To have lush choices about how we will spend our Christmas week is a gift that reminds me how fortunate I am to be in a community that treasures neighbors, friendship and family. I planned to take a friend to lunch Christmas Eve day, but he was snowed in and I couldn’t pick him up. By coincidence, my son Ken and his family came to Murphys and I had lunch with them instead.
Murphys hosts a free Christmas dinner every year for anyone who would like to join hands and enjoy this special day with others. My friend was still snowed in and I decided to go, remembering the last time I attended this dinner was right after my husband died, year 2000. It is held at the Native Sons Hall in Murphys and he was their treasurer at the time. Table, by table moves though the line after everyone is seated and has had a chance to visit and get acquainted.
I expected to sit with neighbors I knew, second from left, Jan and then Becky. At the door, I was told, I had to sit where I was directed because they fill up the tables from front to back, so fast, and I would be unlikely to find a seat with my friends.
As it turned out, I was standing in line with Carol Burton, (rt.) and her family of five. With me we made a “family” of six. Carol and I were part of American Field Service when my kids were in high school. Left, her daughter-in-law who is an Old Blue, meaning she graduated from UC Berkley.
What was nice is that I could move from table to table and catch up with a number of people I hadn’t seen in years. Here, Eleanor Darby with her grandson. She is another old friend from AFS.
Pastor Jo Sider in red, I hadn’t seen in two years and I’ve run into her 3 times in two weeks.
Dan Darby, a magnificent artist, and now, a published author. He wrote a book entitled, God’s Gold.
I didn’t get pictures of everyone I knew at the dinner, but I managed to get Carol’s family. Nancy, in front with her mom, is an avid biker, and for the first time I got a glimpse into her hobby. She sent me a map of Club’s ride through central Oregon, and then the coastal side of the State of Oregon,to take place in May. Behind her, son Jim and his wife; to the right, her daughter, Laurie and husband, with Santa peeking out from the crowd.
Today, my immediate family and my daughter-in-law’s family will be celebrating Christmas with a Greek themed dinner. We don’t trade gifts, but we will be gifting the Butte Fire Recovery Fund.
From Dr. Seuss, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, comes the wisest words: “Christmas is within our grasp as long as we have hands to clasp.”