Lasting Memories

My husband loves Christmas. He can’t wait until the tree is up and the decorations out. He bought the tree while I was in the hospital but had it delivered after I came home. It is now up and decorated. (which he did) I am good but still some tired.

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I managed to get enough energy to do some of the other decorations and things look pretty nice. We have pared down some over the years and don’t over do.

If we strictly followed our church’s thought we would not put up decorations until Christmas Eve and keep them up for the 12 days of Christmas ending on Epiphany. When I was a child my father and I would walk into the woods and cut a tree on Christmas Eve. That was such an exciting time for me. Just spending time with my father doing something special was enough. I remember it with such fond memories.

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I hope we were able to give those kind of memories to our own children. These are things that can’t be duplicated. Expensive gifts are nothing compared to time spent with parents. It is so wonderful when we spend time with our own children playing, what I call, “remember when….the time the dog opened most of the presents under the tree during the night??” Those are the things that last.

Spend on memories not things. The memories last.

Thanksgiving

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Tomorrow is a day to give thanks for all the blessings of this life. I have many to be grateful for but the most important is my family. My husband, my three children, their spouses, my grandchildren and now two great grandchildren. They are well, either in school, college or gainfully employed. What more could anyone want?

Years of life bringing joys and challenges. Each a time to learn and grow. I am grateful and blessed.

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I hope that each of you who celebrate this day have a joyful and thankful day.

All Hallows Eve

I have occasionally taken photos of the wonderful mail box in my neighborhood that gets decorated for every holiday. This is the latest. I love the Manatee even when he “au natural” but it is really fun to see what is coming next. Hope everyone enjoys(ed) All Hallows Eve and a blessed All Saints Day!

 

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Treat yourself

At our knitting group today I really indulged myself and ate a piece of cheesecake. It was fabulous! I don’t do that often and for some reason felt like I deserved it.

There are times when we should please ourselves. It is too easy to get caught into not treating ourselves. Turn loose of any guilt. We are allowed to do something nice for ourselves. Find something that you enjoy and do it.

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Take a bubble bath

Have a glass of wine

Go to a movie

Spend time with a friend

Have something special to eat

I’m sure that you could add many things to the list. Take the time to treat yourself!

Joy and sorrow

This morning our church celebrated the life of St. Francis as our church is named for him. It was a joyful day much needed after the last few days. We ended the service by singing a fun song called “all God’s critters got a voice in the choir?”

The young father in my prayers died last night. I will offer what solace and help that I can.

We do have the joy with the sorrow. The two are inextricably connected. Without one we don’t truly experience the other. How can one understand joy if one has not felt the impact of deep sorrow.

This wonderful quote from Henri Nouwen sums it up beautifully

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Life is full of both and we must live it out.

New companion

My son and daughter-in-law just got a new puppy. They lost their other dog last year. Over the years Karen (DIL) has become more and more allergic to any animals and they knew any dog would have to be a hypoallergenic as possible. They have been looking for a Labradoodle that they could afford. The prices for these dogs who are certified least allergic is quite high so they have been waiting.

A few weeks ago Karen’s sister found out that a friend of hers who raises these dogs was having to have back surgery and was unable to keep the dogs she has now. They were able to get this puppy for a very reasonable price. They are so excited. My grandchildren are grown and gone from the house so they really wanted to dog to be part of the family.

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Today they brought him by to see us. He is an adorable puppy with a sweet disposition. He will be a wonderful addition to their home.

Dogs provide so much love and comfort to us humans. I love coming home to be greeted by wagging tails and happy dogs. Who else is that happy to see us?

You raise me up!

I have always loved this song. It is such a powerful message. I don’t know how you see the meaning…whether it is God you see or someone dear to you. Either way it speaks clearly of being affirmed and loved. I can see my God and my family/friends in it. I have been held up so many times in my life. In any crisis or when I don’t trust myself someone has been there to encourage and lift me up.

It must be so difficult to live without this kind of assurance. I know that I am blessed to have it. Some don’t have family they can count on or the sort of friends who stick through anything.

It has been said that to have this support from others we have to be there when they need support and I have found that to be true for me. Being there through thick and thin is what it is about for me.

I was also blessed to grow up in a family who had God as a core belief. They were not concerned about denomination or intricate doctrine. Just the underlying support of a loving God.

 

Today is what matters

It is so easy to forget that today…this moment….is all we have. The sky could fall on me right now and it would be all over. Yet, I can spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about tomorrow.

Those of us who are troubled with anxiety are so good at worrying about things which usually don’t happen. I tend to pick the worse case scenario and obsess about it. So silly.

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It is time to throw off the shackles of worry and enjoy each moment of life that is given to us. Tomorrow may never come and if it does then that when I’ll think about it.

Music, music, music

Music is very important to me. I took piano lessons for years and studied with a concert pianist. It was there I discovered that I didn’t want to be a concert pianist. I just wanted to play for enjoyment. I sang in choirs and for 10 years was a choir director. I think that music moves me more than anything else. I can sit in church or in the car or wherever and find tears rolling down my cheeks. Once, spending three weeks in the hospital, only the Brandenburg Concerto would comfort me. This has a wonderful explanation at the beginning.

I cannot stay still when the rhythms of music move me. I have to tap my toes or move my hands. I MUST do something! I don’t understand people who sit perfectly still. I know that their enjoyment may be equal to mine but they are STILL!

My father was the same way. He loved Dixieland Jazz and took me with to bars as a child to listen to the greats. No one said anything. I think they knew he wasn’t plying me with liquor but with music.

There is so much wonderful music in the world. I know I will not live long enough to absorb it all. I want to develop a playlist for when I am fading out of this world. I want to hear the music I love and take it with me.

Celebrate today

It is important to live your life. Every single day is important. It doesn’t matter if the day is bad or good. You are still alive. At some time in everyone’s life we realize that there are more days behind us than ahead. Sometimes this realization is hard to take but life is still out there.

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If I sit in my chair and sink into sadness or depression because I have acknowledged this fact then I miss today and the days that are ahead of me. What a waste that would be. Many people in my life are gone. To not live each day and wring every bit of joy out of it would be a disservice to them. They don’t have more days but I do.

Most of them lived full lives and showed me, by example, how to live with all the passion you can muster…..no matter the circumstances.

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Today is the day that I have in front of me. It may be good, it may not. That doesn’t matter. What matters is that I experience it…that I live it fully, consciously, and lovingly. That is the only thing to do. If I do that the rest of my days, however many, will have meaning.