It is the small simple things of life that bring us peace.

Friday, December 31, 2010

A final small thing for 2010

I had another winter day surprise today.  I had planted this geranium last spring, and it really hadn't done much during the summer.  I had almost forgotten about it.  And during the winter I just don't pay that much attention to the plants.  As I came home today I just happened to glance over and was so surprised.  The late afternoon sun was just right on the blooms and their cheerful red color just popped out.  What a wonderful welcome home!

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Things I Like About Winter

Now that we are officially in the season of winter here are the things I like about winter:
  • The smell of wood burning in fireplaces
  • Fires in fireplaces
  • Big bowls of homemade soup (or chili and mashed potatoes) served with a pan of hot cornbread and lots of butter
  • Sweaters
  • Coming home and putting on a pair of sweat pants, so comfy!
  • Long winter nights to read or sew
Notice that cold weather is not on the list! 

Saturday, December 25, 2010

And to all, a Merry Christmas!

Christmas 2010 has come and is almost over!  Now all is calm and all is quiet in my house but memories were created today and they will last forever.

For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  Luke 2:11 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Holiday Travel

This year none of the family will be traveling, well only to my house and to other in town relatives so that doesn't count as traveling.  I've told Jaydon several times that I'm glad he is with us this year and didn't have to get on a plane and leave just as Christmas was getting going.  We are all here and I'm glad.

But the past few days I've been thinking about how many years I was traveling at Christmas and that has caused me to reflect on all the different Christmases of my life.  I have fond memories of the years that we traveled to see my grandparents, the car loaded with presents and eager children.  I remember one year when the weather was bad and my parents had decided not to try to travel.  But on Christmas Eve Day the weather started to clear.  My dad checked with the weather service and he splurged on a long distance phone call to my grandmother...the roads were clear over there.  So we quickly loaded the car and headed east to arrive late that night.  I was very concerned that we would get there as Santa arrived and he would leave without leaving my gifts.  I was reassured that Santa was still way up north at that time. 

I remember other shorter trips as an adult.  After attending Christmas Eve services we would travel to my in-laws.  Again the car was loaded with presents and two eager children.  I enjoyed those rides as there was truly peace (for once) in our car and as we drove into the night it seemed that peace had descended over all the world.

The last two years I've headed to Mississippi on the day after Christmas.  My sister and I were working to clear out my parents house.  Not a pleasant task, but we had some good laughs while traveling and enjoyed our time together.  Now this year it seems strange not to head to Mississippi, but maybe next year I'll find a reason to travel around Christmas.  I love to travel through towns, especially small ones, and see the decorations and feel the joy of the season in that community.  Christmas is such a special time, there is no other season like it.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Doggie Report Card

Grades are in (for all three dogs):

A+    Digging holes (many holes in different locations, earned extra credit)
A+    Crawling under fence (through small hole, earned extra credit)
A+    Meeting new neighbors (on several occassions, earned extra credit)
A-     Spending day confined in kitchen (one puddle in floor, lost points)
A+    Unwrapping nicely wrapped presents while "mama" was outside for a few minutes (wagging tails when discovered, earned extra credit)
D       Obeying simple commands ("come" is not recognized and "sit" is only attempted when a treat is being offered)
A+     Eating ornaments from tree (ate one that was 30 years old, earned extra credit)
A+     Sleeping in "mama's" lap, snuggling on the sofa
A+     Removal of grass from back yard

Recommendation for next semester:  Intensive training in obeying commands and listening to instructions while still at the formative stage.  Will need to have a retaining wall built along the side fence as the art of escaping has been perfected and is not needed anymore.  No action is needed as far as Christmas presents and ornaments are concerned as they will soon be put away.  Should continue to wag tails and snuggle as much as they want.  Overall they have been successful in being little loveable rascals.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Time, please slow down

I can't believe that Christmas Day is less than a week away.  Where has the season gone?  As I was unloading the dishwasher I put away one of the Pfaltzgraff Christmas mugs that I dearly love.  And I thought, "No, no I'm not ready to put these away.  I just got them out it seems. No, no no".   I just don't want all this to end.  And I feel this way every year.

Yes, I've been to a performance of Handel's Messiah, my Christmas cards are all sent out, shopping is done and some cookies have been baked.  I've sung in several concerts at church, been to parties, and wrapped gifts.  But time is moving on.  So I'm just going to have to enjoy these next few days as much as I can.  And I think I will delay putting away anything until Epiphany.

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Doggie Adventure

Don't let this picture fool you...Listen dear readers and you shall hear of the Friday adventure of these three dears.  Early in the morning their "mama" left them, snuggling down in their dog house for a long morning nap.  She told them good bye and to be good doggies until she returned.  But quickly thereafter the lure of the world caused them to be drawn to a spot on the fence where they worked diligently to open a hole.  Then one by one they wiggled through, free at last without a care in the world.  Running, sniffing the ground, playing in one yard after another.  Oh what a joyous day.  From street to street they ran, dodging the cars one by one.  The day quickly passed, experiencing freedom like never before they never separated but ran together on and on.  Late in the afternoon as the darkness began to fall they were befriended by a dear young lady.  She watched them play and run as cars whizzed by, so she resolved to pick these little dears up and find their home.  A call she did make to the number on the tag, the dear vets office it was.  Oh, they know these three well, and quickly they called "mama" with news that Blossom, Sawyer and Baylee had been found.  But wait, "mama" was on her way home, not knowing that Blossom, Sawyer and Baylee had been lost.  Oh how quickly "mama" rushed home, but no not home.  Several streets over she went to meet the dear lady and her two young friends who were holding the little dears.   Many grateful thanks to the rescuers and home they did go.  All the way home their "mama" was telling them how naughty they were, but all they heard was "mama loves you, you little rascals".   Soon after their homecoming a quick meal they did eat and then snuggled down in their "mama's" lap.  While they did nap "mama" completed their microchip registration and ordered additional name tags with each darling's name and "mama's" phone number with hopes that she will never have to have a phone call that her little darlings had been found.  The End

Friday, December 10, 2010


Years and years ago, when I was a young wife and mother, our Pastor's wife taught our Sunday School class.  I remember one Sunday during Advent she went around the room and asked what traditions our families had for Christmas.  I struggled to think of anything so when my turn came the only thing I could think of was that our family usually ate tamales on Christmas Eve!  But this really shook me up because I just couldn't think of any traditions.  I mentally relived every Christmas of my life but there just wasn't anything.

Now I am older and I know that there are many things that I do each Christmas season that could be considered a tradition.  For example, I switch out my glasses and dishes to the Christmas set that I love.  And there are things that I do every few years, too, that could be considered a tradition.  For example, going downtown and riding a river barge.  And now I think of my grandchildren and am reminded that I am creating memories for them.

So tonight I had this dreamy idea that Jaydon and I would go ride around and look at Christmas lights.  We've done this before, it is a Christmas tradition.  I imagined that we would drive around and ooooh and aaaah for an hour and then stop for hot chocolate or ice cream.  What a wonderful memory to create, right?  Wrong.  We had been driving around for about 15 minutes and had seen some awesome light displays.  But then the little voice from the back seat asked, "can we go now?"  And that was the end of the fun for him.   Oh well, we did come home and make red hot cider!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Pearl Harbor Day

Tomorrow is the 69th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.  You may think it strange that someone my age would bother to do a post on this subject.  But this event was made very real to me as a teenager.  You see, I had the hardest teacher for American history.  He had served in World War II and in Korea as a chaplain.  He was a tough teacher, but he was good.  And I know now that he saw right through me and knew my love of history in spite of the attitude I displayed.  But back to Pearl Harbor.

Among the many difficult assignments I had in this class was the one for Pearl Harbor.  We were to interview two people that were alive at the time of the attack, and were old enough at that time to remember the events of the day.  We were given a list of questions to ask.  Lucky for me both of my parents were alive at that time, my dad was 13 and my mother was 8.  The interviews proved to be an insight to me of a day in each of their lives on a Sunday in 1941.  My dad told of the disbelief of everyone that day, people just could not believe that something of that magnitude had happened.  My mother could still remember the expression on her father's face as the news came over the radio.  She remembered his face draining of all expression and his eyes growing wide.  We had been attacked!

But my history teacher also had another lesson for us.  He made certain that we knew how many lives were lost that day and the sacrifices that were made so that we could live free.  Thanks to that history teacher long ago I have never forgotten what happened on December 7, 1941. 

And on another note:  I have thought it very interesting that my mother slipped away on the night of December 7th two years ago.  She grew up during the Great Depression and World War II and the events of those years never left her.  She was frugal and resourceful, somewhat of an organized pack rat, and an early version of a true recycler!  She was a military wife, but even without that experience she was a true American who saw our country go through tough times and survive.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Picture of the week

I've had this little train for years and it always goes under my tree.  Jaydon has loved playing with it since he was a baby.  Tonight he took Cameron over to the tree and showed it to him.  Children playing under a Christmas tree....what a wonderful sight!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Now we come to Advent

Thanksgiving is over, we are in the season of Advent, Christmas is to come and then the New Year.  I dearly love this time of year and find myself trying to hold back the days, just wanting them to last.  But they don't and I know that the season will all too quickly pass.

Tonight at choir practice our music minister put this prayer on our choir notes page.  He did not attribute it to anyone, but I assume he wrote it, so with credit to Pastor Dave I offer this prayer:

Holy God, bring your unexpected light to us in this Advent season.  Calm our spirits as we madly rush from task to task, from place to place, from event to event.  Focus our minds and hearts on the blessed gift of your son that we celebrate this time of year.  Help us release the distractions and bend ourselves toward your light.  Amen