Monday, December 23, 2013

Monday Morning in Seattle, Two Days Before Christmas.

It is Monday and as I head across the Ballard Bridge I see bright blue sky with sun washed clouds. Drive on to Emerson St. and pass by Discovery Park on the way to my sister Kate's house high in Magnolia. Nearing her street, I suddenly see the bright blue water of Elliott Bay and far away Olympic Mountains. It is a really beautiful day when one looks south and west. I am suddenly and inexplicably filled with happiness because of the brilliant blue bay. Nothing is gray.
This happiness comes after a rocky morning with a bout of tachacardyia. Hadn't had a rapid heart beat like this in years. Since before afib. When the tachacardyia subsided, I discovered I'd 'lost' my car keys.
I know what this stuff means. Always a sign of undercurrents, undealt with or disturbing.  But after seeing that brilliant blue bay and bluer sky, a sense of well being settles in around me and I feel pulled together, able to face the day.
Turning northward on to Kate's street, I see what we in Texas would call a blue norther. The north sky is dark grey blue and ominous. But Seattle skies don't work quite the way they do in Texas. The grey clouds move quickly. They won't be there long. They may go and then return again within an hour or two. In any case, I glance quickly back to the south to catch another look at that brilliant sunshine.
Kate and I have things to do. She's gathered up Mom's double boiler, steamer pot and the Christmas pudding, all of which I'll take back to Jeanne's for our annual Bonnie Boxing Day family get-together.  Mom's pudding and foamy yellow sauce may be the main reason we gather together.  For the past several years, I've been the family's designated pudding steamer and sauce maker. Kate will bring Mom's blue Royal Copenhagen Christmas plates and the Mom's Danish Christmas spoons. As we say to each other, "If we don't use them at Christmas, when indeed are we to use them?"
Kate and I also attach cards to seven boxes that we wrapped with John a year ago. In each of the boxes is one of Mom's 'Monday lunch' table cloths. We chose one for each of Mom and Dad's grandchildren, with messages encouraging them to carry on the tradition of extended family dinners.
All the years that Mom and Dad lived in Houston, we enjoyed what we called 'Monday lunch.' There was a standing invitation to all family and a few favored friends to knock on their door at twelve noon and take a seat at their dining room table. Mom served bountiful home cooked meals, old fashioned casseroles, biscuits and pies with fluffy crusts. It was the one time during the week we all got together for an hour or two. Conversation was fast and furious. All subjects were OK.
Hope our kids remember these tablecloths and like them as much as we like passing them on.
BTW, the day stayed blue and sunny. So, happy day before the day before Christmas.

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