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Silent Night

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

I have a new friend named Caroline who loves all the same things that I do. Things abandoned and crumbling as well as things alive, blooming, growing, thriving.  This is Caroline. She is a professional floral designer, among many other talents.

photo of Caroline in action by Sally Burton

So it was only natural that I take this lovely friend around to two of my favorite spots

 to find wood and odd iron

 and an old forsythia putting out flowers brave and unexplained in December

some most excellent coy-wolf poop, full of deer hair and PERSIMMON SEEDS and even some bluish persimmon pedicels.

This was almost the piece de resistence but it would get better. I know. Better than fruityhairy coy-wolf poop? But how??

We made a pilgrimage to the Waxler Church to see its quiet interior.

                                                         photo by Caroline Waller

It being close to Christmas, and we being fresh from a wassail party where I discovered that the girl could sho nuff sing, we punched RECORD on my iPhone and executed a carol as a little hymn to the silence. We didn't practice first. We are both mezzo sopranos and perfectionists (one of the things that binds us together!) but we decided it would be what it would be, and we held hands and jumped off the cliff together. I took the harmony part. The phone was too close to me. C'est la vie.

While we were singing, Chet Baker trit-trotted around the church interior, listening, and then decided to scratch his Christmas-sweatered back on a bathmat. So if you hear snorfling and thumping that would be Chet, and me and Caroline trying not to laugh.

What a goofball. Merry Christmas! 


That was lovely. Silent Night makes me tear up a little every time - brings me right back to the Christmas Eve services of my youth, where the last thing we would do before wandering out into the night was turn off all the lights in our church and sing it by candlelight. Thank you for sharing!

I almost never turn up the sound on the computer. So glad I did. That is magnificent. Major goosebumps.

Such lovely voices! Chet Baker has such an irreverent sense of humor -- trying to make you laugh at a time like that! You go, Chet!

The Song is a lovely gift. I am sure all the spirits appreciated it as much as I did. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Beautiful! Thank you for the gift of song. Through your posts, I've become very fond of that location (have always loved country churches and cemeteries). Merry Christmas! Kim in PA

Posted by Anonymous December 24, 2014 at 5:27 AM

Lovely...but I must say, that photo of Chet, rolling around on his back in his little red sweater, well, that was perfection!


"Silent Night"--the closing carol of Christmas Eve service, every year--with, of course, all holding candles. And then we switched (at midnight) to "Joy to the World" and hold our still lit candles HIGH.

On a more pedestrian note, where does the ladder (in the last photo) go? I am overcome with curiosity.

Merry Christmas Friend!

When I was a child, (about a million years ago!) we sang a descant to silent night that I haven't heard since. I found myself singing it along with you, and a sweet tear or two accompanied. Thanks for these last two posts, and a very Merry Christmas to you!

Thank you for a lovely Christmas Eve gift from a Washington County follower. A great start to my day.

Wonderful. Listening with the heart, you may hear the rapt and silent appreciation of ghosts from Christmases past in your tender little church. Thank you and Merry Christmas.

Posted by Gail Spratley December 24, 2014 at 7:32 AM

Thank you, everyone. I'm glad I overcame my perfectionism and decided to share it anyway. You validate that choice. :)
Donna, the stairs go to the belfry, where the bell once hung. Now it hangs in a little Plexi case in front of the church. Likely because they were afraid and pretty sure that one fine windstormy day, it would break loose and fall into the sanctuary.

Brava Brava! Thank you for this beautiful post and the two lovely voices singing one of my favorite Christmas carols. Encore!
And Chet, you are the perfect photo- and voice-bomber! LOL! When you got an itch you got to scratch.

The acoustics in that old church are amazing. Hard to believe that you recorded that with a phone! Beautiful, just beautiful.

A pleasure to the ears! Thankyou!

A pleasure to the ears! Thankyou!

As if we were there.

What a wonderful Christmas gift! Such lovely voices raised in that wonderful old church. Thank you.

Your voices are beautiful! Thank you. Merry Christmas to all.

Posted by Anonymous December 24, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Sweet song sweetly sung.

Dear sweet Julie, such soulful harmonies swelling in this amazing space, both of your hearts, and now mine. Thank you for taking me there with you and your friends of this world and others.

Love this old church, and getting to see it through your eyes and your heart. Thank you for this Christmas offering! Beautiful------

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