23 December 2018

The Fourth Sunday of Advent: Food and Family

O LORD, raise up, we pray thee, thy power, and come among us, and with great might succour us; that whereas, through our sins and wickedness, we are sore let and hindered in running the race that is set before us, thy bountiful grace and mercy may speedily help and deliver us; through the satisfaction of Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be honour and glory, world with out end. Amen.
                                          Book of Common Prayer, collect for the fourth Sunday of Advent
We were up at seven this morning to eat a quick breakfast and commit the "perambulation of the pooch." We left for Warner Robins at eight with the truck loaded with gifts.

We hadn't had such a long drive in literally years, but this early on Sunday, even on the Sunday before Christmas, the freeway was very clear, although there was a steady stream of migration of travel trailers, mobile homes, and packed-up cars going south, probably to the "House of Mouse." The biggest problem was the sun in our eyes (no matter which way you drive in this state, the sun is always in your eyes!).

We arrived in Warner Robins after one bathroom break, about 10:30, and hung around with Candy and Mom until Candy's daughter Nicki and her husband Vinnie and little Max arrived from where they had stayed with a friend last night. We hadn't seen Max since he was a baby. He's a fine little imp now, blond, angelic, and gets into everything. He took a shine to me and kept leading me to decorations or toys to show me. Nicki was making pigs in the blanket and Max kept coming back for "just one more" until he finally had to be shooed away. Nicki placed the remainder on a plate on the dining room table and I found Max kneeling on a chair peeling away the "blankets" from the "pigs" and eating them!

Eventually we had a swell little buffet with chicken wings, meatballs, chicken salad sandwich halves, crackers and meats and cheese, fruits, veggies, and of course sweets (lots of cookies, cake, gingerbread) among other things, and we had a bigger surprise: James' youngest sister Sabra and her husband Lee showed up from Charleston!

After lots of talk and laughter and food we did gifts, and soon it was time to leave. I have a hard time driving in the dark these days due to developing cataracts, and James and I intended to leave about three, so as to get home before dark; we did leave before dark as it was still quite light when we were gabbing in the driveway for fifteen minutes. By the time we got down Watson Boulevard (and Watson Boulevard now goes all the way down to the freeway now), clouds were scudding in. We had our plastic box, but we only got a few splashes of raindrops.

I drove from Warner Robins to the exit for the Tanger Outlets (in retrospect we should have gone up to the flea market exit ten miles ahead; everyone was turning right towards the shopping area). We just wanted to get to the QT station, use the potty, and swap drivers, which finally managed to do despite the relentless passage of shoppers' vehicles. We got home just before seven to find a package from Rodney on the doorstep.

The internet seemed to have calmed down from earlier in the week, and I was able to finish watching The Man Who Invented Christmas (a comedy drama about Dickens' writing of A Christmas Carol) without continual dropouts, and then St. Nicholas: The Real Story, and finally another neat documentary with Ruth Goodman and Peter Ginn, Tudor Monastery Farm at Christmas.

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