12/21/14 - NNHS Newsletter - Winter Solstice
“Grant, O God/dess, thy Protection
and in protection, Strength
and in strength, Understanding
and in understanding, Knowledge
and in knowledge, the Knowledge of Justice
and in the knowledge of justice, the Love of it
and in the love of it, the Love of all Existences
and in the love of all existences,
the Love of God/dess and all Goodness.”
- Nichols, 305
Dear Friends and Schoolmates,
Today's Newsletter, marking the day's Winter Solstice, is especially for Domi O'Brien ('64) of NHand her daughter, Avens, but as we celebrate everything together here with our big happy Typhoon family, Good Yule to all!
Domi sent me this BONUS VIDEO three years ago:
BONUS #1 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQFu3zwEDs0&feature=email - Ring Out Solstice Bells - Jethro Tull
No free midi file was available, but I think you'll enjoy that video, as well as this one she sent me on 12/05/11:
BONUS #2 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2c7RywNkyY&playnext=1&list=PLpHndh_Qs8DK39sPYBNyFkSVYjoNU2bCf&feature=results_video - Winter Solstice & Yule Time Blessings - Winter Born by Unto Ashes
|This song is a dance to celebrate winter Solstice (mostly on the 22nd and sometimes on the 21st of December) and appeals to rejoice the lengthening of the days, c.q. the return of the light. In it druïds dance while the narrator calls for people to gather underneath mistletoe and give praise to the sun. For many European nations like the Celts, and the Germanic peoples this festival in ancient times was one of the major ones of the year, full of rites and ceremonies of which some survived the ages like the bonfire/fireworks. During its spread over Europe, Christianity claimed this festival by 'implanting' Christmas as a festival of light on the 25th of December. The back of the sleeve of the "Solstice Bells"-EP (released in 1976) has a brief anecdote describing how the Church coöpted the pagan winter solstice celebrating, Yule, and replaced it with Christmas...|
The Winter Solstice is a Minor High Day, usually occurring around December 21st or so of the civil calendar. Also known as Yule and Midwinter, this is a day sacred to Sun, Thunder, and Fire Deities. Large fires were built outdoors and Yule Logs lit indoors, in order to rekindle the dying Sun and help it to return brightly to the Northern skies. Burnt logs and ashes from the Midwinter fires were kept as a talisman against lightning and house fires. It was also a custom in many parts of Paleopagan Europe to decorate live evergreen trees in honor of the Gods (cutting down a tree to bring indoors is a blasphemous desecration of the original concept). This is considered, along with Midsummer, the best day of the year to cut mistletoe. Among some Mediterranean Paleopagans, a date on or near this was celebrated as the Birthday of Mithras and/or the Feast of Saturnalia (which the Christians co-opted to use for the birth of Christ).
THIS WEEK'S BIRTHDAYS:
Happy Winter Solstice Birthday today toRay Stinnette ('63) of VA!
Happy Birthday tomorrow to Kitty Norman Haskins ('57) of VA AND Elliott Schlosser ('63) AND Dottie Pegram Daniels (NNHS / George Washington HS - '64) of WV AND Harry Barritt ('64) of VA AND Dale Mueller ('64) of VA AND Bill Rash ('67) of VA!
Happy Birthday this week to:
23 - Tom Flax ('64) of VA AND Joyce Lawrence Cahoon ('65) of VA AND Holly Hill Campbell (Hampton Roads Academy - '72) of VA;
24 - James Gay ('57) AND Ann W. Hutcheson ('57) AND Malcolm Davis ('65) of VA AND Sandye Jordan Frost ('67) of NC;
25 - Patsy Bloxom Meider ('57) of NC AND Doug Dickinson ('69) of VA;
27 - Anita Morgan Becker ('66) of VA;
28 - Bob Stalnaker ('63)!
Many Happy Returns, One and All!
December 21, 1941 - A formal treaty of alliance between Thailand and Japan was signed in the presence of the Emerald Buddha in Wat Phra Kaew.
THIS DAY IN1964:
|Monday, December 21, 1964 - Footballer and manager
Kelly was born Robert Anthony
Monday, December 21, 1964 - Ice hockey player and coach Joe Kocur was born Joseph George Kocur in The USA.
From Joyce Lawrence Cahoon ('65) of VA - 12/20/14:
Third time is the charm!!!
My sister sent them to me!! This is my month!!! Birthday, Christmas and Anniversary(50th), all come within a 4 day period. It took three times for the florist to get it right......SO YES, I'M PICKY !!!!
CONGRATULATIONS! Thanks for sharing this, Joyce!
From Jerry Gammon ('63) of VA - 12/20/14 - Hampton National Cemetery:
From my visit to Hampton National Cemetery. Wreaths had just been placed the day before by Wreaths Across America...do not know how I lived so long without hearing of the work of this great organization.
OH, WOW! Thank you so much, Jerry! My parents' graves are there - all the way down at the end of the first left turn, right up front. It was nice to see how they're decorated for Christmas!
From My Friend, Ashley, of AZ - 12/20/14:
|A GREAT LESSON FOR US ALL! Thank you, Ashley!|
From My Friend, Laura, of NC - 12/20/14:
|"And it came to pass that there was no darkness in all that night, but it was as light as though it was mid-day. And it came to pass that the sun did rise in the morning again, according to its proper order; and they knew that it was the day that the Lord should be born, because of the sign which had been given."|
Thank you, Laura!
From My Cousin, Jean Atkinson Mallory (Warsaw HS / Rappahannock HS / John Marshall HS - '65) of VA - 12/20/14 - "Just Believe":
|AMEN! Thank you, Jean!|
From Catherine Slusser Hudson ('64) of VA - 12/20/14 - "Friends":
|EXACTAMUNDO! Thanks, Catherine!|
From My Friend, Mariel, of NC - 12/20/14:
|GREAT NEWS! Thank you, Mariel!|
From Joyce Lawrence Cahoon ('65) of VA - 12/20/14:
|Thanks again, Joyce!|
From My Friend, Jim, of NV - 12/20/14 - "Shopping Patterns":
|SO TRUE! Thanks, Jim!|
From My Friend, Liam, of NC - 12/20/14:
|Thank you, Liam! As it's Sunday, I'll try not to rant and rave as I sometimes tend to do!|
From My Husband, Paul Harty (Bardolph HS, IL - '61) of NC - 12/02/14 - "Some Grins (#9 in a series of 15)":
Laughs for the day………..
From My Friend, Tammy, of NC - 12/07/14 - "Daily Christmas Story (#21 in a Series of 24)"
"The tree's up in the attic, Mom, it's wrapped and tightly bound,
If you want, I'll help you get it, we can bring it down.
"No," she said, "that was your father's job before he died."
"But, Mom, it's been almost three years and you've not even tried."
"You haven't had a Christmas tree since Daddy passed away,
And I think that it's time you put your tree up for display."
"Maybe this year I will do it," then she smiled at me,
"But I don't think today I feel like messing with a tree."
Three weeks until Christmas as I sat there at my mother's,
Sipping tea and talking of my children and my brothers.
She preferred to live alone after my dad's death,
Because she said she never would become somebody's pest.
So as we chatted and enjoyed each other's company,
I told her, "Mom, the kids ask every year about your tree."
"They ask why Grandma doesn't like to put it up and trim,
So I just told them next time, ask her; you explain to them."
She just smiled and said, "You tell them I don't need a tree,
Santa only comes to children; he won't come to me."
We laughed and then I had to leave, I had not made a case.
She said, "I'll put a little one upon the fireplace."
On Christmas Day since Daddy died, we all went to my mother's,
But it was not a happy time like all the many others.
We would take some things to her, our presents and some food,
She wanted it kept simple; she was never in the mood.
But this year as we reached her door the children starting saying,
"Mom, there's something different, we hear Christmas music playing."
I knocked and opened up the door completely mesmerized,
I just could not believe the scene that stretched before my eyes.
Christmas music playing and sweet smells that filled the air,
A Christmas dinner cooking and the tree was sitting there.
Fully trimmed and lighted up like never it had been,
A roaring fire and all the room with decorated trim.
Presents underneath the tree and candy all around,
I just stood there looking and I couldn't make a sound.
Stockings hanging by the fire so full and each a name,
I wondered what had happened; did my mother go insane?
She came out of the kitchen with a smile across her face,
"Well," she said, "what do you think of Grandma's Christmas place?"
The kids were all excited as they ran to see the tree,
Then she sat me down and said, "There's something you must see.
"I went up to the attic after you left here last time,
Just to look around in it to see what I could find.
I saw the Christmas tree wrapped up but much to my surprise,
I also found the gifts your dad had bought before he died."
Around her neck she had a locket I had never seen,
She said, "Here, read this Christmas card; you'll see just what I mean."
I opened up the Christmas card and it was from my dad,
I started getting teary eyed and starting feeling sad.
The card was really beautiful and he had done some writing,
It was really eerie but was also so exciting.
"Merry Christmas, Sweetheart," he had written to my mother,
"You know I love this holiday much more than any other.
"I know this may be sad, but this may be my last on earth,
But we both know that we have lived it for all that its worth.
We both know that I am ill and may not have much time,
But the time we've had together was so very fine.
"I love you so much, Sweetheart, and I know this will be hard,
So I will put this letter inside of your Christmas card.
I am not afraid to die, for we've had many years,
But just the thought of leaving you has caused me many tears.
"You are my source of living and your love has made me whole,
Your love has penetrated even to my very soul.
That is why I know, Sweetheart, I am the first to go,
But we again will be together, that much I do know.
"A love like ours cannot die out; it is too very strong,
I will be the first to leave but you will come along.
One day we will be happier than we have ever been,
I love you, wife and lover, and my dearest, dearest friend.
"But, Sweetheart, please be happy; it will be a little while,
Before I once again can see your glowing, gentle smile.
One day we will look back on this and hold each other tight,
And never have to look again into the darkest night.
"I've given you this locket and our pictures are within,
With smiling faces just the way that it has always been.
Christmas at our house was always such a great affair,
With all our loved ones sharing happiness while gathered there.
"These pictures are from Christmas past that shows our happiness,
And now it will be different but I have one final wish.
It was the best time of the year and I will still be there,
Remember this and open up this locket that you wear.
"Enjoy the friends and family and the festive joyous ring,
Just share the love that we have known and never change a thing.
Remember that this happiness will take you through the years,
And when I hold you once again I'll wipe away those tears."
I closed the card and wiped my eyes and took a little while.
Then when I looked at Mother I could only see her smile.
"This was his favorite holiday," my mother said again,
"And I will make it happy until I'm with him again."
by James A. Kisner © 2003
Thank you so very much, Tammy!
CHRISTMAS CROCHET PATTERN: