Monday, December 23, 2019. Forty-five degrees Sunday afternoon, with the Sun out. Saturday, you may know was the shortest day of the year; Sun went down earliest and came up latest. That means only one thing now: the days will grow longer, i.e., more light. But the weather is a big dramatic player these days. A friend of mine who has an apartment in Miami reported that they’ve had five straight days of rain which is, I’m told, unseasonal. But isn’t everything?
What I like about this holiday, is that it offers more moments of rest from the folderol and hatred that has overtaken so many, so great that they cannot control expressing it. Many carry the idea that our President is the cause. At this age, that is an inadequate explanation for the phenomenon. But it is a both great and grave matter for all of us. Otherwise it’s pointless.
But popular. I do think it leads to something — whatever that is; “time will tell,” as my mother used to say …
It’s impossible to write about the world we’re living in at this time without regarding the angst that permeates much of our daily lives. That’s another example of the power of this holiday. I’m not talking about one’s religion. Or politics. Or personal relationhips. I’m talking about the “vibe” that is everywhere but also affects the behavior and state of mind of us humanoids.
Saturday night, to take exception, I had the pleasure of dining with my niece Mary and her husband Rory and one of their sons, Jon, and his fiancée, and their daughter Sarah Kate. I was twenty when Mary was born, daughter of my one of my older sisters, Jane. By that time I’d already left the hearth and home, as well as college, and was living here in the Big Town.
I saw Mary a few times — but only a few — when she was a child, and so I never really got to know her. I’d hear about her life from my sisters but never saw her as she was growing up into a young woman. She went off to college and among the benefits of that higher education, she met Rory, and they have been together and getting educated ever since.
In the meantime, she and Rory have four off-spring, and now two daughters-in-law and one in the wings, as well as two grandchildren. A few years ago they bought a pied-a-terre here in Manhattan, and proximity worked its way into our relationship.
Technically, I have a lot of birth relatives, but physically, I have lived away from my original family from the time I left for college. With Mary and Rory, I have been re-introduced to the sublime pleasure of “relatives.” And this holiday season “parents” that sentiment. That is its main purpose in our lives. Saturday night, as I started out to tell you, I had dinner with Mary and Rory et famille at Sette Mezzo. For me it had the pleasure of getting to know a new friend, and so it was, made ever greater by the reality.
Here’s the gang; never at loss for words around the table:
And while we’re on the subject of “relatives” at this season, this photo of three year old me, and my eldest sister – Helen – who was fourteen years older than I. She sent it to me several years ago when she was re-organizing her life after her husband died.
Helen died three years ago at age 89. She was my big sister for my entire life and while she didn’t ever treat me like a child — after childhood — she always treated me with a kindness and love that was there in this photo. I see the boy is preoccupied with something in his hand, but big sister sits by comfortably but alert, watching over the kid. As I grew older she made the Christmas morning the special day that it was for this kid. And for the rest of my life at this time of the year, there were cards and gifts and the words, always: “Love ya, La” which was the “nickname” I gave her when I first began uttering words. And so we remains: The Gift.
Meanwhile, The Celebration of Christmas continued at Doubles this past week. All two hundred guests ‘sparkled’ at the GLITTER – GLITTER ASSOCIATES PARTY on December 18th. During the delicious Doubles dinner, Wendy Carduner made a special toast to Mark Gilbertson thanking him for many years of always “getting us together … and keeping us together.”
Those filling the dance floor until the DJ played Donna Summer’s LAST DANCE included: Orthon and Kathy Prounis, Tristina Waltz, Allison Weaver, Megan Kelly, Hillary Dick, Jack Lynch, Karen Klopp, Mary Snow, Alexandra and Lewis Rose, Jill and Harry Kargman, Courtney Lyons and many, many more.
Then, the following afternoon another 200 guests and members came to town. In addition to photos with SANTA, the children were entertained by Daisy Doodle and Disco Dancing. Some parents including Elizabeth Darst, Marissa Rose, Allison and Matthew Porterfield, Owen and Victoria Holm, Julie and Bill Curry all partied with children ‘in tow’.
Photographs by Annie Watt (Doubles)