in the one on Signal Mountain this coming Sunday.
Friday evening, it wasn’t even about Little Lord Jesus lying in the manger under that mysterious big star, the baby lying in that shed and the curious mix of shepherds and wise men surrounding the shed in which he lay.
Sitting in that pew in that old chapel so well maintained where thousands of sailor recruits sat for years and years listening to a chaplain, the feeling that overcame me was not bigger than that. Oh, no. Not bigger. It was inside. It was about peace, good will to men (that’s all of us, by the way). It was about Noel.
It was Christmas.