Thursday, December 24, 2015


Everybody's home, despite the best efforts of El Niño. Jon and Kaitlin had to pull over to the side of interstate 95 at one point since the rain was coming down in such a deluge that further progress was impossible. Patrick's flights were delayed several times because of tornado warnings in and around Nashville. But despite it all, around 1:00 am this morning, everyone was safely in their beds.

Yes, I know that this photograph is blurry. But, there exists no camera in the world that could possibly catch these two still enough for a decent picture. Suffice it to say that both Lucy and Jackson are ecstatic at each other's presence. Their preferred form of interaction seems to be Greco-Roman wrestling with an emphasis on nibbling each other's ears. Tonight's yearly family photo of all of us in our Christmas pajamas sitting around the tree is going to be hilarious.

Christmas Eve is my favorite day of the Christmas week. Great food. The kids are home. The Christmas Eve service at church and dinner out afterwards. It's the lovely calm before the storm of presents that follow. 

If you want to cheer yourself up out of a funk, I have just the thing. Go to the arrival terminal at any airport in the country the week of Christmas. Get yourself a gingerbread latte and a comfortable chair and just watch the series of reunions unfold before you. Last night Pam and I watched at least a hundred of them while waiting for Patrick's late arrival. Grandfathers with hands over their mouths seeing their grandchildren, perhaps for the first time. A servicewoman in fatigues being greeted by her husband carrying a hand made welcome home poster. Their embrace was wordless and seemed to go on forever. Mothers running towards their grown sons and daughters. Sisters embracing their brothers. Old school dads stoically shaking hands. Newer dads shamelessly gushing. Tears and laughter. I glanced at Pam and noticed that she was crying. We knew none of these people, had no idea of their back story's, and it didn't matter. These were people who love each other. They had been apart and now they were together again. The joy was irrepressible. It was quite beautiful and uplifting.
Perhaps this world has hope after all.