December 2008


ONE OF THOSE “REMEMBER THAT CHRISTMAS?”

The boys and I just got home from Iceland.

Not the one close to Europe, but the icyland of northern Indiana.

When we drove the 8 hour trip on Saturday, it was 1 ½ days after the big ice storm that so badly damaged trees and left much of Ft. Wayne without power.  But it seemed as if it had just happened—the trees and grass were astonishing and eerie, and when we opened our car doors upon arrival, it sounded like a thousand tiny chimes of tinkling.


The next day was the Christmas celebration of the Harvey sisters (and their children), and the temperature never rose above -3 degrees.  The wind made the snow blow horizontally across the farm fields, and so the wind chill factor was very very bad.  But since the only time they have ever cancelled the celebration was when it was twenty-five below, 40 people came to my parents’ home for lunch, gifts, bingo, and a visit from Santa.  Many of them brought sleeping bags “just in case,” but at the end of the day all got home safely. 

The house was so full, and there was so much chatter and laughter, the windows fogged up and we were safe and snug inside.  Every once in a while, I would take a towel and clear a space for me to peek outside to see the wild wind and snow. 

If you would like to see the whole group of us trying to sing the last verse of The 12 Days of Christmas, go here.

On the way home today, our first “rest break” was at a very very large department store in Ft.Wayne.  Most of the residents have power restored now, but you could still feel the shell-shock.  As we waited in line to pay for our stocking-stuffer oranges and apples, the lights flickered, and the whole huge building of shoppers paused and gasped.  But nothing bad happened, and we got out of there as fast as we could!

ONE OF THOSE “REMEMBER THAT CHRISTMAS?”

The boys and I just got home from Iceland.

Not the one close to Europe, but the icyland of northern Indiana.

When we drove the 8 hour trip on Saturday, it was 1 ½ days after the big ice storm that so badly damaged trees and left much of Ft. Wayne without power.  But it seemed as if it had just happened-the trees and grass were astonishing and eerie, and when we opened our car doors upon arrival, it sounded like a thousand tiny chimes of tinkling.

The next day was the Christmas celebration of the Harvey sisters (and their children), and the temperature never rose above -3 degrees.  The wind made the snow blow horizontally across the farm fields, and so the wind chill factor was very very bad.  But since the only time they have ever cancelled the celebration was when it was twenty-five below, 40 people came to my parents’ home for lunch, gifts, bingo, and a visit from Santa.  Many of them brought sleeping bags “just in case,” but at the end of the day all got home safely.

The house was so full, and there was so much chatter and laughter, the windows fogged up and we were safe and snug inside.  Every once in a while, I would take a towel and clear a space for me to peek outside to see the wild wind and snow.

If you would like to see the whole group of us trying to sing the last verse of The 12 Days of Christmas, go here.

On the way home today, our first “rest break” was at a very very large department store in Ft.Wayne.  Most of the residents have power restored now, but you could still feel the shell-shock.  As we waited in line to pay for our stocking-stuffer oranges and apples, the lights flickered, and the whole huge building of shoppers paused and gasped.  But nothing bad happened, and we got out of there as fast as we could!

NOT SAYIN’

I had a short but interesting conversation with my dad today.  When I called, their answering machine started to pick up the call, but my dad quickly picked up the phone then, and we began to talk.  He was out in the farm shed and told me that Mom had called a few minutes ago to say she was headed home, and that she would bring lunch with her. 

The subject quickly turned to my dad’s concern:  what should he buy for my mother’s Christmas present?  He had no idea, and now it’s only a week until Christmas…. 

Knowing how easy it is to spend someone else’s money, I readily came up with a couple of great ideas!   (I will not be specific here, on the off chance that “someone” from my family will read this blog) 

We were happily into details, brand names, and plans when we heard this sound:  beeeeeeeeeep.  It was the answering machine, which had been recording our entire conversation!  And quite frankly, it could be quite possible that my mom had arrived home and had been gleefully sitting in the kitchen listening to every word we uttered! 

“DAD!”  I said, “That was the answering machine!  It recorded everything we said!”

ACK!” he replied.  “I gotta go to the house!”  Click.  And THAT was the end of that.

CHRISTMAS SECRETS 

AntiqueMommy has her blog up and running again (after having her website destroyed by hackers at Thanksgiving), for which I’m grateful!  She lists some random things about herself, and I thought someone might be dying to know some things about me (well, maybe not, but here you have it…).

I have 20 kinds of Christmas wrapping paper downstairs, because I like variety.  I have to keep an eye on my husband, who would prefer to wrap everything the same and get rid of some of those tubes. 

I keep them in an old wastebasket.

I have 2 presents under the tree for myself that I bought myself.  They’re not wrapped, but I’m not allowed to look at them, play with them, or read the instructions.

On Christmas morning, we eat quick things that we don’t usually have the rest of the year:  frozen pastries, bacon, and cheap frozen pizza.

The bottom half of our Christmas tree is not decorated this year; we have a teenage cat in the house.

I vividly remember many of the Christmas gifts my parents got us for Christmas, as it was a very exciting time for our family!  When I was three years old, I wanted a Thumbelina doll, and told my mother that I had prayed to God about it.  I did get that doll for that Christmas.  When I outgrew her, my baby brother took her over, and he used to fling her into his crib when it was bedtime and fling her out in the morning.  I have her still (although her head no longer turns with the crank), and she’s wearing a dress I wore as a baby. 

I remember the rapture of Santa coming to our town each year.  He arrived in the firetruck, and we lined up in an empty storefront to have a visit with him.  There were no fancy decorations, no photographer…just a folding chair grabbed on the spur of the moment as he passed through town.  He always gave each of us a bag of candy. 

Christmas, growing up, was always about Santa and gifts.  I am so very grateful that now, with my family, it is so much more than that. 

That being said…Although my boys are teens, I still carry-on making noise, shaking bells, and ho-ho-ho-ing after they go to bed, pretending to be Santa as I fill their stockings (boys, don’t read this paragraph!). 

From the time of our first Christmas together, my husband and I have gone to a nursing home/rest home sometime on the day of Christmas Eve, to give presents to a stranger (who is a stranger no longer) and/or to visit people we know who live there (which is the case as we grow older!).

I try to be creative with the annual Christmas letter.  Once it was a bookmark with statistics on it (Bars of soap I made this year:  107; Decibels of son’s bagpipes:  130).  Once it was a “find-the-object” photograph, with instructions on what these objects meant to us (Cannon:  seen while touring Gettsyburg).  Sometimes it is terrible poetry (“…tears out her hair in her Supermom role, there’s no time for thinking—she’s always on the roll”).  This year it will be a crossword puzzle.

I like to read Christmas-themed romances and/or mysteries this time of year.

And I have an organized list of what food items I need to buy for the holidays (this many bags of sugar, this many bags of Hershey kisses, etc.), so I don’t have to re-invent the wheel every year!


NOT SAYIN’

I had a short but interesting conversation with my dad today.  When I called, their answering machine started to pick up the call, but my dad quickly picked up the phone then, and we began to talk.  He was out in the farm shed and told me that Mom had called a few minutes ago to say she was headed home, and that she would bring lunch with her.

The subject quickly turned to my dad’s concern:  what should he buy for my mother’s Christmas present?  He had no idea, and now it’s only a week until Christmas….

Knowing how easy it is to spend someone else’s money, I readily came up with a couple of great ideas!   (I will not be specific here, on the off chance that “someone” from my family will read this blog)

We were happily into details, brand names, and plans when we heard this sound:  beeeeeeeeeep.  It was the answering machine, which had been recording our entire conversation!  And quite frankly, it could be quite possible that my mom had arrived home and had been gleefully sitting in the kitchen listening to every word we uttered!

“DAD!”  I said, “That was the answering machine!  It recorded everything we said!”

“ACK!” he replied.  “I gotta go to the house!”  Click.  And THAT was the end of that.

CHRISTMAS SECRETS

AntiqueMommy has her blog up and running again (after having her website destroyed by hackers at Thanksgiving), for which I’m grateful!  She lists some random things about herself, and I thought someone might be dying to know some things about me (well, maybe not, but here you have it…).

I have 20 kinds of Christmas wrapping paper downstairs, because I like variety.  I have to keep an eye on my husband, who would prefer to wrap everything the same and get rid of some of those tubes.

I keep them in an old wastebasket.

I have 2 presents under the tree for myself that I bought myself.  They’re not wrapped, but I’m not allowed to look at them, play with them, or read the instructions.

On Christmas morning, we eat quick things that we don’t usually have the rest of the year:  frozen pastries, bacon, and cheap frozen pizza.

The bottom half of our Christmas tree is not decorated this year; we have a teenage cat in the house.

I vividly remember many of the Christmas gifts my parents got us for Christmas, as it was a very exciting time for our family!  When I was three years old, I wanted a Thumbelina doll, and told my mother that I had prayed to God about it.  I did get that doll for that Christmas.  When I outgrew her, my baby brother took her over, and he used to fling her into his crib when it was bedtime and fling her out in the morning.  I have her still (although her head no longer turns with the crank), and she’s wearing a dress I wore as a baby.

I remember the rapture of Santa coming to our town each year.  He arrived in the firetruck, and we lined up in an empty storefront to have a visit with him.  There were no fancy decorations, no photographer…just a folding chair grabbed on the spur of the moment as he passed through town.  He always gave each of us a bag of candy.

Christmas, growing up, was always about Santa and gifts.  I am so very grateful that now, with my family, it is so much more than that.

That being said…Although my boys are teens, I still carry-on making noise, shaking bells, and ho-ho-ho-ing after they go to bed, pretending to be Santa as I fill their stockings (boys, don’t read this paragraph!).

From the time of our first Christmas together, my husband and I have gone to a nursing home/rest home sometime on the day of Christmas Eve, to give presents to a stranger (who is a stranger no longer) and/or to visit people we know who live there (which is the case as we grow older!).

I try to be creative with the annual Christmas letter.  Once it was a bookmark with statistics on it (Bars of soap I made this year:  107; Decibels of son’s bagpipes:  130).  Once it was a “find-the-object” photograph, with instructions on what these objects meant to us (Cannon:  seen while touring Gettsyburg).  Sometimes it is terrible poetry (“…tears out her hair in her Supermom role, there’s no time for thinking-she’s always on the roll”).  This year it will be a crossword puzzle.

I like to read Christmas-themed romances and/or mysteries this time of year.

And I have an organized list of what food items I need to buy for the holidays (this many bags of sugar, this many bags of Hershey kisses, etc.), so I don’t have to re-invent the wheel every year!

A TOUCH OF CHRISTMAS

TeacherPerson so inspired me with her video of her house at Christmastime!  Here is my feeble attempt to show you bits of our Christmas “stuff.”  I am child-like in my love of bright colors and Santas…

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