It is Twelfth Night, signaling the end of the Christmas season.
Here on the Cutoff, it means the time has come for putting our Christmas back in its boxes and bags.
Right about now, we tend to remember our girls in their younger years and the gifts of the Magi; Jennifer for her pronunciation of “frankinsentence” and Katy for questioning when “the wise guys” are coming. It is always with a bit of a smile and a feeling of goodness that I remember those days as the ornaments are carefully wrapped for another year.
This year, there is a new ornament that I know will bring about fond memories in years to come. It’s origins started last summer, ending on our tree.
I should start from the beginning.
Once upon a time, the daughter of our good friends Pat and Rick became engaged. She and her fiance planned a wedding on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend in September. The reception was to be held at the Willowbrook Ballroom, a majestic place where big bands once played and our parents had tripped the light fantastic.
Rick, a trumpeter extraordinaire, decided to surprise his daughter with a medley of polkas, played with several friends from our church; all musicians who played most Sundays, including my Tom and his guitar.
The men practiced week after week until the day of the wedding arrived. We all sat together, the polka band and their wives, and we ate and laughed and talked – and we all kept the polka part secret until it was time for the band to play. These talented musicians quietly went to the stage, set up their instruments, and then Rick tapped on the microphone and made the announcement that a few songs would be played for the newlyweds.
What a fun time it was as the music played, the men sang, and dancers took to the old wooden floor. Smiles lit up the room, guests of all ages danced around the ballroom, and then the “pierogi” song was played. Do you know it? I didn’t it, but, I soon caught on. It was a fun sort call and response that went something like the band singing “do you want a pierogi” followed by everyone else saying ” yes, I want a pierogi”. It was such fun, they were encouraged to play it a few more times.
Don’t you just love those times in life that are so much fun and lively?
Come December, Rick gathered the group together right after church and handed each of the boys in the band a small box, thanking them for making the wedding so memorable. In the box, tied with a red ribbon and Polish Christmas greeting was something new to hang on the tree.
Do you want a pierogi?