When I woke this morning, I thought about leaving at dawn to drive up to Hagerman National Wildlife Reserve. The bald eagles are at the preserve, and I love to see bald eagles. Also, it's the time when snow and Ross' geese are abundant. I had even scoped out a church in the small town of Pottsboro near the refuge. The Lakeway Church Choir was going to performa the Lakeway Christmas Cantata at 11 a.m. I could see the possible eagles (and probable geese and hawks) at 7 a.m. and enjoy the cantata at 11. I decided to stay closer to home, and marked down Boxing Day for a possible eagle sighting.
Instead, I got the newspaper and ate some raisin bran. I did some last-minute Christmas ordering on-line. At 9:20, I set out for church. My wife elected to sleep in. I reached the stop sign at Alma Road and McDermott Drive. This road displayed one of those invisible crossroads. If I turned left, I would go to First United Methodist Church, where a choir would perform Chrimas music from Handel's "Messiah". If I turned right, I could reach Suncreek United Methodist Church, where there might be Christmas carols to sing. I love to sing Christmas carols, so I chose the latter.
I was not disappointed. We all sang "What Child is This?" in an uptempo arrangement that worked perfectly well, and also sang "Go Tell it On the Mountain" with a kind of rock lilt. The offertory solo, a song unfamiliar to me, featured a flute, a piano and two gently harmonizing female voices. I thought to myself how much I like that genre of music I call "modern cantata music" as opposed to what I call "contemporary Christian pop". The sermon was nice, and the first fourteen verses of the Gospel according to John always work well for the reading.
After church, I stopped by Russell Creek Park in Plano. I walked around the pond in the rather chilly, breezy weather. I saw three blue jays, one of whom worked to crack open a nut. I saw 20 lesser scaups, 21 American Wigeons, 17 Mallards, 1 Pied-billed Grebe, 4 Northern Shovelers, 4 Gadwalls, and 1 Common Grackle.
I found at Weight Watchers that I had lost three pounds, which is not a matter of virtue, but of exercise and avoiding the water retention that seems to accompany excess diet soft drinks.
I stopped by Boston Market at Independence and Legacy in Plano, where I had a 1/4 chicken white plate. As I walked out, a noticed a new bakery called the Millstone Bakery. One of its owners, whose accent was French, I believe, explained to me that the bakery intended to use fresh ingredients and not use preservatives. The place had a good menu, so I will return for lunch another day. When I found that they had already sold out of macarons, I ordered a fine hot chocolate instead.
I headed home and watched on television as the local sports team won a convincing victory to land in the playoffs. I also made us reservations to eat Christmas Dinner at Mignon in Plano. Then my wife and I watched 60 Minutes and ate leftover tortilla soup and leftover Mexican chicken bake. We settled in to watch a holiday-themed comedy called "Four Christmasses". Then our doorbell rang.
We both felt a bit odd to have our doorbell ring at 8:30 p.m. Our town had some home invasion robberies a few weeks ago. Though the culprits were quickly caught,a night-time doorbell felt ominous in our usually sedate neigborhood.
But it turned out to be our neighbors--a 12-year-old-girl, two toddlers and their mother. They came to bring us holiday cookies. We wished them a warm "Merry Christmas!". We were touched, and the cookies were light and lovely and all that holiday cookies should be.
My wife got poinsettias today, and lit a fire and candles.