Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Merry Christmas!

This month has flown by.  It seems like only a few days ago I shared pictures of the splendid autumn leaves at the farm, and now most of December has come and gone.  It has been eventful, though.  Heavy rains in November and December have filled our stock ponds to overflowing.

Everywhere we walk, there is mud, but we’re not complaining.  We remember too many dry years leading up to this one!

By mid-December, our Christmas decorations were up, and John’s sister, Judith, had arrived from her home in Mexico to spend a month in Texas.  A group of us, most former members of a book club, gathered at our home to visit and catch up on each other’s news.  Of course, since we continue to be avid readers, we also traded recommendations for books we have enjoyed.

Then, on December 21, we joined our friends Carol and Larry and a group of other congenial souls for a “hay ride” through their neighborhood to see the many brilliant Christmas light displays. 

Christmas Eve eve found us in Lake Jackson, TX, ready to celebrate with John’s mother, Maxine, and her husband, Vic.  John and I rose early on Christmas Eve for a walk on the beach in nearby Surfside. 

Strong south winds had churned up decent waves (at least for this part of the Texas coast) and a few surfers were hoping for a ride.  

Over the years, the sea has claimed at least one row of beach houses, leaving only a few empty shells standing in the surf.

On this morning, there was plenty of frothy “beach meringue” on the sand.  It looked like a shipload of dish detergent had spilled its cargo!  The foam drifted in and out with the waves, its bubbles reflecting all the colors of the rainbow.

A few seagulls circled overhead or meditated in the shallow wavelets.

Several of these LBG’s (little brown guys) were foraging for tidbits.  I think this one is a willet.

Feathers dropped by gulls and other shorebirds mixed with shells and beach glass to create still-life portraits on the sand.

The sun peeked through from time to time,

but then the fog rolled in, muffling the barks of frolicking dogs and softening the landscape, so we headed back to Lake Jackson.

In the evening, we attended Christmas Eve services at First Presbyterian Church.  This year’s children’s service was a special treat.  It offered a different perspective on the Christmas Story.  Just imagine…what if today’s “Superheroes,” Superman, Batman, The Hulk, Wonder Woman and Bat Girl, had been present at Jesus’ birth.  At first, they might have been concerned that the Christ Child would make them irrelevant, and that was the theme of this Twenty-first Century Christmas pageant.  In the end, though, Superman and his friends understood that Christ is a spiritual superhero, and that they would still have jobs fighting evil.  

Here are some photos from the production.

The Christmas Star was one of the real stars of the production.  Each time the wise men, shepherds, etc., were told to “follow the star,”  the star streaked across the stage (unfortunately faster then my iPhone could focus and shoot). 

We finished out the evening with a scrumptious dinner with John's mom and her husband, and opening our presents.  It was a wonderful Christmas!

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