I woke up this morning to a message from one of my dearest friends.
We met fortuitously nearly a decade ago, when I noticed a car bearing British Columbia licence plates parked on the road outside our school. Who, I wondered, was this newcomer? I had lived in BC for five years, myself, before my first child was born. With my tiny Wee Three tucked firmly in one arm, I leaned up against the vehicle to wait and see who this addition to our community might be.
I finally saw her strolling up the path, with her own little girl in tow. The four of us blinked at each other for a moment, and I swear, it was one of those rare times when you feel as though you've known someone for a lifetime. We "recognized" each other, without ever having met before, and quickly fell in step with a friendship so firm, I couldn't imagine being any closer if we were actually sisters. Together, we've faced life's greatest joys, and ruts so deep and dark, it didn't seem as though we'd ever be able to pull each other out. But, for the past nine-and-a-half years, we've been a team. And that has made ALL the difference.
Amazingly, even another cross-country move hasn't altered the relationship. We may not be able to car pool our kids anymore, and our Thursday afternoon knit-alongs have had to become far less frequent. But, we can still exchange a flurry of text messages, and schedule marathon telephone calls (sometimes firmly locked in our closets, to deter interruptions from various progeny). Whenever we DO arrange to clap eyes on each other, it's as though no time has passed-- we just carry on right from where we left off.
That's pretty special.
She "gets" me, and likes who I am, warts and all.
She and her kids are my chosen family.
It's true that the long-distance thing can be a bit of a wrench, though. There are absolutely times when I wish she was closer, that I could just nip 'round the block, plop my behind down in one of her cozy living room chairs, to knit and chat till our fingers fall off. I don't think we've ever run out of things to say to one another-- but we're also comfortable spending entire afternoons together in near silence.
Today's message made me laugh till my sides ached. But it also tugged at my heartstrings:
Imagine if you will...
I sat this morning in Francesco's, a quaint little cafe, sipping on a hazlenut latte, just passing the time knitting whilst waiting for Miss M. to finish up her art class next door.
When suddenly o'er top the faint bluesy acoustic guitar Christmas music, I heard the barista loud and clear, in his best Bing Crosby, from the back room singing:
"It's beginning to look a lot like bullsh*t..."
I kid you not.
And oh, how I wished you were with me.
Missing you so,
I miss you, too, my dear. I miss you, too.
* * * * *
SHE KNOWS exactly how I feel about "that kind" of Christmas music-- and the commercialized wind-up towards Christmas in general.
She also knows that for the past few months, I've been searching high and low for some of the finest musical selections (and some of the silliest, too, don't worry!) of the season.
Last year's Musical Advent Calendar was a celebration of five years of good music, and I took the opportunity to post encore performances of my most favourite selections.
This year, there may be a few familiar tunes, but I'm making every effort to ensure that most days, you will be hearing something new, unique and wonderful. Something that will lift your heart, soothe your spirit, and prepare you for the days ahead...
DEFINITELY not what you'll be hearing over the loudspeakers in your local mall. Thank goodness.
As of December 1, and continuing on until Christmas Day, drop by for a reprieve from the ordinary! Grab a cup of something hot, put your feet up, and turn up the volume.
It's nearly Christmastime!