Monday, December 15, 2014

Church and Christmas Trees

Since I had the day off from working at the YMCA I went to church.  I haven't been to confession in months so I didn't enter the nave or stay for the anaphora or what follows, but it was still good to be there.

After I left church I went and picked up my boys and went into the hills of the Santa Cruz Range to get a Christmas tree. We went again to the Tobacco Ranch Christmas Tree Farm this year.  It is the same place we went last year. But this year we saw that they have planted about an acre of wine grapes.  There is no stopping money.  I fear that wine grapes will displace all other crops in California.

It took a while for the boys to agree on a tree to fell (I mentioned Jacob and Esau to them but they didn't know what I was talking about.  I thought they knew those Biblical brothers but I was wrong.  Oh, my time to teach these boys is running out and I have so much left to do!  How will I find the time??!!) but eventually they did.  We tied it to the roof of the car (Thank you, Air Assault School knot tying skills!) and drove it down the mountain.  On the way back to their house I stopped at a market and I bought potatoes, a chicken, and Brussels sprouts to make the boys for supper.  While the chicken was baking we trimmed the tree. 

Athanasia came home while we were still working, and she finished supper.  We ate together, then I hung a few more ornaments in the windows, hung the chocolate ornaments on the walls (not to be taken down and consumed until all the decorations are taken down on Twelfth Night), hung the mistletoe over the door, and left.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Two Jobs, Las Vegas, and Advent Song

Since the last week of September I've had two jobs.  I still work for the YMCA on Saturdays and Sundays but on the other days of the week I work for a bank as a rep to car dealers.  My goal is not to have two jobs for the rest of my life but right now I need a lot of money. 

My banking job sent me to Las Vegas for a few day for meetings.  I won some money at the roulette and craps tables at night and that's good because it was an expensive trip.  Nothing in Las Vegas is inexpensive.  I ate at Wolfgang Puck's restaurant at the MGM Grand, where the bank put me up in a nice room.  I just got back today (Saturday) from the trip and am very tired.  Thankfully, I arranged to have today and tomorrow off from my YMCA job.

I haven't made any Advent posts in a few years.  That is something I want to rectify now.  I am too tired to and not very spiritual right now, but I still have hope.  It is not strange that my hope looks back and forward at the same time; back to Genesis 3:15 and forward to Revelation 22:20.  Everything past and future is, really, now. And our experience of the past and the future are now because when Jesus entered history he didn't merely take on humanity and our experiences, but brought eternity to us so that we can remember things that haven't happened yet and give thanks for them.  This is how Jesus was slain from the foundation of the world, how he died on Calvary, and how we eat his Body and Blood every Sunday (well, not me, I have to work).  It is one eternal event made present to us by the Incarnation.  So, even though Jesus has come, we still expect him to come.  We still look forward to his birth in Bethlehem.  Thus, we sing this old Advent hymn, based on even older antiphons, and mean every word and feel such desperate yearning for the Lord's appearance.