WE FINALLY HAVE SNOW!!! I'm pretty happy (rather obviously) about that! The first snowfall was absolutely beautiful, but I want to tell this all in order so that will have to wait a minute. ;)
My sister and I stayed over at our friend's house Sunday night so that we could go to her choir concert. It was quite fun! We had a great and hilarious time decorating their tree and playing Apples to Apples that evening. Apples to Apples has got to be the best, most entertaining game ever!
Her mom, who is a librarian, and I also decided to start our own good literature in libraries crusade. We're going to go through the Bethlehem Books catalog and others, find all the good, interesting books, and once a week request the library to order one! She feels quite strongly that we need more good books in libraries, and I definitely agree! And like she said, you can't just sit back and say, "Oh what a shame, I wish something could be done about it" - you need to be the one making the change! It reminded me of the quote from Edmund Burke, "The only way for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." So true.
Tuesday was the beautiful feast of the Immaculate Conception. The same friend of mine stayed over, and we spent the afternoon helping prepare the food for the reception after Mass. It was so much fun! And it was quite nice, because I have some friends who are a few years older than me, and in the past few years they haven't been around as much, being busy with jobs and new lives. It's a normal part of growing up, but I missed them! Lately, however, they've been around more, and I'm also older, so it's easier for us all to talk and be friends again. I'm thankful for that!
So I think we all had an enjoyable time trying to tape table skirts to the punch table; making evil smelling, fishy tasting salmon dip; washing lots and LOTS of dishes; changing the music from Josh Groban to Mannheim Steamroller, much to the chagrin of one of our friends; laughing and having weird inside jokes...it was a good day.
Mass was at 6 pm, and the Master Choral beautifully sang a lot of Palestrina pieces, including his "Dixit Maria" Mass! Afterward we had a reception in the church basement, at which I served punch, as usual. I always like serving punch...it gives me something to do other than just wander around, and I get to talk to lots of people! Then we cleaned up the kitchen and did even more dishes. *sigh* ;) After a while, my sister, friend, and I all decided to go outside.
We ran up the stairs, pushed open the door, and shrieked loudly as a huge gust of snow blew in our faces. Then I saw how much snow had fallen, and began dancing around in it with joy! I'd been wanting snow for weeks. But as the snow spell cast itself over us, our shrieks and laughter gave way to silent wonder. It was absolutely beautiful. Snow had been falling all day and it was still coming down, thousands of beautiful white dots against the gray sky. Since it was 10:30 at night there wasn't much traffic, and what there was muffled by the snow. My friend pointed to the lamppost, which was shining its light on a snow-covered pine tree.
"Look!" she said. "It's like Narnia!"
And it was! We just stood there for about 15 minutes, drinking in the silent beauty, laughing at how much snow was in our hair, trying to watch it come down and getting it in our eyes. The night of the first snowfall of winter is magical. For one thing, it's so bright. The snow and the sky are both white, reflecting so much light, and it's like an odd, surreal version of daytime. If it's still snowing, that makes it even better. I love the sound snow makes as it falls. It whispers quietly of all the secrets of every winter the world has ever known.
The roads were a bit slippery as we drove home, but my mom grew up in the Midwest and is used to driving in that sort of weather, so we were fine. Besides, we had only about 12 blocks to go.
We drove past a huge house near our neighborhood that I absolutely love. It's brick, has leaded windows, and has an actual courtyard with gargoyles guarding the door! It's pretty incredible and looks like something out of a Jane Austen movie. This house has the most amazing, magical Christmas light display! Two trees flank the front door, and they had twined white lights through all the bare branches. That would be lovely on it's own, but the touch of magic and surrealism comes from the large white balls of light caught in the branches! It's incredible...I will definitely try to take a picture of it sometime so you all can see it.
Then we got home and my friend, sister, and I spent most of the night laughing hysterically over the craziest inside jokes and the many, many funny things we were saying! That was a wonderful day!
And as I mentioned Christmas lights, I thought this would be a good time to post the video of the choreographed lights to the song "Wizards in Winter" by the TransSiberian Orchestra! Enjoy!