Sunday, December 29, 2013
A melodious background of music accompanies chuckling, fine food delicacies, and sagas gone by. These are songs that are known since youth. We have accumulated our collections for this elevated holiday to honor this season. Songs of twirling snowflakes, prancing reindeer,custom gift requests from a frozen toyshop, hot roasting chestnuts,glowing toasty fires, and of course the beauty and hope of the gospel in the Christmas carols.
We're sitting at our oak hardwood table and it is extended as large as possible There're additional fold up chairs between place settings. My husband and I , my sister and her husband and ,two of their three children are with us. Plus my mom and brother are there as well. We are all anticipating the gourmet spread.
It's nearly perfect, except our well loved son ,from the opposite coast isn't here.
Each specialized course produces food comfort satisfaction. There is something significant about indulging in dishes that have been passed on for several generations. The pattern of creating these dishes each year makes one feel rooted and connected .
My Dad once created a biscuit like roll derived from my Scottish step-mother . He also used his southern roots and long lived cooking experience to troubleshoot his recipe. . Yeast is used instead of baking powder. When all those around the table would moan from delight, he'd proclaim, "oh they are a wee bit tight" (tough.) This remark would generate a fury of extra compliments . They were light and fluffy like a cloud . How delightful they were with multiple pleasant textured fruit preserves, pastel transparent jellies, and locally raised honey from their community.
A supplemental part of this feast was the huge array of confections , such as a crystal plate of tree bark colored fudge, with and without nuts. It seems to me that there was at least a dozen of enticing cookies, proudly displayed just like a bakery/ pastry display. I recollect inquiring to how long it took to make all these goodies. My step mom indicated that it was usually four to six weeks.
To me, there was so much more involved than the food... it was the love and effort , to make Christmas special that caused us to feel content and blessed.
My Daddy also had trays of deluxe nuts, various sausages , and gourmet cheese , and stacks of many sorts of crackers. All these snacks were things we rarely ate the rest of the year, so we perceived them as fancy treats.
It's one of those blessed times, that everyone is chattering to their neighbor and anyone else who will listen.
The conversation weaves around work, changes and current affairs, activities, computer chat.
Varied opinions get expressed. It used to be certain people would get a kick out of presenting opposing views. However, nowadays, they usually state their thoughts and it no longer becomes a speech and debate match.
There are tales of childhood, each sharing their own versions. Even grandma is sharing an
account of her mother putting prune juice in her dollies china tea set for her and the neighborhood pals. You should of heard her remorseful pitiful tone of voice , because her buddies all ran away.
My sister reminisces and dramatizes another classic. This one has been dormant many a year. It didn't actually occur at Christmas time... but everyone howled , just like it's original telling.
Our son was a golden haired , sky blue eyed toddler. He was learning to converse in simple sentences. My husband and I had a young couple over from church to get to get to know them and to share dinner.
First he checked out the tall, large husband, then he did studied his wife. He stared at her for awhile. I can still recall his cute chubby cheeked smile on his face.
He walked around the front of the woman ( who happened to be well endowed in her bosom), and pointed at her chest . MILK ? , she indicated, no,"I don't have any milk "( she giggled ) . " Apple juice,"he suggested ???
When I reflect back at the holidays when I was a child, there are just a few that really stand out. There was a period of time that our Mom became a single parent. Therefore, we didn't have the income to do a big production. As a kid, I recall being disappointed for not having more.
Later, I came to recognize that many of these experience enhanced my life to become more appreciative of people and things.
There was one gift that I will never forget as long as I live. I'm estimating that I must of been between 10 and 12 years old . My sister was five and half years younger than I. Excitedly, I ripped open the piece of red and green paper she had concealed my package. Inside was 6 packs of Instant Quaker Oatmeal. Even at this young age, I figured out that she picked these out, because it was my favorite favor. This meant she didn't eat breakfast and saved them for me.
That same year, we got fresh , soft flannel pajamas . Usually this was considered a reject present, because they were considered a necessity , but these were heavier spa quality. There were translucent a fancy hairbrush for each ( probably from a traveling door to door salesman), a bright fashionable dress from my sister-in-law, plus both of use received snow white (rabbit fur) play kittens. It's surprising we didn't wear down their fur from countless stroking. Not only that but we'd rub them up against our faces with glee.
I seems incomprehensible to children nowadays, but my sister and I loved to comb and put rollers in our moms hair. Her hair was the same color as black coal.For some reason we were gratified to part it down the middle. She would squeal , make exaggerated wild faces, and insist we were making her look like a water buffalo.
Another game we amused ourselves was, Hide the Dish and Spoon. It is pointedly light years away from playing on electric devices, but believe it or not, we were actually entertained for over an hour. Somehow we knew how to invent activities that didn't consist of the a box game or any form of media. We were forced to use our imaginations.
When we were raising our family, often our place of employment would have special work party. Sometimes it would involve a semi-formal or formal dinner at a hotel or pretty location. Frequently, the place of business would have a complementary dinner. There would be multiple courses and choices of entrée, salad, dessert and beverages. Some years we had dancing and entertainment. Most of these events were delightful and relaxing affairs. The cherry on top were door prizes.
The event we attended was $50.00 person, and by the time one gets tickets for a couple, pay childcare, and purchase professional attire... it gets costly. The last one I observed in , a lady was putting silverware in her purse. There was only a few of us that objected that day . I was horrified.
There are several things that I have observed in recent years. No matter how old we became , we perked up at the prospect of driving in our either rural places or cities to check out the lights this time of year. Some of us magically morph into wide eyed kids. Others tone down their reaction, but can be seen hanging out windows or leaping promptly from their vehicles. We still find these brilliant decorations, but there are fewer and fewer.
There are light shows at some local parks for a fee by carload. There is also a place I adore, called, “Christmas in the Park. “ It has trees adorned in handmade ornaments from various clubs. The exciting part is approximately sixty Christmas scenes. They go down hills, spin around, play music, fly, and so much more. There was a man who used to use this display at his mortuary and donated his exhibits to the city.
They were able to keep the serene simple nativity scene because they have something for everyone.
The last five years or so, they added food, Santa, pictures, and the like. Now this tradition is supported by a group and not the city.
I'll retell the situation that happened to my husband and I several weeks ago. We went into a hybrid store that contains regular groceries and health foods. The clerk was ringing up our purchases. Without giving it much thought... I blurted out, “ Merry Christmas”. He declared,” it's not even Christmas yet.” I justified myself by stating, “but it's the Christmas season.” He grumbled. I justified myself that I was trying to say something more personable and cheerful
than, Happy Household Holidays( which is a phrase invented by a relative) .He interjected that it didn't matter, because he is happy everyday anyhow.
My nurse friend claims that one can get fired from declaring, “ Merry Christmas”. That is hard to believe. I hope such a thing couldn't happen.
We have to right to conclude any opinion we wish toward an event we are commemorating. This includes historical individuals. Should we take into consideration their lives and contribution to society? We could either respect , admire, and recall their actions , or we have the ability to ignore them, debate their influence, and forget them. However, let's not make a conscious effort to hide the birth this festive holiday is actually about.
Saturday, October 20, 2012
Several weekends ago, I received an e-mail from my sister Pati . She had something to discuss and believe I'm one of the first people she told. Later, she decided to post what she wrote me on her facebook page, in order to encourage others.
In a few sentences , she was basically explaining the process that she went through in order to decide, if she was going to do her morning run or not. .This particular morning, it had rained part of the night, and was still doing so.
Recently, she had started running as an alternative exercise .
Prior to that, she had been walking, riding, her bike, and doing some activities at the health club she joined .
She didn't indicate all that went through her head, while making this decision , but she did express the idea, that she woke up early, and her daughter was still sleeping.
I'm guessing the natural thing to do , for a beginning jogger, would be to be to roll over, and allow that hypnotic music of the rain, to lull one back to sleep. But no, she gave herself a pep talk and convinced herself, to emerge from that luscious cocoon of being in bed ( on a chilly morning ).
In the rest of her correspondence , she rehearsed how grateful she was for having gone through with her plans. After all, it is ridiculously early and it's r-a-i-n-i-n-g Then she made it known, "This is not Me". I thought only crazies did this stuff, and I am one of them. Blah, blah. blah.
So, she is pleased with herself for following through, and even more glad , at how darn good she feels.
Now, hang with me. I got to tell you the background story.
Just barely over a year ago, she used to use a wheelchair when she would go somewhere that involved much walking. She borrowed a chair from a neighbor when she was going to an air show or large mall. Other times, she would bring a small fold up stool, for standing in lines.
She has problems with plantar fascias, knee problems, and was overweight.
She begun her journey , wearing 22-24 size clothing. Now she is fitting into 8-10's.
I can't even begin to explain the experience of watching my sister transform, right before my eyeballs.
I want to tell anyone who is reading this blog, it goes miles beyond, the weight issue!! !I will bring that part up in a minute.
Yes, I am thrilled she is going backwards... I mean she seems younger, and isn't aging prematurely.
It is truly awesome, that she can do most things again. Many of them , we take for granted.
She can play with her 8 year old daughter without being hindered , by her size. I bet my niece appreciates this fact, even more than I.
Awhile back when she went on a favorite family activity, camping .She went hiking with a bunch of them.
She also has two adult sons. One of them is married, and she had her first grandchild about 10 months ago. We all know, that is a "huge deal ".
I have something else to tell you guys.....
After I got her e-mail, I decided I wanted to run with her too. I had considered running, off and on, here and there. really, more off than ON.
I thought running might be a pain in the butt, too hard, I might get injured, I might not like it... whatever . Not only that, I couldn't put out the $ for shoes right now. I decided, if I was going to do so, I wanted a decent pair ( to avoid problems ).
After, I considered this brainy idea, I told God, in a half-hearted manner" would you please supply me with a nice pair of shoes."? Then I'm thinking, sheepishly, this is a desire, not a need. It is a weird thing to ask for... I don't even know what I was expecting...
for him to drop shoes off a cloud ???
A few moments later, I thought , FREECYCLE . I got a silly smirk on my face ( are you being desperate ) .If I was able to to find a pair already posted or put in an ad ) ,they probably would be worn out , or, at least half way.
I figured, oh well, I'll post a request. I asked for a pair that had some tread left. About an hour later ( and I don't usually check my mail that often, there was an reply.
I picked them up and tried them on. They fit like a glove. Not only that, but they were barely worn, because the original owner told me, they didn't fit them properly.
I looked up the brand and series on the internet, and saw them listed for $80.00-$115.00
Excuse me, I have to take a commercial break to do the happy dance.
The reason I wanted to run with my sis, is to celebrate!!!! for her, and with her.
She hadn't dieted for a very long time, and she hadn't exercised in decades, and if she can do it, so can most people.
I like, LOVE- seeing her have her life back.
A word picture, is a rosebud. Most flowers are pretty, unless they are wilted or dead. But his one was closed but a nice color.
But the sunshine ( her faith )
Pruning ( hardship and challenges)
rich soil (creating new patterns and habits )
fertilizer ( effort and persistence )
I watched the flower open up, in slow motion, little by little bit, and the fragrance is so lovely....
The last fun thing, I want to mention,It's great how she is sharing this adventure with others.
The End ( from ) livelygirl 2 Sue
my side of the story ( about ) 1GodismyRock1 Pati
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