Holidays filled with meals, performances and blessings


On one of our Wednesday women’s meetings, Walter Trumbull, whose portrayal of Abraham Lincoln was a stunning success, became the angel Gabriel telling the virgin Mary that she would become the mother of Jesus.

Walter is always dressed appropriately, and this time he presented in a loose white, gold-belted garment covered with a red robe. He was most convincing — a natural thespian.

The senior gathering at the convention center for our annual Thanksgiving turkey dinner was lots of fun on a cold day. It was a wonderful meal, I thought, though personally, I didn’t like their string beans. There are so many ways to prepare them that I prefer them out of a can. But that’s only me. We had plenty to take home, and I enjoyed the turkey sandwich for supper.

Master of ceremonies for the event was Chief Executive Mike Blauer, of Providence Seaside Hospital. It’s hard to eat without giving thanks for food, and he did that so we were off to a good start. Mike also told of hearing the carol, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” in church, so, of course, that song was chasing around my mind all day.

The rope jumpers who entertained us were a smaller group than before but very capable and entertaining. We never jumped like that when I was a kid.

Santa visited every table, although it didn’t help because three people where I sat (including yours truly) came within one number of winning a cash prize.

On Dec. 17, I received a phone call from Jerusalem. A rabbi, I think, gave me a blessing in Hebrew, then translated it into English because I give recovery to survivors of the Holocaust from the former Soviet Union; often they are cold and hungry and can’t afford their medications. I still find it amazing that such a conversation could be so easy and sound so close.

The old expression, “Were you born in a barn?” has an insulting connotation, but at Christmas time we remember who was born in a barn and it becomes something to appreciate. If it means, “Shut that door behind you,” then the baby will be free of drafts and cozy in the arms of his mother.

On Dec. 21, “The Christmas Story” was performed by the choir at the Methodist church, Alvis Porter directing and Tevan Goldberg, our former pianist, accompanying. There were solos by Walt Trumbull and Su Coddington. There was a duet by Debbie Vail and Randy Brainerd, and it ended in another Halleluiah chorus as a piano duet by Suzanne Tilmann and Laurel Adelman. Just hearing the traditional music is a thrill. The service was well attended, the sanctuary was full, and more than two of us wished that all churches could look like that every Sunday.

Holidays are often special times for coming together. After Christmas, I was invited to the home of Jim and Angela Waddell for dinner. I met new family; Tanya, Joshua and Brittany and the Waddells gave me some lovely gifts as well. I’m a lucky person.

A church was beginning to look tacky so the congregation voted to give it a coat of paint. Paint was expensive. Wanting to save a little money, the workmen added some thinner to make it go farther. Unfortunately, when it rained, the colors ran and it looked worse than before. “What shall we do?” asked the workers of the pastor and he answered, “Repaint, repaint and thin no more.” This is one of John Raniero’s jokes but he could tell it much better than I.