We went to a pot luck today in my in-laws’ church basement. It’s a small church, maybe 100 people altogether, but I’ve never been any place like it.
Children from four years old to seventeen sang Christmas carols together, and then we sang with them. They put on a short Christmas play for St. Nicholas. If they were good, they were told, St. Nicholas would give them gifts. And of course they were good, so they got their chocolates… but as the priest gently reminded them (and us all), there’s always room for improvement.
Their eight-voice adult choir was magnificent, singing Slavonic hymns that brought tears to my eyes. Connected to another country, another time, they brought to mind my own family and distant relatives, across the country and back in Europe.
The neighborhood around this little church has been struggling, but it’s still rich and rooted in ways that newer suburbs (like our own) may never be.
Jenny pointed out a squirrel the size of a small groundhog. She found him in our garage, eating his way through our whole 40-pound stash of birdseed. Now he waits, regally, to be served outside, his arms atop an ample belly – enough for two winters, at least. Our cats are intimidated by him.