This is Our Christmas Card to Everyone This Year & Happy New Year, If'n We Don't See Ya'll Before Then.


They Tell Me,"Since You're Not Doing Anything..."


Cappy and I got up yesterday at 4:30 A.M., we gathered all his seabags and sundry paraphernalia as usual,plus some of his opened Christmas presents, such as reading materials, (Presently, he's reading the Mauterin Series of Patrick O'Brian about life on the high seas in past history...the days of the tall ships) and stowed them in the SUV. After dropping him off at his office, an hour from home, where he was able to drive out to his boat, I drove back home and slept. Til this morning, and woke up at about ten o'clock.

I'm telling you, I don't know where this man gets all his energy, but Dan and I were 'tag-teaming' to try to keep up with him the whole time. He had a deliriously, deliciously happy time off dat boat for his Christmas home this year. (We celebrated our Christmas on Sunday, the 17th) We have so many pictures, but I dont' know where to start.

And as it was, I was still trying to get my crafts all finished, ...which...ahem...I didn't. Between helping Cappy and Dan make candy and maintaining my duties as 'soo chef'...(anybody know how to spell that correctly?) for the wonderful dinners he cooked, I was wrestling with webs of sticky strings of hot glue, all up and down my arms, or doing a jerky version of the Chicken Dance as I tried to quickly pry off molten globs of the stuff, which was tenaciously stuck to my fingers. I had the dogs' rapt attention. Apparently I can growl and screech in 20 different dog languages.

I am happy tho. I like staying busy. For some reason, people think I have a lot of empty time on my hands. Between Cappy and me, I have very little time to spare, and I love every (most) every minute of it. When somebody asks me, "Well, what do you do?" I like to say, "Nothing, but I need twice the amount of time to get it all done".
A quick lap quilt for Cappy's Mom in the nursing home. A recipe box for son, Thom, and some pot holders for Cappy's boat galley.

A few table centerpieces for family members and a friend. The one has a Christmas themed candle holder for the center, but I forgot to take a picture of the finished product before I sent it off. They can put a little tree in the center, or plant;maybe a vase of flowers; whatever they like for their table. And this isn't all of it. Plus our Christmas cards, and all that entails.

I know we are all pulled and dragged in a lot of different directions. I'm not complaining, honestly. I have slowed down, at least inside myself. In the midst of chaos, I've not panicked (weird for me) but hastened to the words of our pastor for this season, "Don't worry; be Happy"...he even made us all sing it back to him so we wouldn't forget. And several times we had reason to worry and not be happy, but it worked out just fine.

Now, since I'm really not doing anything just now, I'm going back to bed. Yawn, stretch...and I'll talk to you later. Hugs, Peggy :-)


Time to pay da rent

Just a quick note from Cappy, wishing you and yours the very best and safest of holidays. I'm walking out the door for a month at work. As I prepare to leave, my thoughts turn to you, our family, friends, neighbors, and occasional readers. I hope for you a safe and happy month and the very merriest Christmas. I'll be back next year with a whole bunch of pictures and stories, I'm sure. Till then Peg will post for us. Please. drop us a comment on ocasion and say hi; its very nice, and encouraging when we hear from you.


Spoonbill Rosettes

You also see more spoonbill rosettes in the winter. It's fun to watch them swish their bills back and forth in the water, while feeding. Funny, how their reflections are always pinker than they are, and their true pinkness isn't evident till they take flight.

Love those winter time sunsets

I know you have heard me say it many times before, but I truely never tire of driving the boat down some lil bayou in da swamps, watchin the sun set. It's a magical time, and seems to be better in the cooler, drier air of winter. Whatever the reason, ya can't help but glory at the beauty of God's handiwork when ya see this outa ya office window.

Toe Boats :-)

Dan presented me with a cool pair of slippers while visiting. After Peg and I quit giggling and wiping our eyes, Peggy aptly named my new slippers "toe boats". Since I drive a tow boat for a living, I thought it was very punny, and I do love a good pun. Only problem is, this aint fuzzy slipper country and as far as the extended forcast reaches it's 70's in the day time, 50's at night and way too warm to wear slippers. If I wore my toe boats in this weather, it wouldn't be long fore they began smellin like garbage scows.



Sunday rolled around and yall knew, what with the big Saints game being at night, I just had to invite a lil family over for a patio-tailgating bbq. We fired up da pit, put some Christmas music on da out-door speakers and smoked up some of my sweet and spicy pork steaks and babyback ribs. Dan, Peg, and I donned Saints shirts, iced down some beers and invited my Sis's family over for the festivities. They were a lil reluctant at first, cause of the Christmas rush and all but, we bribed them with our never fail, "Babin Bait"; 36 oz. daiquiries from the stand down da street. The BBQ was wonderful if I do say so myself, and some of the Ribs didnt even make it to the table:-) Now das a compliment! Peg fixed some baked beans and her amazing coleslaw. As usual, all the slaw disappeared; what didn't get "ett" got toted home in a tupperware. We had a great time, and for a pleasant finish to a wonderful day, the Buffalo Bills won, and the Saints positively spanked Dallas, to our great joy and surprise, causing us to chant: "Who dat, who dat, who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints" till we were hoarse.


Driving Da Boat

Lots of folks ask me what, exactly, I do at work. I always answer that I drive a boat that pushes an oil barge through the Bayous ,Bays, and backwaters of Lousiana, picking up crude oil. Most folks are interested and wanna know more. When I try to explain that we go into the smaller areas to load oil at the well site, they don't fully understand that the bayous of Louisiana can be small and very curvy. If ya click the title above, then click slideshow, you can see a stop-motion trip through a rather narrow flood-gate, set in a curve. It's an example of the tight maneuvering we have to do on the Bayous.

Mr. Bingle

Here's a lil New Orleans trivia for yall. This is a well-known thing in the City and surrounding area, but like many local icons, unknown to the rest of the world. I aint no historian, but here's what I know about Mr. Bingle. ( For a more precise, historically detailed account, ya can google "Mr. Bingle + New Orleans" for a wealth of info. on the ole guy.)

For many years there was a grand ole store on Canal Street called Maison Blanc. This old department store was a great store and a local favorite for years. I think the building is now the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. For around 40 years or so,(1940's to 1980's) Mr. Bingle was their puppet Christmas symbol and advertisement logo. M.B., was the store and the puppet's initials. Anyways, a symbol from a simpler time, Mr. Bingle is safely enshrined in the hearts of New Orleanians, and to this day his appearance symbolizes the approach of Christmas to the locals, as sure as the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. Every year, the locals have a wreath contest featuring Mr. Bingle. This year I took pictures of a few of the wreaths. To see them, click the above title, then click "view slideshow". I hope ya enjoy it, and it does for You what it does for us locals; puts a spark of Christmas Spirit in your heart.

The Spirit Awakens

We went to Christmas in the Oaks last Saturday, and are thrilled to report we felt the stirrings of that grand old gal Nola. Not returned in all her splendor, by a long shot, but ya could definately feel her spirit in town. It was almost a palpable, tangible thing, and though faint, definately discernable. (Big words I know, but how do ya describe something that most folks can't even envision.) All I can say is, Peg and I were joyous to feel the stirrings of the spirit of the city returning after sooo long and sooo much devastation. It was evident in street lights illuminating long darkened streets, cars lined on long vacant curbs, and Christmas lights not only on the FEMA trailors in folks' yards, but also in every third house or so. It's very hard to put into words, but we felt a lifting of our spirits and a twinkling of the 'joie de vie' the city used to exude. This was a wonderful Christmas gift to us, and anyone, who loves the City, as we do.


We PROMISE to blog fresh stuff soon...forgive this Fav post from last year:I'm Mrs. Green Christmas, I'm Mrs. Sun...

This was the scene out my window every year. Although most everybody else I know/knew in western NY just love to go out and frolic in the snowy weather, I preferred to stay in cuz it was COLD out there. I still talk to people who say, "Oh, I love the cold". Good for them. It's just not for me, and never has been, even when I was younger.
I'd go out for rides in a warm car, stuff like that. I know how to drive in deep snow. I remember having to drive one morning before the snow plows went through, and having to guess where the road was, hoping not to drive into a ditch. I made it ok.
I know my Aunt Bev hates the cold, too, but it's mostly my fault. She and I are only 20 days apart. (Imagine your Mom and Grandmother both being pregnant at the same time. I 'won', so I'm older. She holds every one of those 20 days over my head..."You're OLD". So, I don't call her Aunt, either.)
Well, anywaze...Yeah, it's kinda my fault Bev got her fingers frozen when we were wild and crazy teenagers. I had this nerdy boyfriend (Paul), who ended up being Bev's boyfriend later on. She was having dental work cuz, as she put it, her teeth were all "snaggle-toothed", and it made her chin jut way out, kinda lantern-jawed. But, anyhow, because Paul got to drive his parents' car around, we three, Bev, Paul and I went on a lot of excursions together, summer and winter, which was fun.
One night a few days before Christmas, Bev and Paul got the idea to buy some 'liquor' to celebrate the holidays. Oh sure...I was innocent...I thought it was a great idea, too. Paul was old enough to buy it, but we were only 16. He came back out of the store with some "Triple Applejack"...a cheap wine, of sorts. It was pretty yucky tasting. Not sure what ol' Paul thought of it, but Bev pretty much liked the taste of it.
We had driven, in a snow storm, along a country road, then stopped so Bev could get out and 'potty'. By that time, she was pretty 'wasted'. I had to get out and help her over a snowbank, out of sight, get her tight girdle down, so she could 'go', then try to reverse the procedure. The poor girl was roaring drunk, singing at the top of her lungs, staggering around in snow up to our thighs. I had to sit her down on the edge of the snow bank and told her to fling her legs over the top of it, to get to the other side and back to the car. She kept trying, saying, "I just FLING my legs over the shnow banKK...", but her legs wouldn't go. She looked me earnestly in the eye and said, "I hope I don't throw up in my sleeve....ok, just FLING my leg UP over the shnow banKK", but it still didn't go. "What do you mean, 'throw up in your sleeve??', I asked. "Kathy (another friend of ours) got drunk one time and didn't have anywhere to throw up, so she opened the cuff of her sleeve and threw up in it". Bleckkk. "Well, that's not going to happen to you..you aren't going to do that...hold on, let me get Paul, so he can help me get you back into the car".
Once we got her back into the warm car, we took the bottle away from her, and got the car in motion. We were starting to worry, cuz the storm had turned into a blizzard, and visibility was getting bad. The car went a little ways up the slight hill, then the wheels started spinning. Paul tried backing the car back down the hill, but it slid into Bev's "shnowbankKK" and got stuck. Oh Oh. Now what? This was before cell phones. This was WAY back. Bev was wearing a 'girdle', remember?
I said that I thought I remembered seeing a house not far from where we were, but it was sitting up a long driveway on a hill. Paul, continued to try to spin us out of there, with his Dad's car. He did manage to back us up into the ditch at the end of the driveway I'd seen. And again, Now what?
Well, we could walk up to the house and call a tow truck to get us out. Paul, for sure, didn't dare call his parents. The alcohol and all. (and this was even way back before they 'carded' people) Still, his father wouldn't have appreciated we three 'nice' Church Kids having liquor, and in his car, no less.
Since Bev had gotten the bottle back again, with what little was left in it and was patting it and singing Christmas Carols, loudly, Paul and I talked over her trying to figure out what to do. It was a long freezing walk, but we decided that he and I would trudge to the house that looked so warm with lights shining from the windows, and leave Bev in the warm car, bundled up, ...with her bottle, and we'd be RIGHT back. For her to just stay put! We'd be RIGHT back. She said, "OK".
The icy air blew right through our coats, freezing us. We finally made it to the house and knocked on the door. A nice lady answered, and brought us right inside. We put on our best Sunday School manners and demure politeness, and explained that our car was stuck at the end of their driveway, and that my aunt was staying warm in the car waiting for us. Well, of course she let Paul make a phone call, then insisted on making us some tea to warm us up from that walk up the hill. Her house was all pretty, cozy and quiet, and she was so sweet. I daintily picked up the china cup, making sure to keep my little pinky finger up, and was about to take my first sip, when suddenly there was a thundering pounding on the back door. The lady was embarrassed, and asked no-one in particular, "What...who in the world is that??", as she made her way toward the door. The door flew open, slamming itself, loudly into the hall wall. The poor lady fell back against the same wall, shocked and horrified at the sight that just barged into her house! There was Bev, hair frozen in a hundred different directions, wild-eyed, jaw jutted way out, exposing snaggled-teeth, as I'd never seen them before. She looked like an abominable snow monster! She was covered in snow, and vomit was dripping out of her sleeve onto the lady's immaculatly cleaned floor. I stammered weakly, "Oh...it's my aunt." The lady shrieked, "Your AUNT??!" Bev wanted none of it...she pushed past the lady and said, "I just want to lay down on your red couch and throw up" The lady sprung at her and wailed, "Noooo, that's my new couch, I just got that as an early Christmas present!"
Poor Bev. Poor lady. Bev's fingers were about frozen. I don't know what happened to her gloves...probably lost in a shnow bankK on the way up the hill. She'd got tired of waiting, she said. She nearly froze, too, on the way up the hill, then when she got there, she looked in the window and saw us sitting there all warm and cozy having tea. She was really ticked. She still is today.
Eventually, the tow truck came and pulled us out. I don't know if Paul ever told his Dad what happened.
Bev doesn't have a computer or she'd be on here telling you how much she still gags whenever she hears the words, "Triple Applejack", and how it's my fault...and Paul's that she hates the cold, cuz of us.


The Gramercy Festival of the Bonfires

Dan and I repeatedly refused Peggy's offers of snacks or lunch etc. all day yesterday, while setting up the Christmas tree and dragging the decorations outa da attic. Hard to believe, I know, but the reason will soon become evident. Peg, dropped Dan and I off at the festival gate and we headed straight over to our favorite part of the Friday night festivities: The Gumbo Cookoff !!!! Some of the best Gumbo cooks of this little Cajun river town get together every year and compete for Gumbo cookin' braggin' rites. It's amazing! There are around 50 pots of gumbo that are judged in 3 catagories, with 1 overall winner. The 3 catagories are:Seafood, Chicken, and Melange (anything other than the first 2). They also competed in potato salad and bread puddin catagories. These are Gumbo's favorite companions in this part of Bayou Country. As you move west through Cajun Land the potato salad is replaced with baked sweet potato. We had a real blast sipping beers, walking around and consuming 12 of those little bowls of Gumbo.......... yep you heard me 12 bowls.................... EACH!!!!!!!!! Ohhhh and did I mention the puddin??? :-) We walked around laughing and joking with folks. Lots of them wanted me to take my picture with 'em cause even in my overalls and flannel I was the most "Santa-lookin" guy there. Lots of kids and beer drinkin', fun lovin, partyin gumbo cooks hollered,"Now das a Cajun Santa Claus", as I passed their booths. It was a lot of fun. We ran into Pam and Adele, some good friends of ours, who were also enjoying the festivites. I wish I could tell yall all the winners, and maybe we can post the newspaper article with all their names later. Dan and I agreed what was our favorite: the seafood gumbo prepared by the I.E.S. team from Gonzales La. The judges agreed with us, too, and that gumbo won best seafood and overall best Gumbo awards. It was rich and spicy and very thick with sweet blue point crab meat. Team I.E.S. won top gumbo honors, but there was another fun loving, jolly cooking team that placed in, like 4 of the 5 food catagories and won best overall team. The proud folks in da picture are the over Tall team winners "Team Couyon", and judging from the way they laughed, cheered and celebrated, it seems these "crazies" were aptly named. They made ya feel good and lifted your spirits, just watching them celebrate their impressive victory. I tipped my Santa hat to them:) After the judging was over, we had a wonderful time going from booth to booth congratulating winners and joining in on the festivities. Win or lose, everyone was partying. Lots of beer drinking and back patting, hugs, etc. Winners consoling and complimenting losers, and everywhere ya could hear, "Don't worry, you will get em next year", and " Yours was soooo good, it shoulda won". It was a wonderful display, and again, convinced me that "foodies' display good sportsmanship and can party with the best of em. In the last picture, by invitation, I toasted the 3rd place winners of the Melange catagory, by drinkin' from their Gumbo bowl trophy. They were celebrating their third-place victory in Grand Champion style. Now thats 'joie de vie'.


Draggin' Out da Christmas Decorations

When we got home from Mass, Peg and I climbed up in da attic and handed down all the Christmas stuff to Dan. Dan and I set up the tree. Putting the lights on da tree was a three person job. Dan untangled light strings while Peggy put them on da tree. My job was to lie down and reach under the tree, slowly turning it while drinkin' beer. It's good to be da Cappy. Dan and I will be heading out to the Gumbo Festival later, and hope to bring home a few pictures, along with a couple full bellies. Peggy is stayin' home practicing her accordian and continueing with the Holiday preparations. We had lots of fun with the tree laughing and listenin' to Christmas music on the 'juke box'.

We Froze Our Nuts Off Last Night

Like Peg said earlier I am home. Got in yesterday and crawled in bed to sleep off a hard hitch. We were short-handed for the last 2 weeks, so I was exhausted, having had too few hours of sleep for too many days. We were up this morning very early to go to 7:00 AM Mass. When we got home we found the yard littered with pecans; seems the North wind and frost knocked lots of 'em off the trees. Shame on for ya for thinkin I meant any thing else:-)


Cappy is Home For Christmas

This is a picture Cappy took while he was out in a bay loading his barge with raw crude from an oil platform. He's gotten very little sleep over the last couple of days, so presently he's napping. Dan is here, having gotten in yesterday, and needs sleep, too. Dan did a lot of what Cappy calls 'rat killin'; taking care of a lot of the normal neccesities of life that need doing, to be able to come down. Both the guys need a good vacation.
Cappy came home with a camera loaded full of God's beautiful nature, but he is so whooped, he told me to post one picture and tell ya'll he'll be putting more on later.
Done, and did.
As for me, I've still got some crafts and cards to work on, plus, I have practice for the choirS. And HEY! I just got one of my Christmas gifts today!! Wait til you HEAR what it is...I don't think you'd ever guess in a million years. Think Cajun hubby. ( I LOVE this gift!)


Ho Ho Ho Who Wouldn't Sew

Me. I've been trying not to 'bite off more than I can chew', as per Cappy's admonitions, and that of our priest. (A picture of a Holiday pillow for one of my relatives.)The thought of hauling that sewing machine down one more time out of the cupboard this month makes me shudder. I only have a few more crafts to finish, which don't require "Ol' Betsy"(the sewing machine), a few more things I want to get to the post office, then Thursday, when Cappy gets home, I know better than to think I can take a big relaxing sigh of relief. He will hit the dock running, all excited, like a kid let out of school when the circus is in town...where to go, what to do first! We always have way too much fun. He says he plans on doing a lot of blogging, so be prepared to hear a lot about outdoor bbqing again, candy and goodie stirring and cooking, Dan's visit, lights being strung; hopefully nobody getting hurt in the process. We can't wait.
In the meantime, I've painted the kitchen a sunwashed yellow, which Cappy has not seen yet, but he's already commented on the color, "Sunwashed yellow....if I didnt' know better, I'd say it was Butter colored, which is what anyone would expect in a chubby Cajun's house." Well, he knows me alright, I guess it really is butter colored.
I really love the picture that Snow and Boo aka Taylor and Teri, from Canada made for us. I went out and got the material for a Mrs. Santa skirt, the hat she (I) am wearing in the picture, the white fur, and white gloves. I found the dark red velvet blouse, and have a white turtleneck. The ladies in the church are having a Christmas party and want us to dress up in whatever seasonal costumes we want, so I plan on wearing that. Cappy and I plan on taking Dan, again, to the Celebration Under the Oaks at night again and dressing up for it. People were waving and calling to "Santa!" Cappy all night, even on the ride there, from their cars. I am looking forward to this next two weeks so very much.
Taking a deep breath...letting out a long sigh. It means that I have to get "Ol' Betsy" back down out of the cupboard so she can make my Mrs. Santa Claus outfit. The only problem is that she'll probably want me to help. HELP!!!


I Was SO Busted @ Church <:-D

This picture is an example of the peace and quiet Cappy finds out over the waterways. Sighhh...Looks wonderful. Yesterday, I took one of our Christmas cards to church for our pastor. Inside I also included a printout of the last blog (below) of the kids when they were little, where the title confesses that I'm crazy busy, and supposes that everyone else is also. (I owe Anonymous a 'noogie' for the suggestion they posted :-p...giggling here.) Because before the service, I had to go into the back room where the priest and everyone who prepares to take part in the service meets, I left the card there, then went out and took my seat in the pew.

The service started, then when it came time for our priest to give his homily, he got up and stood there, looking at everyone, not saying a word. He randomly looked around at the congregation, smiling at some. Wordlessly, he went and sat down still looking around, occasionally studying his watch. He sat there in silence for what seemed like an hour. I fidgeted and noticed I wasn't the only one exchanging curious glances with people sitting around me. Just as I was about to nod off, being so tired from losing sleep from all the rushing around, trying to get things finished in time, he stood up and said that a minute sure seems long when there's no sound. (a minute?? 60 seconds??...it sure had seemed a lot longer than that.) Then he began his sermon. He spoke about all the rushing around and noise going on in our lives; that we are so busy this holiday season, and that it's not what God had intended all along for this season to be. He said that the season was supposed to be a time of quiet reflection. It was a good sermon, and he went on in great detail about how some of 'us' are. I knew he hadn't had time to read the card yet, but knew sealed inside it was a perfect example of what he was talking about.

Rats. I had done it again. I had let myself get all caught up in the hustle and bustle, when I had promised myself I wouldn't. I was so proud and bragging to Cappy over the phone that I was getting so much done, and even found a new fast food to gulp down, while out shopping. My beloved Hot and Sour soup...or is that Sweet and Hot soup, or Spicy and Sour...I can never remember the name of it, so the person behind the counter always has to guess what I want. Real time saver there. Even if I'm rushed, I'm still trying to stay healthy, so I thought this soup would be a good thing. But down here in South Louisiana, the Asian restaurants have a different kind of mushroom they put in it. I'm used to a chocolate colored floating 'clot'-looking thing. (Yum...sounds...uh...tasty, no? :-@) Well, down here, they have these...(I'm hoping they are mushrooms) things that look like small nightcrawlers. The soup is wonderful, but, those...'mushrooms' look worse than the 'clots' from up north. I was telling Cappy about it, and that, hey! there was some egg 'ribbons' floating in it, too, which he loves. But those long worms....I dunno. I mentioned that there was also some tofu wandering around amongst the other suspicious things floating around in the soup. Not being a fan of 'health food' he said he'd much rather find nightcrawlers in his soup than tofu.

Well, I expect when he gets home this coming Thursday, we won't be eating anything but Cajun cookin'....YeeHaw!! Dan is supposed to be coming down on Wednesday and staying til around the 16th!! I'm so excited. I still have a lot to do, but our Pastor was right, I need to slow down and really think about what the whole season is supposed to be about, and take the time to savor it.

Ya know...our priest, Fr. Michael, 'busted' himself, too; he admitted he's an impatient driver. Well, I can understand that. I hate it, too, when I'm in a hurry, going down the road at the posted speed limit, when an 'alligator' (somebody's car or truck) slides off the bank into the stream (of traffic) and lazily plods along in front of me. Grrr. I used to be guilty of flailing my arms at other drivers and hollaring, safely behind thick glass windows, where they couldn't really hear, "Hey! Whadda tryna do? Don'cha know how to drive??" One time, on the way to church, I was in a hurry, when a red pickup truck came around me, then slowed way down. It got me so upset, I started waving my arms in the front window and making faces with a wide...WIDE mouth to let them know I was upset; "Whadda ya DOING???!" A couple miles later I pulled into the church parking lot behind the truck, and saw that it was Mr. Ed and Jean. (Cappy and my good friends) I slunk into church, and when I tried to apologize, they didn't know what I was even talking about. Whew.


Crazy-Bizzy Here, Like You Are, so I'm Re-Posting This Blog From Christmas Past: The Memory of All That...no no, they can't take that away from me..

Yep, another Christmas come and gone already. Like everything in life it seems..."already??" Though things change so quickly, I'm glad that the smiles and memories remain. It doesn't seem like all THAT long ago that this picture was taken. But the baby has two babies of his own already. His nickname was "Froggy", then next, his sister, "Sookie", then "Hoonie", then "Gruntsy" , and the older one, half out of the picture, pretty much escaped a terrible nickname, was Bobb. (Ignore the posts that might be at the bottom of this blog entry...they will probably be added when each of the kids 'gets a load' of this story and adds their complaint, I'm sure. LOL)
I really missed them this year for Christmas. I don't miss all the hectic other stuff that always seemed to be a part of the holidays, not counting the usual deadlines of shopping, sewing, baking, and hiding gifts.
I guess I brought a lot of it on myself. Since I taught Sunday School, I wanted to have the children participate in the traditional plays and singing at church. For some darned reason, I was always 're-inventing the wheel', so to speak. I took it upon myself to write my own plays instead of using ones already written, make costumes, decorations and scenery, instead of asking for help or delegating others to help. Then I micro-managed every detail. Then after Christmas I would collapse in relief that I had pulled it off again, resolving not to EVER do all that again.
The above picture reminds me of the Christmas I arranged a manger scene near the pulpit at our church, made a life-sized cardboard donkey, that stood next to it, had the little shephard boys in their bathrobes and towels over their heads to complete their outfits. I had Sookie, dressed in white like a little angel, with gold tinsel over her head for a halo, standing on a secure table to 'hover' above the piano(...believe me, she was safe there). Naomi, our "Mary", who was about 8 years old, was very good at her flute lessons, and she had practiced playing, "Silent Night" to perfection.
I had borrowed one of Sookie's bald-headed baby dolls to play the part of Baby Jesus, to lie in the 'manger'. To make the effects even more dramatic, we put a light bulb attached to a dimmer switch, under the 'Baby Jesus' head, so that when 'Mary's' "Silent Night" got to a most poignent part of the song, the church lights would dim, and the 'Baby Jesus' head would glow steadily brighter! What an awesome sight in the hush of the dark church it would be.
It was a most wonderful Christmas Eve service leading up to our little play. Our little troupe was well-rehearsed and ready to go. Smaller children can be hard to deal with sometimes in these situations, but not these...they quietly and reverently went right to their positions. First they sweetly sang the little carols we had practiced, then to close, 'Mary' played her hauntingly beautiful flute to the 'Baby Jesus', while the other children; 'Joseph', the 'three wise kings', the 'shephards', and the 'angel' above them, all looked adoringly down on the 'Babe in the Manger'. As the lights in the church began to dim, the individual notes of the flute wafted through the darkness, our emotions were building with Joy and the the head of the "Baby" began to grow brighter and brighter, when 'Mary', between notes, grabbed the head of 'Baby Jesus' and flung him across the room, under the first row of pews, then just as serenely put her flute back to her mouth, and resumed her song til the end. While she was finishing, the church lights came back on to find 'Joseph' and the rest of the manger scene standing frozen staring at the 'Baby' laying on the floor under somebody's feet. After the song, all the children walked quietly back to their seats as though it was all a part of the play. (What in the heck??? Had they planned this without my knowing it?? Why???) Nobody said a word about it, and the service ended as it usually did. Had my eyes deceived me? I did see her fling 'Our Lord' under the pews, hadn't I? I caught up with Naomi aka 'Crazy Mary', and asked, "Why did you DO that???" She said nonchalantly, "His head got hot and was smoking". (Oh?)
I noticed Sookie was holding her little bald-headed doll close to her, having rescued it from where it had been thrown. She reluctanly let me examine the head, and indeed there was a little black dot about the size of a pencil eraser. The poor thing. Sookie insisted we put a bandaid on it for a week or so.
That may not have been the last little play the kids had performed in, but for her,that's the last time any of her baby-dolls or any toy ever volunteered to participate in them.