Friday, December 24, 2010
Christmas Eve update
If I didn't know better, by looking outside I'd think I was in Morro Bay or Pacifica or some other mid-winter fog belt. Overcast and drippy. I know it will burn off eventually, probably before noon. I forget that this happens here at this time of year. After all, it IS winter! But enough of the weather. Here are the past few days (very thrilling) events.
We got up in the middle of the night on Monday to see the gorgeous lunar eclipse. We went up to the third floor, lay down on the cement bench and watched the show unfold above us. It was a blessedly clear night ~ stars everywhere, the big mood gradually turning a coppery red. Last time these two dates ~ Winter Solstice and lunar eclipse ~ coincided, Shakespeare was a baby!
Here's the equipale furniture we ordered. Picked it up a week ago. Looks so nice in the house and it's a much better arrangement with a larger, 4-person table.
Chairs around the table are those that I ferried down from home. IKEA.
The chair was in pretty bad shape. The back had been torn badly; it just got dried out and split. So we took it to the shop and asked if it could be repaired. Here's the result.
They did such a fine job we're going to take three more to be revived.
On Wednesday evening the village children had their Posada parade through the streets. The whole gang was there; Mary and Joseph in costume, the donkey (played by a very placid large dog on a leash). They knocked on the door, asking if they could stay for the night. The accompanying chorus told them no, sorry, no room in this inn. Their remarkably off-key little voices filled the air. After a resounding, ¡Feliz Navidad! I made the usual donation for their post-Posada party and off they went to the next prospective inn.
Meanwhile, down at the end of our street an enterprising group has erected a creche scene. I watched them constructing the "stable" out of palm wood beams and palm fronds.
Off to one side is a cluster of tiny figurines that are not really part of the traditional creche. Instead, they depict scenes of Mexican life of old. The woman in front is making tortillas. Miniature sheep are scattered around. (Please note the presence of the swan. That's a new one for me.)
The figures appear every afternoon, late, are there until after dark, and then are taken in for safekeeping. The Baby Jesus will appear for the first time at midnight tonight. Then he'll be there through January 6, La Noche de los Reyes Magos. Then it will all be packed away for another year.
Tonight is the traditional Christmas Eve party at Luly and Ed's house. Mr. C is making a rum-soaked pumpkin pie, I'm doing the floral decorations and bringing wine and four bags of ice. I got off easy this year. There will be about 30 guests. It's always a fine party.
Then as if all these festivities weren't enough, tomorrow, Christmas Day, the Met is presenting a tribute to James Levine on his 40th anniversary as music director. The performance will be from the archives: "The Bartered Bride" by Bedrich Smetana. Teresa Stratas, Nicolai Gedda, Jon Vickers to do the singing thing. A splendid Christmas gift indeed.
From our casa to yours, wherever you are, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a blessed and peace-filled New Year.