Sunday, 27 November 2011
A Free Coke
Today I put up Christmas decorations, ironed the red curtains and hung them in the kitchen window, and placed the miniature stable and Baby Jesus in a place of importance. At two o'clock I cycled away to church to practice for worship--I had been informed only an hour or so beforehand that I was to sing--and Elsa, fighting a cold, and I, fighting a general lack of singing experience, had time to practice for twenty minutes, which resulted in a worship service where I'm quite sure I forgot to turn on the microphone for the first three songs. But no great loss. We are still a small church, and today was the first Advent, meaning that all the non-Christians go to church for a formal event, and all regular church-goers stay at home, thinking they've earned a rest from all the going.
Gustaf preached about the First Coming of Christ, as is necessary during Advent, and recommended a short time of prayer at the end. After all was said and done and prayed, the last microphones packed up, the drum and soundboard and box of cords put away, Hans and Lena drove everything to the apartment, and we unloaded it in pappa's room. I doubt he'll be very happy when he returns to find the entrance blocked, but I have a few days to come up with an excuse exactly why there is keyboard sprawled recklessly across his floor .
Arriving home I realized I had left my phone behind and had to cycle back in the cold and the dark and unlock the door and pocket my phone and cycle back. It's a good thing the church is nearby. After all this unnecessary amount of dipping and dashing, my uncle invited me to his house to celebrate cousin William's fourteenth birthday; we drove to Pizzeria Alladdin, where the man behind the counter handed my uncle the pizzas with an order: "That girl," he meant me, "Give her this Coke."
And so I was given a free Coke, from a stranger who had not spoken two words to me.
My uncle and aunt's house is decorated with candles and festooned with red ribbons, white curtains, and silver balls. I took a turn about the place and admired everything. After dinner, the teenagers retired to some dark corner of the house (as teenagers are wont to do), while cousin Amelia and I made origami Christmas trees and cut out paper snowflakes in the conservatory.