I just got back from a lovely trip along the Milky Way/I stopped off at the North Pole to spend the holiday!
Actually, it was the Hendersonville Armstrongs. And it was Thanksgiving. But it was just as magical as a trip to the North Pole via the Milky Way, I'm sure of it. We arrived on Wednesday at noon and I dropped Andrew off at FBC to shoot some hoops with the dudes. I GPSed my way to the Armstrong homestead and just made myself at home, watching Private Practice on ABC.com (couldn't work their new-fangled television) and --still--coughing and sputtering my head off. The next four days were a blurry--albeit relaxing--fury of family and friends and food, food, food and decorating and shopping and churching and hanging out. A highly successful Thanksgiving weekend, if I do say so m'self. We piled our loot in Stella's spacious backseat and zipped--well, crawled--our way back to Durham. We saw Christmas trees coming and going, strapped on the tops of cars, rolled up and squeezed on trailers to get to the tree vendor, and precariously dangling out of truck beds--and we saw about twice as many cops. Po-Po. Coppers. Officers of the Law. Interesting how cops are supposed to make you feel safe, like the good guys are gettin' the bad guys, when all they do for me is conjure up feelings of anxiety. When I see cops on the road, I just want to slow my vehicle to a walking pace and smile demurely like I've never done anything wrong in my life. If I spot a five-O anywhere near the vicinity of my automobile, I usually panic for a split second like I might be doing something wrong and I just don't know it--what's up with that, America?? Geez. I'm just drivin'. Anyyyyhow. We saw a bunch of fender-benders as well. And a lot of idiot drivers swerving in and out of traffic like getting to their destination 1.5 minutes quicker was all that mattered in the universe. Newsflash: you're an idiot and you make me want to ram the back of your vehicle, but I would never do that because I love Stella too much and that would not help the situation at large, but in another life, I would. I would. Ahem. Let me get a hold of myself. Pardon moi.
Onward: I would like to make note that today is the first Sunday in Advent. Advent is the period of each of the four Sundays before Christmas, honoring the coming of the Christ child into the world. Usually, we light advent wreaths, which have four candles around the outside and then a candle in the middle. Each candle is lit every Sunday prior to Christmas, and then on Christmas Day the middle candle is lit. The Latin word adventus means "coming", or the coming of Jesus. The time is supposed to be used in preparation and "expectant waiting" for the nativity. It is also meant to show the relationship between the waiting endured by the Hebrews for the coming of the Messiah, but also to mirror our own waiting on the second coming of Christ; to commemorate the first coming, whilst preparing for the second coming. One more of the wonderful things about Christmas. I love how God continually points to the past, present and future. Just lovely.
Advent, Advent, a little light burns. First one. Then two. Then three, then four. And then the Christ child at the door.