Thursday, January 7, 2010

Orthodox Christmas Thoughts by Margaret Ullrich

Can't believe we're already a week into the new year. The day after Christmas has always been a sad day for me. I get so used to all the Christmas-themed shows and music. Then, on December 26, they're all gone. Can't they continue for another couple of weeks, at least for the sake of the Orthodox Christians? I'd like a gentler weaning off the holiday season.

BoBo's passing affected our holidays. We've had at least one dog for so many years that we just got into the habit of doing things in a certain way. Each of our dogs had his or her own Christmas stocking. This year we didn't hang up our stockings. Seeing just 2 stockings was too much of a reminder.

We have a comfortable chair near the table in the kitchen. Our dogs would get on the chair and stretch as far as possible to sniff at the turkey as it cooled on the table. Everyone enjoyed the Christmas turkey, but I missed BoBo's excitement as he waited to get "his share". It was so quiet when we returned from evening services and visiting, and when friends came.

We have always set up our manger scene on a table so that our dogs wouldn't be tempted to use Baby Jesus as a chew toy. Even though this year we could place the shed and characters under the tree, we decided to continue placing them on a table. It just didn't look right under the tree.

We've been enjoying our walks. There was a pair of wild geese hanging around the pond near Garden Grove School on Burrows. The Canadian geese avoided them, so the wild geese stayed near the ducks and seagulls. A German couple, who live near the pond, puts out food for the birds throughout the year. During a good part of the year, the ducks just calmly walk across the road, while everyone has to stop and let them pass. Same goes for the geese.

We've also been enjoying getting together with friends on the spur of the moment. When we had dogs we had to schedule in two daily 1 hour walks with our dogs and plan everything else around that. When we visited neighbors who have a cat, BoBo would station himself by the window and stare at our neighbors' house until we returned. He was really good at looking forlorn. Even our neighbors felt guilty.

We just have to remember what Aunt Betty said - "Enjoy life."

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