Advent-y

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Today was a December day, but warmer than it has been, and the snow melted a bit all day long.

I had to fill up my tank at lunchtime, and I looked over at the city, shrouded in fog and I thought, “Man, today is looking good.”

So I took that picture.

The days are good, but the darkness is rough. My body gets confused—is it nighttime now? Oh, wait, it’s only 6 p.m.

Last week was a mess o’ chaos, but filled with good things.

On Monday I gave a talk to a group of women (100+? I can’t guess numbers to save my life) at a local suburban parish about Advent and Ste. Anne and art.

Public speaking is basically a hobby for me, which is interesting, considering that most studies say that most people fear public speaking more than they fear death. Not me, though. I love the experience—planning an outline, visuals, presenting, hearing the folks respond, having them chat afterwards. To me it’s fun and thrilling, and maybe, in another life, I’ll be a public speaker. (Note: I don’t believe that there will be “next lives,” just heaven).

(Other note: But if there *were* to be other lives, I’d be interested in being: a Broadway actress, a circus performer in Mexico for half the year/ and Michigan the other half, a jazz club singer with a raspy voice, a fashion designer, and/ or a homesteadin’ momma. Friends, I have *way* too many ideas for my time here on this planet. This disappoints me on a daily basis).

SO TUESDAY, THEN. The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Do you recall that I work at a Hispanic parish? I work at a Hispanic parish. Our Lady of Guadalupe is Mary, for all you home-listeners. Mary, the mother of Jesus, and there is a story that says that Mary herself appeared to the people of Mexico to ask them to build a church for her son (it’s Jesus), and to give the Mexicans the gift of faith in God. And she appeared in Guadalupe, Mexico, and miracles surrounding this appearance still exist in Mexico *to this day* (I would love, love, love to visit them one day).

So, the Mexican people kind of credit her for their faith in God, and every year, on her feast day, there is a beautiful celebration of love and praise at Hispanic parishes across the world. Guys. They start at 6 a.m. 6. In the morning. And they bring their babies and little kids and stuff. They start before the sun rises, singing special songs of love and gratitude to her, thanking her for telling them about her son.

It’s seriously wonderful and beautiful…and it lasts throughout the day, and honest to goodness I left at 9 p.m. and the party was still going. I was *so tired.*

Wednesday I was supposed to host a party at my house, but instead we had the very first snowstorm of the season. Whew! A mess o’ snow, and the roads reflected that mess, so instead the party was cancelled and we shoveled snow. Such is Michigan.

Side note: you know how people are like, “Eskimos have so many words for ‘snow’!!”? Friends, I’m almost positive that exclamation of surprise comes from southerners, because we from the north have our own words for snow—descriptive words forever. For instance, this was a “powder” snow, which is vastly different from a “packing” snow, and it was a “snow storm,” which is different from “flurries” or “snow showers.” Snow talk for days. I think we could think of 200 words. Take that, Eskimos.

So Thursday, then. Let’s talk art. My rascal brothers had some friends over for a party, and we decided to watch the “Hunt for the Wildepeople,” a New Zealand flick my brothers found. Good golly. Good, good golly. It’s one of those films that deals with kind of intense and serious subject matter, but in a laugh-out-loud funny scripting that is witty and clever and is this a new favorite movie? Probably.

On Friday my brother, Paul, and I drove out to a family event, in a dark night of snow and ice. Stuck in rush hour traffic, he low-key said, “Oh, I was reading the readings for the day, and I decided to try to write a song, do you want to hear it?”

I told him that I did, and he proceeded to play me a beautiful, beautiful song about the promises of God and the hope of the prophets and I was like, “How? How did you know how to write that?”

And he said, “Years of practice.”

How Advent.

Maybe sometimes waiting isn’t like being in a time-out. Maybe, sometimes, it’s full of wonder and joy and the wonder and joy are only just beginning.

On Saturday I went to see “White Christmas” on the big screen with my mom and my sister and a group of other sisters and mothers, and at the end, everyone sang along about a white, white Christmas.

How good are the old time-y stars and starlets? Makes you want to have a white Christmas with dancing and singing and giant backdrops and snowflakes and falling in love.

Advent, Advent. The last week is upon us.

May your days, may your days, may your days be merry and bright, bright, bright.

(She writes in the darkness of winter).

Amen.

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Here is a marvelously dark picture of my brother, Paul, in a Santa hat on a holiday train ride. 

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