I got up to go running this morning. I waited out in our meeting spot for 15 minutes and my running buddy CJ didn’t show up. So I went back to bed. I chatted with him later in the day and it turned out he had way overslept. LOL It’s ok. It happens to the best of us. The extra sleep was nice, but then I didn’t want to get out of my nice warm comfy bed. So I finally get up and chat with Ryan while I got ready and I headed to the band hall – too late for breakfast. I got to the band hall and it was awfully quiet and hardly anyone around. Hmmm. . . . I find out that we have the day off, except for gigs of which I have none. Cool – an extra day off!! I did do some work in my office before taking my boxes from Mom & Dad and Rick back to my room. I dropped them off and headed to Battalion to bring some paperwork over there, and then it was home to clean. I emptied out my tuff box, rearranged and repacked it, packed 2 boxes of stuff to send to myself at Mom & Dad’s for leave, and remade my bed. I actually have a bed again – not just 3/4 of one. Now to try and keep it this way. . .
Then I crocheted on a baby blanket for a while and when I finished the skein of yarn I was working from, it was about time to head to the Palace for Candle Light Service rehearsal. I walked up there and the first run through, I got to "be" one of the Chaplains as he wasn’t there yet. Then he showed up and got to go back and be myself. I was one of the candle lighters. The rehearsal was nice and short – about 20 minutes and then we were done for a while. One of the other candle lighters had a vehicle and offered me a ride home so I took it. Once home, I was able to stitch for about 45 minutes before heading to chow. I met up with TD and we ate together and an Air Force Chaplain joined us. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I had my family’s traditional Christmas Eve dinner. Nothing on the main line looked good, so I had pizza. My family always has pizza on Christmas Eve!! It’s funny how things work out sometimes. Once we were done eating, TD and I headed to the Palace for the service. He’s a Chaplain’s Assistant and they were the ushers for the service. I got the candles for the 6 candle lighters and placed them on our chairs. I got some pictures taken in front of the big Christmas tree. I took lots of pictures for others.
And then the service started. Music was provided by the 10th Mountain Division Band Brass Quintet "Mountain Echoes". It was pretty much a service of lessons and carols. There were 5 readings and a responsive reading, with hymns after each. The Gospel Choir provided special music. The Chaplain that gave the message gave a really good one, and it made me cry a little bit, but not much. And then we ended with the candles and Silent Night. Us candle lighters received the light from the Chaplain, and we passed it to all in attendance. It was absolutely beautiful in the Rotunda of the Palace with the lights out and close to 500 candles and everyone singing Silent Night. I must have gotten my Silent Night tears out on Monday because I didn’t cry tonight. But wow!!! 500+ voices accompanied by a brass quintet. 500+ people away from their families, but at least for tonight we were one big family. 500+ Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, civilians, and members of coalition forces all joined as one in song. After the service was done, there was a sing-along for those who wanted to stay. There were probably 50 that gathered around the quintet and sang some more Christmas songs. It was an awesome evening. What a way to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!!
Once I got home, I got some more stitching in and chatting with Ryan and Rick and Dad and some other friends. Now I’m heading to bed.
Today’s High: 66