December dawned this week with a wild stretch of parties ahead, starting with our agency's annual Christmas Gala last night.
I had been looking forward to it for months. Back in September I asked my friend Dave if he and Joe might be back in the country in time to be our guests, and to my joy, they said yes! They got back from a trip to England last weekend.
I began anticipating with excitement. Meals--two vegetarian, were ordered. Dress--Dave wondered would he feel out of place if not dressed up to the nines in a suit. Nope, I assured him, it is a dressy event, but people come as they feel comfortable.
Susan's husband Ron loves to dress up in a distinguished looking bow tie. She claims chagrin at this but Ron maintains his steadfast attachment to the bow tie. In honour of Dave dressing down last night however, he wore a plaid shirt to the gala--no bow tie in sight.
As the event was about to begin, Dave and Joe still hadn't arrived so I called them on their cell. They were on their way, but they were just about to get off highway 427 and onto the 401. It had taken them 2 hours to get that far in rush hour traffic. Dave said, "We never go out at night and this is why!"
We maintained cell phone contact and I met Dave and Joe at the door of the Delta Hotel. As Joe got out and went to the trunk to unload Dave's wheelchair, I noticed that beneath his chin he wore a quietly flamboyant; pale yellow; bow tie!
Dave matched me, we both wore black. As we headed towards the hall packed with 300 or more guests, I laughingly told Joe how Ron had abandoned his bow tie in solidarity with the idea of dressing down. Joe's eyes twinkled as he undid the knot on his own bow tie and shoved it in his pocket.
Laughter and lively conversation rippled around our table and an evening of celebration and friendship was underway. A most delicious meal arrived and there was a silent auction, to which Joe was dispatched at regular intervals in order to put in bids. Although he didn't get the item he was bidding on, the fun was all in the bidding!
And then...the singer and musician Justin Hines, from Newmarket, just 20 minutes down the highway from us--blew us away with his gift of music and grace as a human being. How amazing it was to hear him in person What a great start to December and what a way to celebrate today--International Day of Persons with Disabilities!
Here are two songs I love by Justin Hines.