Let us put by some hour of every day for holy things...

Think on th' eternal home,
The Saviour left for you;
Think on the Lord most holy, come
To dwell with hearts untrue:
So shall ye tread untired His pastoral ways,
And in the darkness sing your carol of high praise.

--from Keble's The Christian Year, Thoughts in Verse

Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year, and a Movie Recommendation

Rod Taylor in the 1960 version of The Time Machine, the quintessential New Year's Eve movie.
A New Year's Prayer
Strong Son of God, on the threshold of the New Year we pray:
May nothing false pass our lips.
May our lives be real, our hearts pure, our spirit right.
May all that is unseemly be eliminated.
May our hearthstones be centers of wholesome influence.
May God be a partner in our business.
May our social life be elevating; 
our Church life as becometh Saints.
Grant this our prayer, O God the Sanctifier, in Jesus' name.
From God's Minute, prayer by G. Bickley Burns, D.D., Philadelphia, Penna., circa 1920
 Hello, and happy new year wishes to you all!
I've a pot of homemade vegetable soup simmering on the stove, and I'm keeping my eyes on the weather as reports of snow come sifting in from friends and relatives around the county. It seems like an ideal day for holing up with a good book, a fire, and perhaps later a good movie or two for entertainment.
My family has watched The Time Machine almost every New Year's Eve for probably 25 years. I've loved this movie since I first saw it as a young girl. Even with its now-antiquated special effects, it's quite a remarkable and haunting film. The music still gives me shivers! 
This is one of the few movies--the very few--where I can say I honestly prefer the film to the book (or, in this case, the short story by H. G. Wells). Two others that fall into that category for me are Disney's The Swiss Family Robinson (also from the 1960s) and My House in Umbria, with the inimitable British actress Maggie Smith in the lead role. (I've been a Maggie Smith fan for decades, long before Downton Abbey came along!)
Somehow this movie has gotten deep into my subconscious because I still dream about the scary sphinx monument occasionally. In my dreams, it's always in the cemetery across the road (I grew up living across from a graveyard when I was a little girl. It wasn't at all scary, but a happy place to play, except for the really old civil war graves at the far back of the cemetery. The ground was very spongy there and any misstep made me fear I was sinking right into some of those moldering old graves. Shudder.)
The scary old sphinx... I still dream about it.

In my dreams it's atop an eerie old building rather like a garage and inside, it's full of cluttered objects I remember from childhood--toys I remember having, and that sort of thing. (I'll let some psychologist have fun with that...!)
The Morlocks (or "doorlocks" as my children used to mistakenly call them) were terrifying when I was young (and if you have little children, you might want to watch this movie when they're not around). Even now, as a jaded movie-watcher with 5+ decades of experience, though I find myself noticing the zippers in the back of the Morlocks' costumes, they still have a creepiness to them that works in this film. 
Great movie! The setting is New Year's Eve, 1899, so it's perfect viewing for your own festivities tonight.  
Well, that snow is sifting down here now...  Time for coffee, chocolate, and my latest Ngaio Marsh mystery!
Oh, P.S.  Two of my shops, MyPalPeppy and MelmacParadise are open for business today and tomorrow. Then it's back to vacation mode  


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