Life After Windbird, Day 114: Christmas Parade and ‘Interesting’ Concert
Date: Sunday, December 4, 2016
Weather: Sunny, Windy, and Cold; High Temp 41, Low 27 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA
The weather for the annual Falmouth Christmas Parade was windy and cold, but it was sunny. So that saved the day. I drove downtown a bit early to secure curbside seating for Heather, Ollie, and myself. Since Jed, Sam, and Jonah were marching in the parade with the Boy Scouts, there would just be the three of us to watch. I sat there basking in the sun with my winter coat and hood on to protect me from the wind while reading my book. It actually felt quite cozy. And when Heather and Ollie arrived, we settled in to get ready for the parade. Unfortunately, the people just to the left of us decided to stand out in the street obstructing our view. This is the first time I have encountered this at a Falmouth Christmas Parade. Usually people are extremely aware that they should not stand out in the street, but not this year. And when Heather said something to the woman standing in the street directly in front of her, the woman basically scoffed at her. Despite that incident, we enjoyed the parade. We were cheering as Sam, Jonah, and Jed walked by and we always love the pipe bands. Santa drove past at the end of the parade and that made for a great afternoon. After the parade, I invited the Goldstones over for an impromptu lunch and to help decorate my tree. It was the first time I have seen my Christmas ornaments since they were put in storage in 2003 and it was fun to see which ornaments the boys chose to put on the tree. Some of my ornaments are for a much larger tree and the boys did a nice job of sorting those out. I now have a fully lighted and decorated Christmas tree.
Shortly after 3 pm, we all dispersed. I was headed to a 3:30 concert at a local church with Jane Woodin and Heather, Jed, and boys were headed home. Jane called me just after I arrived downtown for the parade to invite me to the concert. I assumed it was a Christmas concert and thought that sounded like fun. So I said I would meet her at the church. It started shortly after we arrived and it was not what I was expecting. It was a super religious version of a Christmas concert. As I sat there, I wondered if Jane invited me because she thought I needed to give up my sinful ways. But as soon as the not so beautiful singing ended, Jane said, “Let’s get out of here.” When we got outside, she apologized saying that the concert was certainly not what she expected and I gave a big sigh of relief knowing that my friend was not trying to save me! We then headed to Jane’s house to have a glass of wine to wash away the memories of a not so great concert.
When I got home, I had a Skype video call with Justin, Jo, Ziggy, and Coco. I asked Ziggy and Coco what they wanted for Christmas and got the stock reply from Ziggy—Legos. But Coco gave us a bit of a surprise by saying she wants a castle and her own iPhone. I remind you that Coco is only four years-old, but she has BIG ideas. Justin and Jo will be moving into their new home beginning on December 28, so this Christmas will be a bit of a transition time for them. I would love to fly down to see them for Christmas, but I think it is best that I wait until February or March once they are settled in the new home. Mark and I, plus Heather and family, were with them for Thanksgiving last year and Mark and I spent Christmas in Puerto Rico in 2014. But I haven’t had a Christmas with Heather, Jed, and boys since Sam’s first Christmas in 2007. Justin and Jo and Mark and I joined the Goldstones in Maine that year—the last time we have been together as a family for Christmas. One of the only regrets I have about the years that we were gone sailing around the world is that it meant we no longer had a home to carry on the family holiday traditions. It is a bit like being a man without a country. And once we returned, we found our adult children had fallen into traditions of their own. Heather, Jed, and boys go to Maine every Christmas. And Justin and Jo are always at home, but home has moved from New Mexico to Culebra in Puerto Rico to the west coast of Puerto Rico. In the last five years, Mark and I spent two Christmases with my sister and brother-in-law, two with Justin and Jo, and one visiting with friends in New Hampshire. So this year I will enjoy Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with Heather, Jed, and boys before they head to Maine the day after Christmas. I’m not sure what I will do during the week between Christmas and New Year. Maybe I can take that week to write about the memories of that very special man that I am missing so much.