JANUARY 2, 2020



So anyway. This past year the annual joint pageant between Pastor Nyquist's Lutheran congregation and Father Danyluk's flock from the Church of Our Lady of Incessant Complaint went off fairly well despite one of the donkeys deciding it was the star of the show and the whole program was about itself, which apparently has happened elsewhere northeast of here and is a hazard when working with live animals.

When the donkey refused to move from center stage on cue and despite earnest entreaties with carrots and at one point a pandybat, Eugene Gallipagus came in with a rope and tried to drag Imelda to the wings, only to get donkey kicked in the chest for his troubles. As Eugene lay groaning on the floorboards, Wootie Kanootie jumped up to scatter mule treats in a line to the exit, and so people were treated to quite a spectacle that included a Canadian topped with a fur hat retreating backwards before the Christchild and Mary and Joseph in distress as paramedics removed a man with broken ribs from up front.

The rest of the pageant went well and people said it was the most interesting show of this type they had ever seen, and very different from the usual seasonal treacle, so it turned out to be a kind of success.

As per custom, Pastor Nyquist and Father Danyluk adjourned to the Rectory to enjoy the fruits of the Catholic cellar and discuss matters of theology before the fire attended by Sister Profundity on New Year's Eve.

Much had happened this past year to concern both of the clergymen. It seemed that with all of the mass shootings, civil unrest, climate events, and wanton behavior by leaders that the Nation had lost its way spiritually and it was up to the rank and file clergy to set things right again.

The two spiritual men discussed these and other matters, including the fishing possibilities at Crab Cove and other places inland and dipped liberally into the brandy cellar of the rectory as the old year and the old decade revolved into the start of the new, when, surely, things would be better, indeed things must improve, as they had been so bad for so long.

Some time after midnight after the firecrackers and whizzbangs and ball droppings had passed, Sister Profundity came in to find both men snoring in their chairs and so she damped the fire and placed blankets over each of the men and so that was NYE for the Island as others whooped it up elsewhere with loud noise and streams of confetti.

Up in the San Geronimo Valley, no one would ever have known the New Year had come and gone for all was silent and dark and calm. At Marlene and Andre's Household, everyone retired well before 11:00 PM because people had to work all that day and they wanted the following day for sleep. It remained silent all through the San Geronimo Valley. No sirens rent the night and no one got shot and no one got stabbed. Happy New Year everyone.

The sound of the train horn keened from Oaktown across the estuary and wended its way through the redwoods of Marin's well-matriculated hills and slid over the sleeping bulk of Princess Tamalpais following the old, forgotten railbeds that once led along Sir Francis Drake Boulevard to the coast, stirring the coyotes who began to howl their evensong which carried forth on the winds over Fairfax and White's Hill, ululating through Silvan Acres and the mist-shrouded niches of the San Geronimo Valley, coursing with faint gray shapes along the ridge-tops through the drifts of fog to an unknown destination.