It’s Christmas Eve. It’s dark out, raining, pouring, and Oscar is snoring. Glad I rode over to Junaluska yesterday to bring Emmy’s ashes back home. It just feels right. I’m putting the chili on soon and making peanut butter pies, and it’s going to keep raining some more, then there’s going to be heavy rain after lunch. Late this afternoon and early evening, it may turn to snow for a little while. I’ll talk to the kids and the grandkids today. The little ones, and children everywhere, will be too excited to sleep much tonight. Then I’ll sit down with my so many memories and feelings, tears and smiles and that feeling of nostalgia you can’t put into words, some hot chocolate and a sappy Christmas movie. I’ve already eaten my favorites out of the Whitman sampler my neighbor sweetly gave me. And yet, I find some contentment in all of this, in this messy thing called life. I still enjoy Christmas Eve even now as an “older person,” its sense of anticipation. Despite the sad and difficult year it has been for so many people, the collective unexpected losses endured on so many levels, for me hope really does still abide, and so does love.