Bonus Track: “St. Stephen’s Day Murders”

Hello, everyone. December 26 is the Feast of St. Stephen. You’ve heard it referenced in the traditional carol, “Good King Wenceslas.”

This song was a great favorite of my late friend, Ruth. She used to hold a St. Stephen’s Day open house on the Saturday after Christmas, whether or not it was really St. Stephen’s Day. She would always play The Chieftains’ “Bells of Dublin” album in the background, and this song featured heavily in the rotation. I have written about this before.

Please enjoy this version of “St. Stephen’s Day Murders” by Thea Gilmore.

Some Thoughts on Christmas Eve

Xmas-Dickens-RedHearts-768x605I don’t usually wax philosophical in my blog posts. (Maybe I do, and just haven’t noticed … but I don’t think so.) Still, I’ve just been sitting here musing about what this year has been for all of us. It’s been hard to keep Christmas in my heart, friends.

Worldwide, we’re still fighting this pandemic. I remain astonished that there are people who still believe it’s a hoax. My state is down to three percent ICU capacity right now. I’m staying home 99 percent of the time, sending others out to do errands whenever possible. When I do go out, I wear a mask. Always. It’s the least I can do to try to protect others.

I am blessed to have a job that allows me to work remotely, so we haven’t had the financial issues that many others have faced. We are down to one automobile; since my husband has to be on-site at his job (he is the one essential employee in the building), he takes it. This, obviously, helps keep me from being tempted to just go for a drive somewhere. However, it also makes me feel just a little bit trapped at times.

You would think that all of this time at home would allow my imagination to run wild, and that I’d be nearly finished with Draft Zero of Pompeii Fire. Nope. Like many creatives, I have truly struggled this year. I’m only about a third of the way done with the tale.

The worst thing is that a dear, dear friend of mine passed away in hospital due to a lengthy, non-COVID illness. Jim was both kind and good (these things are not the same). He leaves behind a widow and a passel of catastrophically high medical bills. If you can help a little, there is a GoFundMe. We are trying to get together six months of living expenses for Kelly so that she can pick up the pieces. I know it’s a lot to ask of people who never knew my friends, but truly? If you have it in your heart and your pocketbook, it would mean a lot.

In other words, I am trying not to feel overwhelmed by depression during this bleak midwinter. This has truly been, as the ancients would have said, an annus horribilis.

I am hanging on to hope where I can. You do the same.