Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tom and I returned home Monday night from a trip to Coral Gables, Florida for my Aunt Nancy’s funeral. We both read at the service, my brother did the prayers of the people, and my father did the final blessing. My aunt’s favorite hymns were Christmas ones, so we sang many of those. (The priest commented that typically during Advent in the Episcopal Church we don’t sing Christmas hymns until Christmas Eve, but an exception was made for my aunt’s funeral.)

My reading was from Ecclesiastes and is one of my favorites. Perhaps it is one of yours also.
For everything there is a season, and a time for very purpose under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

Although it was a sad occasion, it was good to have a reunion with my two cousins, my sister and brother, and my father. We live in five different states so it’s not easy to get everyone together.

My sister, brother, and I have such fond memories of visiting our grandparents in Miami Beach, and visiting our aunt, uncle, and cousins in Coral Gables. Daddy’s family moved to Miami Beach in 1927 when Daddy was 6 years old and Nancy was 5. Several years ago, I asked Daddy what brought them to Miami Beach from Baltimore, Maryland. (Remember travel certainly wasn’t as “easy” as it is now.) Daddy told me it was the hurricane of 1926. Of course, this puzzled me so I inquired more. Daddy then told me that his father’s brother was already living in Miami at the time, and because of the terrible hurricane he and his wife and young son lost all that they had. My grandfather went down to help out, and when he returned to Baltimore he proclaimed Miami Beach the prettiest place he had ever seen. The family packed up and moved to Miami Beach. Can you even imagine what Miami Beach looked liked in the 1920’s? The only relative we still have there is my father’s cousin, Paul.

The problems with my newsletter subscription list have been resolved, and I was able to send out information about the latest newsletter right before leaving for Florida.

I’m still playing catch up, so I thought that I’d just leave with you with something to keep yourself entertained: Thanks to the Kansas City Art Institute, you can create your own Christmas design. Click here to get started. It’s a lot of fun!


Babs said...

Dear Ellen, so sorry about your aunt, but the service must have been beautiful with the Christmas songs and the readings. That is one of my favorite passages and have actually stitched it more than once for different people.
Loved the hurricane story from the 20's..I grew up on the gulf coast so understand about that.
thanks for sharing,
babs in alabama

Margaret said...

Sounds like the service for your aunt was beautiful. I love that passage you quoted. The story of how your family settled in Miami Beach was very interesting. I love to hear stories like that.