Winter’s Solstice

This past Wednesday night we just decided spontaneously to have a “Leap the fire” Party. You say “what the heck is that?” So, I guess I need to delve into the history of our family. All the branches of our family, whether scotch-Irish, German, Spanish, Native American or in my case Martian, I guess, have traditions relating to the changes of the season produced by the behavior of mother Earth’s relationship to the sun and Moon (and possibly other Celestial bodies). When our kids were growing up we begin celebrating the equinox and solstice with bonfire parties, like the old Gaelic, Teutonic, Native American, etc. We did fix traditional foods and even sometimes dressed up (kilts, etc.). We had traditional libations (wassail, eggnog, coors, black Jack) and sometimes some of us played musical instruments, guitars, fiddles, even bagpipes (musical instrument?) Anyway, and on occasion we did get to singing and even a little dancing and acting silly. Someone even referred to the summer solstice as “the festival of the Bandicoot, when the constellation of Chingas the Duck rises in the west!” OK, that’s enough Dave, sit down and be quiet!

So, on December 21, 2016, we gathered the family, piled up oak limbs and cedar boughs in the front yard,let our grandkids light the fire. And stood around as the sun went down. We ate soup and sourdough biscuits and “Creasy greens”, and sang Christmas songs, ( at least the verses we could remember) and howled with the coyotes who tuned up down the pasture. Goodbye to Fall, hello to Winter. At least the good news is that from this date on, the days get longer. Maybe I’ll be able to stay up past seven o’clock!

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