Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Yesterday a friend called and said 'Come with me. I am going to Polsbo to buy my Christmas bread. My family loves the braided cardamon loaves of bread that you can buy only there. I quickly agreed to go for I needed lingon berries and marzipan. We had a good time in spite of the rain. My friend, Bea, whom I know from bridge is an excellent driver. We had a hot cup of Rainy Day Chicken Soup before heading home.

I got home in time to watch Oprah for her second day of interviewing Whitney Houston. What a talent! So glad she is returning to her public life. I will never forget when she sang the National Anthem during the final celebration of the Los Angeles Olympics. Nothing has affected me so deeply except for the time our ship sailed by The Statue of Liberty in 1938. I get tears in my eyes when I think of it. We bought the tape of Whitney 's and in my move a couple of years ago, the tape was misplaced and I hope to find it soon.

Today is Bridge Day and this blog will be short. It is short. Must feed my animals.

Monday, December 14, 2009


One year I decided that it would be fun to make the month of December more fun for our four children. Late in November I went to the lumber yard and bought a piece of plywood which I covered with a gray material on which had sewn Santas and snowmen. Then I attached twenty four hooks. On these hooks I tied four small presents, all wrapped in four different colors. Each child got to draw the color they wanted.

The gifts were insignificant but something they either needed or something they liked to snack on. Sometimes the present was something that could not be a surprise for them. (Such as a pencil) I remember their cries of delight when they got something meaningful or something tasty. Toward the end of the period they got a small box of thank you cards to be used after Christmas and then there was a small envelop with postage stamps and on the twenty fifth I remember trying hard to find a 'diamond ring' from the dime store for each of the girls and something equally ridiculous for Gilbert.

After a year or so each of them had their own calendar. Four times twenty four is ninety six. It was a chore wrapping these ninety six items, it was a bigger chore amassing all these items and I sometimes wondered why I had begun this tremendous chore. But the girls enjoyed it and so it went on into their college years. I now see Anna, my number one daughter( I don't know if it is correct to say oldest or eldest) fix one of these for her younger daughter. (who is about to try for her Masters)

I think Anna also made an advent calendar for her Mother'in'Law. It gave me a good feeling that that old ritual might go on and spread far.

Happy Day After Lucia.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Santa Lucia

December 13. When I was young, that date meant Christmas was coming soon. When I was old enough to carry a tray with a coffee cup and little lucia breads with cardamon aroma I became the Lucia in our house, for I was blonde and my sister had black hair. I had never been more important than my sister before, and the feeling that filled me was ecstasy. I think it was my first feeling of some kind of importance. Our celebration was strictly homebound and after people got out of bed my role returned to normal and I slouched back to my place.

When I was married and had children that old feeling was aroused in me again and we really celebrated. We invited five or six families for breakfast at 6 AM. (Only one person said nothankyou but sent her husband, five boys and one daughter) We had our blondest daughter carrying the tray with the Lucia rolls and with candles on her head. Then we all sat down to eat and when eight o'clock came around all fathers went to work and most of the children had to run for the school bus. We had between thirty five and forty people around our tables. Before we left the bay area I would often meet some parent of a friend of one of our children's friends who had come for a Lucia party who still remembered the fun.

We would of course tell everyone about the origin of the ritual. In the pre Christian days the people of the North felt they had been forsaken by their Gods and they thought the Dark had lasted too long when suddenly they discovered that the night just passed had been a minute shorter than the night before and they knew their Gods had not forsaken them and they celebrated the return of the Sun.

Three of my three daughters have called this morning and said:Happy Lucia Day. And so, Happy Lucia Day to all of you who may happen to read this. Next blog will be about our Advent Calendars.