December 25, 2015 – Christmas Day way too early

Last night we went to a very interesting Mass at a Church in Takoma Park Maryland.  It was a long one, like a midnight Mass except it was at 9 pm. At 8:30 they were having a Posada which turns out is a group of people walking in with a small size creche which they place in front of the alter. It did not happen until just before 9 pm and only took about five minutes all together so the Mass did not start too late.

That was not the interesting part.  This parish has masses in three languages, English, French and Spanish.  They have three choirs for the different languages and a mixed choir. They probably sing at Masses like the one last night.  Each song sang had at least three verses, one sung in English, one in French and one in Spanish and occasionally one sang in Latin.  The Priest went back and forth between the three languages although it was obvious that French was his least proficient one.

With all the talk about immigrants here I was sitting in a Church full of immigrants.  Some wore beautiful clothing from their native counties. There were lots of families and lots of little kids.  Towards the end people brought up the baby Jesus from their creches at home to be blessed. It was so touching and I thought that would be a nice thing to do in our church.  At the homily the priest had all the children come to the front and sit on the alter stairs and he spoke to them as well as the rest of us.

I have never been to a Mass like that. The people were warm and welcoming. Since we were in a minority there and they all seemed to know  each other I guess we would stick out as new comers.  If we had not had to get back to the house I would have liked to stay for their open house afterwards to talk with them about the parish and what kinds of things they do there.  They have a school I could see but what else goes on?

We stayed up late and then were up very early.  I am totally bushed.  The kids were up at the crack of dawn but before that there was a blue tooth thing roaming for something and just before six it started going off about every 5 minutes. I could not for the life of me figure out where the noise was coming from.  When I figured it out rather than throwing the darn thing against the wall I just turned it off and thought I would crawl back into bed and hopefully get another hours sleep.  Then I heard it — thump, thump and pitrer patter of little feet running across the bedroom over our head and then down the stairs.  I caught up with her right in front of the tree but looking at the new keyboard they got as a family.  Wished her a Merry Christmas and told her to go back upstairs and get her father. But I knew my goose was cooked, no more sleep today.

In this house Christmas presents are all opened in the morning and even Santa’s gifts are wrapped. This meant a very long time opening presents and poor little Asta finally opened her last four about four in the afternoon.  That was after many breaks to play, watch Cinderella on the TV, and meals of course.  They had a wonderful day but appear to be totally exhausted.. Unlike their grandmother who things she just might be asleep before them. I am totally wiped.

Maya’s mother came for the day as well. She lives in an assisted living facility due to some dementia.  She gets focused on one thing that happened and then repeats it over and over again.  No matter how many times I distracted her she came back to the same thing over and over again.  “There but for the grace of God go I” is what I think. I fear that might be in my future and would like to avoid it at all costs.  She is so upset about things and that has to be so hard on her worrying all the time and not being able to distract herself or be distracted.  Maya is wonderful with her mother and so patient and so stuck in the sandwich generation.  Having been there myself and not with little kids but still four children who had to have attention weather living at home or elsewhere, as well as work, a house etc.  I totally understand her position.  When does one get time to their own self.

So, it is quiet here now. There are toys and games and dolls, and books all over the place but it was a good day and I think it went really well.  Even the tired kids survived with out a major melt down.  No toys were broken etc.

Charles Diary 1907

Jan 1 – Tuesday – Quiet day. Mail comes so several come in for mail and chat. News Years Day we go to Richie Singletons.
Jan 2 – Fergus return to Hotel Dieu.
Jan 6 – Madeline very sick. Month usual winter one. Chas here play pedro when Joe Bevins comes in evenings. V Andresen cuts wood. Lots of visitors. Dargavils etc. Benora ? Murphy a few times.
Jan 29 – Very cold but no snow so I have to drive buggy and take Madeline to Lansdowne as she is going to visit Fergus at Hotel Dieu.

Feb 5 – Very cold but go to meet Madeline. She had a great time.
Feb 14 – Big dance at C Lappans we all go.
Feb 17 – Sunday – Emily, Madeline and I got to Mass at Lansdowne. JJ Behan, Dr Ryan and Fergus there re MCBA. Good to see Fergus and in such good company. Dr. Ryan speaks so highly of Fergus.
Feb 19 – Miss Ella Bracken calls and wants to give Madeline music lessons. Sadie S married so we agree.
Feb 20 – Get word my sister Margaret McDonald in Hotel Dieu. Operated and take 118 gallstones. No wonder she was a chronic sufferer.


March 20 – Wednesday – I’m very sick. Jim Bevins goes for Fergus to station.
March 21 – So sick Fergus goes to Lansdowne for Dr. Ferguson. Quinsy so bad. Dr. Ferguson and Fergus lance my throat today. Madeline has queer spell. Cannot walk and sees everything double. .
March 22 – I am much better but Fergus takes Madeline to Hotel Dieu. Her eyes very bad. They go by stage from Seeleys Bay. I am weak but much better since they lanced my throat. It was awful.
March 30 – Madeline home from Kingston and Dr. CE O’Connor is her hero. She can see again but has to wear very very large glasses in queer frame. She is in love with Sisters Maloney and St. Michael Morton & McGowan.
March 31 – Easter Sunday. Ellen here. Madeline brought home biggest oranges we ever saw. St. St Michael gave them to her.


April 1 – Went to Lyndhurst to see Dr. Ferguson and phones Fergus to let him know we was well here.
April 2 – Madeline pet lamb had twins. Its year old now but still a pet.
April 24 – wet – Emily, Ellen, Madeline and I go to Margaret Kelsey’s funeral.
April 28 – Sunday– Sister Margaret dies today.
April 30 – Tuesday – All of us went to Margaret’s funeral



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