Friday, December 25, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Dr. Elizabeth C. Lowry, 1909 - 2009

Dr. Elizabeth Lowry, my husband's mother, my mother-in-law, Granma to a small horde and and GreatGranma to more, died this morning at the age 0f 100. We celebrated her 100th birthday this summer with flowers and cakes, lots of friends and relations, and joy and love in abundance. The flowers and children's heads hide the cakes and the 100 candles, but they all got blown out by Granma and a lot of minor assistants, some of whom are still at work in this picture..

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Late-Mid-Advent Message from Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks

Advent is perking along and in fact is almost ready to yield to Christmas. And during this Advent, Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks (England) has provided the most meaningful words for Advent I have read (obviously not his intention but as I interpret the essays within an Advent framework).

Today, in the Times of London, Lord Sacks has this essay: "Thank God for the courage to live with uncertainty." Last week he provided the BBC Thought for the Day on Friday, December 11: "Will we choose to be remembered for peace?"

This Sunday acolytes will be lighting all four candles on the Advent wreath: What a privilege to be the ones lighting these candles in this cold and dark time of year.

Friday, December 11, 2009

On-line Advent Mornings

I love my Advent mornings. I have found five on-line Advent calendars this year:

First - I check the Hubble space telescope Advent calendar for a reminder that there is awe and great beauty to be had in things I really don't know anything about.

Second: The Church of England calendar - going green with the Church of England. In general, nifty little meditations at the end.

Then to the Bach BBC calendar - an oldie, but really nifty.

Onward to the Episcopal Diocese of Washington for their day-by-day creche figures. Last year I was in Washington during Advent and got a chance to see their creche display.

Finally, Tate the Cat, back after a year's absence. I love the slow unfolding of the story and and the understated pop-ups when the button is hit.

From the sublime to the practical to the amusing to the cultural to the subtle, with my dozing doggie sharing the couch and while it is still dark outside, chilly inside, and and my coffee is hot (well, by the end, it is coldish but still palatable).

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Mayor Higgins Hot Chocolate Walk/Run

Yesterday was the 6th annual Mayor Higgins Hot Chocolate Walk/Run to benefit Safe Passage, a local organization that provides aid for women and children who experience domestic violence. Over 4,000 women, men, children and dogs in buggies, shorts, colorful running attire, assorted hats, and costumes turned out for a wonderful festive occasion. The walkers walked 2 miles at quite a clip, while the runners ran 5 K (3.1 miles) in quite variable styles. Some runners speeded right along; later, as we were walking home, we passed the tag end of the running brigade trying hard to finish, even if it by that time they had lapsed into a leisurely saunter. We passed one running parent and buggy who had pulled over in the last half mile for a diaper change. One young runner I know ran the course in 30.1 minutes; I'd say it took us walkers about 40 minutes to complete our route.

Every one was smiling and enjoying the day and the lark of standing around, walking, and running with 4000+ others in the brisk cold. I never witnessed a single snap, snarl, or whine from adults, children, or dogs. Dover enjoyed himself immensely. He did what he does best - offer himself for petting, and many people did. They dropped by to pet him face to face, and he even greeted some gathering runners by breaching the plastic fencing used to keep the walkers in their place before the start time for the strollers. His is a hard job.

So, this morning, on rising, 3,500 residents of Northampton and neighboring towns padded into their kitchens, made coffee, tea, or cocoa, poured milk, juice or water into their newly acquired Hillary Price (Rhymes with Orange) penguin and polar bear mugs which were given to the first 3,500 people to register for the walk/run. Due to a glitch in my registration process, I registered twice, so Dover got to wear the second number (#1205) but donated his mug to another walker/runner who had registered too late. It is hard not to have thumbs.

Afterwards, Dover went
to his friends' house
to play,

and then he went
home to sleep.