Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas to remember

Today is January 9th, 2010. I've been writing this since December 12, 2009! I just retrieved it from draft status....

So here's what I wrote in December:

At the beginning of the month, we went to the Christmas Revels on the campus of George Washington University, an annual DC tradition for the past 25 years. The Revels take place in 10 other US cities, including Houston. It was my father who went to one there many years ago, who turned me on to seeing one someday, so when I found we had one right here, nothing would stop me from seeing it. If your city has one, you must go! They put on spring and harvest festivals also.

This year, it was set in Renaissance Florence, and we, along with every one of Italy's noble families (Doge of Venice, Medici, d'Este, Borghese, et al. in all their sumptuous brocaded and bejewelled splendor) were guests of il maestro Leonardo da Vinci and his hilarious assistant Esmeralda.

We learned all sorts of Italian carols and winter songs, were treated to traditional Renaissance music and dances, as well as one segment to Saturnalia, the Roman winter solstice, and saw some of da Vinci's inventions at work. By the end of the first half, the whole audience was skipping around the auditorium to "Lord of the Dance" and by the end of the second half, we were singing in rounds.


We were supposed to move to our new home this weekend, but that plan was completely ruined by the worst winter storm in nearly 70 years. It stopped short of a blizzard because although the winds did gust a little, they didn't pick up too much. It snowed so heavily for about 24 hours that visibility was reduced to about half a block, and we got at least a foot of snow. The whole world looked as though it had been smothered in whipped cream and meringue and icing sugar.

Stores were sold out of anything that could possibly be used to slide down a hill, and therefore every slope in the city was being used.

We went out in the SUV and wondered at the people who thought they could take their cars out in all that snow. Loads of them were spinning wheels and stuck in drifts. Even the SUVs were challenged, but we managed. It was fun exploring the winter wonderland.

People were discouraged from walking on the plowed streets, and were left to trudge through snow up to their knees. Some smart ones actually cross-country skiied.
Lots of people hitched rides, and when we got to Tenleytown we picked up a woman and dropped her off at the apartments across the road from the National Cathedral. Jeffy told her that someone had done him the same favor 10 years ago when he too was living there.

By 4pm, we found ourselves in Georgetown, which is picturesque at any time of year. We were determined to walk around, fall down, and make snow angels somewhere. We soon found ourselves at Book Hill Park near Dumbarton Oaks, the museum, library, and gardens we visited in the early summer. There were a few people there snowboarding and skiing down the hill beside the steps, and we stumbled and slipped our way up the snow mound to a circle of benches on a plateau. The snow was undisturbed and I was tempted to sit in the foot of snow on each bench. But we were there to make snow angels, my first ever --- or so I thought.......

As I fumbled about in my ski pants and down-filled coat, slightly deaf with my furry hood on, I wasn't properly absorbing whatever Jeffy was saying. This is what I gathered:

"Why is this park important?"
*Thinking....something to do with the Revolution?*
"I don't know Jeffy......because we're in it....?
*He laughs* "Sort of."
He keeps talking, something about how we keep saying we are so well matched, my Mum and God designed him, and his grandmother and God designed me.
I climb onto a bench to face him, just because the fresh snow made me hyper, and place my hands on his shoulders.
He says something something something, how much he loves me, something something, [I get suspicious].......and isn't this a good time to acknowledge how we feel [it registers in my brain]. He puts his hand in his pocket.
I jump off the bench, somehow sensing a little velvet black box is going to appear.
A little black velvet box appears.
He opens it and after the acknowledge part, something about "ask you to marry me".
I say "Oh my bee" followed by "Of course."

How did I know? With us, it was inevitable. But quite often we are thinking the same thing, and often steal each other's lines. So perhaps because I was holding his shoulders as I jumped off the bench, I was again reading his mind. :-)

His best friend wanted him to propose at his 40th birthday at the end of November, with all 20 of his closest friends and relatives at the table, but he told Jay he didn't have the ring yet.

Ah yes, about the ring. It took Jeffy two weeks to choose and design it. He "interviewed" many diamonds at 10-15x magnification and considered many bands, until he finally settled on a stone and a band that went together and said to him "Livvy".

It's delicate, dainty, simple, and sweet. I think "sweet" is one of the first words I used to describe it the moment I could catch my breath. I feel as though I don't deserve such a fiery stone.

I'd love to post pictures but it seems the process has changed - I can't link to pics on Flickr anymore, but feel free to look at them here:

Snow in NW DC:

Georgetown before climbing up to Book Hill Park:

Jeffy just before proposing:

The ring in two lights:

Now I must be off to get ready. When Jeffy comes back from his Baltimore house (which he's just rented out to a nice young couple) we will go out to get a rug and look at furniture.

We moved for 4 days between Christmas and New Year's. It was exhausting, and now we have stuff everywhere and no furniture to put it in though the closets are full. Jeffy has accumulated junk, and repeatedly moved with it in numbered boxes. I've opened his eyes (a bag of receipts from 1987? A video camera that hasn't worked for 6 years? An empty camera box inside an empty box?) so he's promised himself and me that he will de-clutter so we can find space for the things that matter.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Stay Tuned

Thank you for the December nudge, Glo!

Stay tuned for an update...