This past week a bunch of us got together, as we usually do at this time of year, to catch up on current events in our lives, and reminisce about the past. This year the event was held at Peter’s house, a medium sized two storey home right here in London. Fortunately, we live in London so no travel involved – bonus! We are a group of former graduate students who somehow manage to keep in touch through the years and even though we are scattered to the winds, all over Canada, the U.S and old stodgy Mel over in the UK, some, if not all, of us arrange to get together during the Christmas holiday. Many of the group teach at university and enjoy long Christmas breaks.
The importance of maintaining this community is demonstrated by the fact that no matter where the annual meeting is held, we all manage to show up, or at least make our best effort to attend. On occasion several groups will meet in different locations and then do a tele conference so we can all speak to each other .regardless of where we are
We could barely get our foot in the door before Peter dragged us over to the Christmas tree urging us to admire it .He beamed with pride. It was a beauty all right – no fake tree for this man!! An 8 foot tree, green and well adorned with family mementos, some of which dated back to his grandfather’s day when he came to Canada from Malta bringing heirloom Christmas decorations with him to his new home
The evening was crisp, not overly cold, snow was on the ground, left over from the 4 foot dumping two weeks ago, but the roads were cleared and travel wasn’t a problem.
The house smelled of apple cider, cinnamon and evergreen. The buffet table was laden with a turkey, ham, cheeses, vegetables, sweet potato, mashed potato, Jello surprise and salads; in other words more food than we could eat. Desserts were pumpkin pies, blueberry (fresh frozen from the summer), apple and cherry. There might have been a coconut cream and a key lime pie thrown in just for variety
As everyone arrived they would look around to see who was in attendance and who might be missing.
This year we bemoaned the fact that Mel could not make it as he was stuck in Europe, due to severe weather conditions prohibiting flights from coming and going
After we settled into comfortable chairs, with beverage at hand, and snacks close by the conversation continued as if we had all been together just the week before, not the year before.
With all the weather talk – our recent record snowfall and the severe weather in Europe, Brad reminded us of the Christmas of 1976. We all remembered that particular Christmas. The group as a whole could not meet that year due to family concerns, deaths, marriages, births, and a number of health issues in our midst. The year is paramount in our minds because in February the blizzard of all blizzards roared into upper new York state and southern Ontario The winds in that storm made 12 drummers drumming sound like a piddly triangle ping That February some of us were scheduled to gather together to make up for the missed Christmas meeting. We never did get together that year. The storm with winds averaging 46-69 mph. tore out windows, iced up the roads and rendered visibility to zero. Yes, we remembered that one all right.
Congregated all around the Christmas tree we heaved a sigh of thanks for the calm evening, a warm house, good food a few steps away and wonderful friends near by.
(apparently this vid is our storm this year at beginning of December)
Written for Blogophilia 43.3 (A Myspace writing Challenge)
Topic: “All Around The Christmas Tree”
(Hard, 2pts): interweave a historical event
(Easy, 1pt): include one of the lines mentioned in the Twelve Days of Christmas