Christmas Hearth Photos

From Mebane it's all smiles from Mike, Meri Christi and Raine.

Nancy enjoys the mountain top and Harry's happy in the Big Red Chair.

Mark's excited over his traditional gift, Bill's excited to leave things cleaner than he found them, and Melody's excited to breath deep that fresh mountain air.

The Chrstmas hearth at 1203 N'field included Mama and Daddy, Ronald and Travis, and Quinn.

The Anastasia Island Williamsons with Christmas guest Lynda Titus, Lauren's sister visiting from Toronto.


Approach to Christmas Eve

Starting only a few hours after winter arrived, the sky over St. Augustine filled with small, stubby clouds that allowed sunlight to flood only small patches of earth at a time. The clouds moved quickly above the earth and illuminated only piece of the earth at a time. There would be the bay in near darkness while the houses on Porpoise Point would radiate in their pastel yellows and blues and mint greens.

That was Friday.

Then all day on the second day of winter, Saturday, the light remained a dim grey making it impossible to know if it was 10:27a or 3:38p. The light stayed grey all day, but the lack of sun did not bring on colder air. We ate inside because of the thick damp air, not because of the cold when we went to Creekside to celebrate Lynda’s birthday with her and Doug and Diane, her friends from Toronto.

The dawn of the eve of Christmas Eve, Sunday, was just the opposite. No clouds. Sunshine falling onto every grain of sand and clump of coquina scattered on both sides of the Matanzas River.

Ronald and Travis stopped by at noon. We visited briefly standing first in the living room then walking outside and all the way around the house before they headed west at 12:30p. Their planned route was to take them west over the St. Johns and then north at some point into Georgia and the west again all the way to Houston County. Hannah had half a dozen friends over the watch a movie, one who spent the night, and Lauren and I watched television.

And so we come to today...Monday...Christmas Eve...a day that holds all the magic of Christmas Day and then more because the nighttime of Christmas seems to be where the enchantment lies.

Max arrived a little after 10a, Lauren and I each went for out for moments of shopping for those last-minute-little-things, then Max and Hannah went to see a movie this afternoon. For dinner this evening there will be the four of us, Max’s friend Lauren, Lynda, Diane, and Doug. I will pick up our order from Gypsy Cab Company at about 6p-- three entrees, fish, chicken and eggplant parmesan, sides of mashed potatoes and tossed pasta --and shortly after that start lit the oak already stacked in the fireplace. We will feast and fellowship and then doze lightly as we anticipate the arrival of first light and the surprises that await.

To each branch at every hearth, we send you our love and our wish for an abundance of blessings on all of you.


Recent Asheville Afternoon

This afternoon was a blast. Zipping around downtown Asheville one Autumn afternoon. We saw mountains, grand & humble buildings, learned about the history of this lovely city, saw women in purple hats and noted all available condos in many locations. We topped off the day with pizza and ice cream. Fantastic. Ask Nancy about trying to run away with one of the "Segue."
The day before Nan and I had a visit to Tops and watched part of the very long Asheville Christmas parade. It's certainly something to put on your calendar for next year.


On the 336th day of the year, the first entry of the year

In the folder labeled Brothers, there are over 500 email exchanges between my brothers and me, my parents and me, my brothers and my parents, and all of us to all others. Some are short one-way communications. Some extend to dozens of back-and-forth as a minuet detail of the past is retold and relived until it is alive again.

So while it has been over a year since the last entry in this log, there have been words written. Many, many words.

And there have been visits. Many visits it seems: some around holidays; several around birthdays in Dothan; and others without holiday or anniversary, but just a visit to deliver butterflies.

But our visit (Paul, Lauren, Max & Hannah) was so we could have Thanksgiving dinner together. It took a weaving of travels of four people in two cars over five days, but the four of us had Thanksgiving dinner at Mama’s table with Daddy offering the blessing. That was a blessing.

Mama, Daddy and I visited the cemetery at Beulah Church, Grandmother Williamson's home church. There were many Burdeshaws there, much like there are many Williamsons at Selma Church. There are two tower monuments, nearly six feet high, one each for Philip and Celia, and the grave of John who was not actually buried there as his "footstone" explained: his remains are in a military cemetery in Elmira, NY where he died a prisoner of war.

Visiting these family plots in church cemeteries is a way for me to connect with the past and my past. I suppose it is simply that under each headstone (literally) there is a story, one that we may only know a tiny bit of...a name and a couple of dates. Some tell more. Family plots with the remains of generations tell the most stories, and strolling through the headstone hedgerows with my Mama and Daddy gives voice to those stories.