21 December 2013

Happy Solstice (2013)

Best wishes of the Winter Season! (or as the Astronomy Boffins refer to it, Winter Solstice)  

Lake Michigan, north of Milwaukee's port. December 2013

"Worldwide, interpretation of the event has varied from culture to culture, but many cultures have held a recognition of rebirth, involving holidays, festivals, gatherings, rituals or other celebrations around that time." [from Wikipedia article]

At our home, Beloved Spousal Unit and I celebrate on a smallish scale. 

Last weekend several of us got together to share a hobbitish meal. We imagined it as a second breakfast but it was more than that. And for a few, it was fortification for a subsequent viewing of the 2nd Hobbit movie.*  One of our merry group even brought lembas, wrapped in mallorn leaves (in this case, art paper mallorn leaves!).

This year, we expect a Solstice Storm! A White Christmas.  

 Alert from The Weather Channel

My good friends and creative colleagues, Architect and Hoja, participate annually in the Madison, WI Winter Solstice Celebration held along their lakefront. Each year the event ends with a grand bonfire, singing, and dancing. (Here's the 2010 video Architect did.)

And there will be such food at our family gathering! This year I have volunteered to make the Himmelfutter, the German dessert that my Grandmother Mildred made for us at this time for so many years. Translated as "heaven's food" or "heavenly food", himmelfutter is a dense, spiced trifle-like conglomeration with as many recipes as there are families. 

Many good wishes to you, your friends, and your families. May the incoming year be filled with fun, kindness, interesting books and music, and good and loving friendships.


* I hope the many homemade foods and good cheer restore the movie-goers' morale. Of the group, only the two 11 yr old boys liked it - and then for the battle scenes! It was a good many years before I viewed Mr. Jackson's Lord of the Rings movies. Having read LOTR for the first time at age 12 I proceeded to read it through about 20 more times! 

Later on in college - at Marquette University where a large body of Tolkien's materials are housed - I worked for the Special Collections division of the library. Because I knew the books so well, I was assigned the job of processing the LOTR manuscript papers (first time they'd been worked on beyond being put in file folders when they arrived in 1955) and creating the initial index for the collection's finding aid.

As I am still recovering from PJ's altered characterizations of LOTR I have not seen either of the two Hobbit movies.
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