Thursday, December 20, 2007
Moving Day!!!
Hello, and Merry Christmas everybody.

Three very strong and helpful guys showed up about an hour ago to help move me, and they're already on their way to my little house, with a load of precious treasures. But Barb at A Chelsea Morning, and Bev, at Scratchin The Surface, You'll be glad to know I'm tossing out lots of stuff including those dasterdly little plastic containers.

As soon as I can, I'll be back with more insteresting posts about what it's like to live in a real house again.

Love to all of you kindred bloggers. Have a wonderful Christmas!

  posted at 12:41 PM  

Sunday, December 16, 2007
On the tenth day of Christmas....
With only ten days to Christmas, perhaps much like many of you, I am in a dilemma. Can't decide if getting ready for remembering Jesus' birth, or moving into the house, is tying my hands. Signs of both abound in this little apartment, and I'd better unscramble it soon. So this ninety nine percent right brain creature who shuns organization as much as possible, must call upon the creative part of me to deal with it.

If the Lord's willing, on my day off tomorrow I will decide on gifts for family here, and hope that my promise of something better for those farther away lets them know I care.

Then the getting ready to move will begin. All the clothes I own will be heaped on a bed, and nothing that doesn't fit will move into the house. Same thing with much of the kitchen. I won't thow away my seldom used food processer, or electric mixer, just because I haven't taken them off the shelf all year.

But those Great Depression little plastic containers I am going to use "someday" may end up on a landfill. I am not moving them into my freshly repainted and repaired little house. Some thrift stores in the area will be so happy to get my donations, and the recycling of them can begin all over again.

I so wanted to celebrate this Christmas with a beautiful tree, and the smell of pumpkin pies rising from the kitchen, and the ones I so love coming through the garland streamed door, but I may have to settle for their simply being there moving me for what I hope will be the last time. Daughters Barb and Bev are so right. The very best gifts don't come in ribboned boxes.

But on second thought, perhaps I should sort through those nice little plastic containers one more time.

  posted at 12:37 PM  

Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Christmas Again.
I am feeling that I've neglected all you caring blogging friends. Here it is, almost Christmas, when we especially connect with those we care about, and I'm not much in touch.

Lately I've let other things dominate my time almost completely, and they shadow my feeling Christmasy. Night before last I wasn't thinking of Christmas gifts, or decorating, or anything except getting home safely. A few miles from work I really concentrated on the road, as the snowfall grew heavier. Though I was scared I stayed calm, and most of the way home had an extensive conversation with my Lord.

I reminded myself out loud of other winter storms I've driven in. There's nothing like remembered successes to boost one's fading confidence.

I'm sure I repeated myself, as I thanked God for taking care of me as I drove, and the next morning did some of the taking care of myself, by driving to Discount Tire and having winter tires with studs put on the car. The trip home from the tire place, even on snow packed roads, seemed easier than getting home from work had.

But other things hover, at least in my head, and cause concern as the days til Christmas seem to go faster. I need to shop and wrap presents, and get them in the mail, but I come home from work wrung out, and can't get into the right pace or gear, or at least send cards, and start packing to move to the house.

It's not that everything is bad. I feel like what I need to do takes more zeal and energy than I have. But I know me, and I know the Lord knows me even more. One day soon I will wake that morning, and turn this place into a packing warehouse, and hurry to the nearest post office, and mail Christmas gifts. By then the new carpet should be installed, and the move can begin. So far there's only been one glitch about it, with this last snow storm delaying getting the carpet in.

It's o.k. if everything I'd like to do about Christmas doesn't get done. It's o.k. if we have a family gathering after December 25. The turkey or ham or whatever we share will be just as good then. I should stop this mental craziness of carrying all these self imposed expectations around and around in my head, and take time to see this year's Christmas lights. It would be easy to set out the Nativity scene, and hang a wreath on the door of the house, and remember again why we're having a Christmas.

  posted at 1:16 AM  

Thursday, December 06, 2007
Christmas Gifts
I've wanted to share some Christmas memories with you, but have let things like working too much, and renovating a house, almost drain even the semblance of storytelling from me.

Still, I'd really like sharing how it used to be, before it became such a commercial thing, engulfed in social bickering about whether Christmas is Christmas, and can Christmas trees be called Christmas trees, and is it no longer alright to say "Merry Christmas". I'm so glad that kind of dickering didn't exist when I was a little kid enthralled with the holiday.

I admit that long ago some confusion about it did exist. Nobody got up one morning, and announced that the holiday was nearing. But the expectancy of it quietly approached from places like Grandmother's oven, when she pulled big pans of gingerbread she'd made for us from it.

McMaster's dry goods store, and Morgan & Lindsey's five and dime seemed to spill over with toys and games that suddenly looked like things Santa Clause might bring.

Much like the Pied Piper of Hamelin misled children, every time I walked by the grocery store and its big barrel out front just brimming with new crop apples, I was so tempted to take one, but I only inhaled their sweet fragrance that lingered in the air.

When my grade school teacher herded all of the class to the auditorium, a tree so tall it scraped at the ceiling, almost complained of all the decorations we'd placed on it. When I saw that big tree again each year, the idea of Christmas nearing seemed more real to me. My class made the red and green paper chains that encircled it, and some kindhearted teacher would hand me, all wrapped in paper I loved to hear krinkling, one of those apples I'd coveted from the store. Sometimes the fun sounding paper also contained small candies, and pecans or walnuts. It's not that we needed to be subjected to a hard candy Christmas, but it may be that because it was so scarce, that small gift meant more to us.

Most people would cut their Christmas trees from nearby forests. Imitation ones weren't yet invented, and it would be a while after that before we had electric tree lights. Foil icicles became a popular decoration. A connection to their childhood memories even now, some of my children still slather their trees with them.

People, at least it seemed to me, didn't dress up much for holidays then. I was about thirteen. One outfit I still see so clearly was a full length evening gown, a beautiful plaid gathered at the waist, and its velvety black top made me feel like one of those movie stars. Some good friend of a family I lived with gave it to me. I wore it to a dance my childhood boyfriend, Arlie Reynolds took me to. He also dressed up, so we made a splendid couple that evening.

Over time, of course, more memories were made, not with Arlie, but the first little tree for my husband and me. Many years we settled for a scroungy old limp looking pine. The first time I saw a fir, I thought how grand it would be to have it, but they cost much more.

Years later my children would repeat back to me the importance of having a tree in the house. One year when I was living alone, I didn't much care if I had one, or not, but daughter, Bev, obviously did. She showed up with a box of decorations, and took me tree shopping.

One of Bev's brothers, who never does much of anything on a small scale, called me at work near Christmas time, explaining he needed to use my sewing machine, and could he get my apartment key so he could do that. I thought it strange that sewing was that important to him, especially at Christmas. When I got home and he opened the door, a small crowd of people were in my living room, finishing decorating a tree that almost reached the ceiling. He had persuaded friends to help him. I don't know what the high points of your lives are, but being surprised with unexpected Chrismas trees, almost completely decorated, surely stands out for me.

Perhaps some of you remember skimpy Christmases, and maybe having them helps us appreciate better ones. A holiday season was nearing too quickly, and we were really bad off. But how do you let six children have nothing to look forward to on Christmas morning.

I asked a favorite uncle to pawn my wedding rings, but he wouldn't, explaining that pawn shops wouldn't give much for them. A day or so later he called, to tell me he was lending me twenty dollars. That was probably the least fun filled Christmas my children ever had. How I stretched that small amount was more than pitiful. I think all my daughter Barb got that year was an Elvis Presley record.

But times were not always that sparsely stretched. The first one we celebrated after moving to Colorado began with snow falling on Christmas Eve. I gathered the children and we walked to a nearby store to get our Christmas dinner groceries. The children may have thought I was a little daffy, dragging them out from a warm house, and singing a holiday tune so off key, while we crunched falling snow all the way there and back. Only a few presents were under the tree, but that Christmas became my favorite, and I think it always will be. We were in Colorado, and it was snowing on Christmas Eve, and that's all we needed.

  posted at 12:35 AM  

About Me
Name: Judith

Location: Colorado

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