Sunday, December 26, 2004

december 26, 2004

Yesterday we had a “house-full”, as I would describe it later to my brother (in Kansas) and my father (in Minnesota).

The day was divided into three sections:

1) before the arrival of friends,
2) the delight of friends,
3) the departure of friends.

After a delicious meal, we played “Balderdash” while gathered around a warm, comfortable fire. We laughed and ate and laughed some more.

Towards the end of our game I cracked a slightly off-color joke (at which, believe it or not, everyone actually laughed). Mary, a lady whom we’d just met on Christmas eve, commented: “If I didn’t know you were a pastor, I’d never have said you were a pastor. You’ve got a particular sense of humor that reminds me of my nephew, and I mean that as a compliment, by the way…”

I didn’t know her nephew, but accepted her observation as she intended it.

In either case, yesterday was filled with joy and love and peace. God has been good to us.

We witnessed a snowfall on Christmas day that warrants mention, given that we live in Madrid. It was as wonderful as it was brief. In the middle of our game I looked outside, past our homey yet beautiful Christmas tree and saw little white flakes coming down. “Look! It’s snowing!”

We all looked, smiled, laughed, clapped. One minute later, the snow had stopped.

Today, on the other hand, it has been snowing steadily, yet very lightly, most of the day. Yesterday’s hiccup was a premonition for today’s gently swirling flurry.

The wind is blowing, and a consistent quarter inch is stuck to the ground.

And we are in bed. Heather has been reading Laura Ingalls books (she reads the whole series once a year!). I have been reading a tale by Dickens called “The Cricket on the Hearth.” A wonderful little story.

I am in heaven. A light snow and a cold wind outside. A good book, a warm wife, and full-of-life children playing.

Later, Nic snuggles with Mom.

“I love you, Mom” he says without being prompted.

“I love you, too, baby.”

“Is there anything better than this?” I think. It’s the day after Christmas and all is well.

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