1. This past spring, when Christy helped Mom bring her garden decor and other items out of the garage into the yard, the bird bath bowl that goes on the bird bath stand was missing. This sent alarms throughout our family and a search and rescue effort got underway that involved, at different times, Mom, Christy, Everett, Paul, Carol, and possibly Carol's daughters. I joined the effort when I visited Kellogg in June. The bird bath bowl wasn't in the garage, it wasn't in the rafters, it wasn't in the upstairs storage closets: it wasn't anywhere. Its disappearance created one of the most intense sources of bafflement and anxiety in the history of our family. We all gave up, and to spare one another further bird bath bowl is missing pain and suffering, we only spoke about the bird bath bowl in hushed whispers, out of earshot of Mom. She'd suffered enough.
Today, this morning to be exact, I was looking in the big cupboard in the basement for the Mirro spritz cookie tube. The overhead lighting was too dim for me, so I was using a flashlight. I never found the spritz cookie utensil, BUT, I happened to shine the light under two fairly large plastic bowls, AND THERE IT WAS!!!
I FOUND THE BIRD BATH BOWL!!!
I took several long, slow breaths. Before breaking such earth-shattering news to Mom, I wanted to be sure I was correct, that I wasn't the victim of an optical illusion created by my heart's desire that I had found the bird bath bowl.
Mom came down to the basement to help me find the Mirro spritz cookie tube and I quietly and cautiously said, "Mom. I-I-I think I found the bird bath bowl."
Mom's jaw dropped.
"Isn't this it?"
When suddenly the basement was filled with warm light and angels began to sing hymns of joy, when ghosts of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir belted out Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus", and when Mom broke out a happy Moon Walk, I knew it was the bird bath bowl.
It is our Christmas miracle.
What once was lost has now been found.
2. Nothing on this day could really top the finding of the bird bath bowl, but Mom and I did not rest on our laurels. We got to work right away making Nuts and Bolts (a 50 year old recipe...you probably know it as Chex Holiday Mix), spritz cookies, and miniature honey cakes. Mom's stamina in the kitchen has greatly diminished, but, working together, we knocked out these holiday treats and all that remains is making the popcorn balls.
3. The Deke and I had a couple of really good phone talks and we went right into everything's on the table mode and discussed all kinds of possibilities as to what our life together might look like in the next few years. My only wish is that we could teleport ourselves to 16 Tons or Billy Mac's or Cornucopia where the talks that got us to Maryland happened and were such perfect places for such discussions -- but, I'm confident we'll find our talking joint(s) in the Greenbelt area once I get back.