Saturday, December 25, 2010
Music and Friends
I was invited to a Christmas Eve "Ham & Lamb" last night at the home of dear friends. "Your appetite and chat" was what I was told when I asked what I could bring.
Two of the triplets (the two girls) - now 36 - were home and there was a large assortment of others including some 'come from aways' visiting for the holidays.
This Ham & Lamb dinner is a custom they've had forever. Dinner starts at around 11 p.m. and finished, in our case, at 4 in the morning.
Their house is incredibly decorated, a miniature village cast upon the stone hearth of the fireplace, a bunch of alders caught in a corner with pictures of their triplet grandchildren hanging from it. A huge Christmas tree selected and cut by the husband and his daughters a few days before and decorated with all their school hand-crafts. Gifts stacked so high they could just about swallow the tree.
One of the guests, a judge out of Toronto with a passion for Michael Collins that we sunk our teeth into for an hour or so, was celebrating his birthday Christmas Day so a little cake was presented to him on the cusp of midnight and we all sang "Happy Birthday" as one of the girls played her guitar.
I wanted to pinch myself a few times, the conversation and the talk of the old times was so perfectly marvellous. Most people there had traced their roots way, way back for centuries and could knit together all the delicate webs of family connections of their founding Irish forefathers and foremothers and the years of their arrival in Newfoundland from Ireland and on down through the years to present day.
The pile of us squeezed around that large dining room table and the laughter and the talk never ever stopped. I felt so privileged to be included amongst all these family members and old friends. When I mentioned this at one point, I felt tears spring to my eyes when the host said:
"We'll have none of that now. Ah, sure you're one of us!"
Yes I am.