Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Blessings

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you have had a wonderful day celebrating with family and friends. When I was on my run this afternoon, I considered all I have to celebrate on this particular Christmas. Thanks for indulging me while I share my list, and please share yours, too, if you are so inclined...

Christmas truly begins for me with Lessons and Carols at St. Anne's-Belfield School on Friday, which is a wonderful school tradition based on the tradition from Kings College in Cambridge, with incredible music thanks in part to J.R. Ankney, one of my ultra buddies and our choir director...the (now) annual Winter Solstice 8+ mile trail run on Saturday with 30+ trail and road running friends, and then lots of hot coffee and lively fellowship afterwards at our fave hangout, Greenberry's...afterwards, Christmas shopping at Blue Ridge Mountain Sports with Bill Gentry and Quatro Hubbard and checking out the National Geographic map for the GRINDSTONE 100 course (*some* of us are considering it)...exploring the tree farm on a rainy Sunday run and finding cool new trails (don't you LOVE discovering new trails?)...decorating ginger bread cookies with Virginia...shopping for our "Secret Santas", a Speidel family tradition, on Christmas Eve day...another gorgeous run on Ridge Road on Monday and feeling totally recovered from Hellgate...reading Christmas cards from friends and family far away...seeing the Fedex guy arrive late on Christmas Eve day with Rusty's gift (a cool Garmin GPS techno device for his mountain bike---schweet!)...a beautiful church service with my family and my mom at St. Paul's followed by dinner at our good friends home, which has been our tradition for the past five years...singing along with Rusty and Chris Holden as they brought down the house with "American Pie", which they have done for the past five years...watching our kids open their gifts Christmas morning and Rusty and I having no desire to open ours, only to drink coffee and enjoy their excitement...hanging out with my mom and sister and chatting with my other family members, knowing they were all healthy and safe...tagging along with Rusty and his buddy Milton on their mountain bike ride in the afternoon-- they rode, while I ran the trails near UVA a bit before running home, a two+ hour jaunt through the Ragged Mountain Reservoir trails with a clear blue sky, brilliant 50 degree sunshine and late afternoon shadows falling along the trail, listening to Mary Chapin singing,

"Now we'll be led by eventide's hand
'Til then we'll walk through the gloaming
Back up the hill once again
Done with another day's roaming..."

I wish you peace and all the blessings of Christmas.

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