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December 12, 2004: Preparation

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Richard's been fighting off an upper respiratory infection for nearly two weeks now. It looked yesterday like things were getting a little better, but then this morning he was right back on his nebulizer the instant he woke up. Ah, the joys of asthma. I feel a little guilty because it's my fault he's sick this time around. I got it first, after all, and one of the perks of cohabitating is that if one of you gets sick, the other's bound to catch it eventually. Except that I being asthma free tend to get over it a wee bit faster (well, aside from the whole my-sinuses-hate-me-and-are-trying-to-kill-me-by-making-my-head-implode thing), while he's left to spend days on end trying his darnedest to hack up at least one, if not both, of his lungs.

Despite the hacking and the wheezing (on his part) and the impending sinus pressure (on my part), somehow we both made it to choir practice. The cantata is next week and I have been dutifully listening and singing along to the rehearsal CD in my car on the way to and from work now for weeks. I think I have this thing just about memorized. I also think I may have just about reached my limit for O Come, O Come Emmanuel for the year.

The children's pageant was this morning and it was delightful. The two youngest boys were sheep, and weren't too sure about the words to the songs or whether they were even supposed to be singing, and were more focused on whether or not they wanted to leave their sheep ears on their heads or not. One little angel kept fidgeting with her sparkly tinsel halo the entire time she was singing. It was all the typical things that happen during a pageant that make it so much fun to watch.

After church Richard and I zipped off for the weekly run to Costco to pick up a few huge sacks of rice for the food drive, and then came home to finish off the rest of the Christmas decorating. For the past few hours Richard's been either climbing around on the roof or teetering on ladders and stepstools inside and out putting up all the lights. I stayed inside, since me and heights don't mix, and instead of untangling lights compiled a list of people who will be getting cards, and then spent an hour or two addressing and stamping and signing. My handwriting isn't so great to begin with; after an hour or so of addressing and signing it will be a miracle if anyone can actually decipher our names at the bottom of the cards. This is why the majority of people get a typed letter from us each year instead of something scribbled in a card, since I figure they'd probably much rather be able to actually read what we're telling them.

The lights are up now Richard just called me to come see them, so we both traipsed outside and stood in the middle of the night-quiet street to take it all in.

In the dark the lights are the only decoration that's visible along with the sparkle of the lights on the tree through the bay window in the living room. It's cold outside and the fog is rolling in again, as it has been for the past few days. But our house now has the welcoming glow of tiny white lights in every room I walk through, and the smell of pine still lingers in the air if I stop and focus long enough to find it.

This has been a Holidailies entry.

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