Christmas is Here!

Christmas is a time to remember Christ.  A time to remember our loved ones gone before us to meet Him.  A time to gather with our loved ones present and create bonds of love that strengthen throughout the trials the rest of the year brings.  A time to pause and see beauty of baubles on trees and lights on eaves.  A time to believe in goodness and magic and possibilities.  A time to give tokens of love and graciously receive tokens given to us.  A time to grow our compassion for an even greater year ahead.  Always looking upward to the Heavenly Star for guidance and comfort.

A Christmas colored picture to remind me.  Red for His shed blood gifted for me.  White for His perfect peace bestowed on the believer.  Green for His provision of everlasting life.  Merry Christmas to all and may His perfect peace and gift of everlasting life be yours.

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Sweetness

I got to see the nieces this weekend. One was celebrating her fourth birthday.  I did manage to catch her for a split second two or three times to steal a hug and kiss.  The other delight was napping when I got there.  I had to wait till Sleeping Beauty arose to get my hands on her.  And, no, I did not put her down or share her with her other relations.  I had a couple of hours to get a month’s worth of snuggles from the happiest baby on earth.  She is quieter and happier than my daughter was at that age.  That is saying volumes.  Her great-gran and I decided she knew before she was born how loud the other household members are and figured quiet patience was going to be the best course of action!

I stopped by the hospital to see my cousin. She harangued again about my writing a book. (I hope she never stops!)  I don’t have a story to tell.  Well, I don’t know if I do or not.  Certainly, I don’t envision my writing fictional work.  I hardly read fiction.  A good real life adventure story appeals to me vastly more than an imagined and improbable made up story.  Although, I have read some fiction recently.  I have a couple of new novels awaiting a lazy afternoon and a short wish list of a few more titles.  Perhaps allowing myself to relax into such leisure will inspire me to put pen to paper and work out the anecdotes in my memory and notions floating in my mind.

One real reason I put off writing is the same reason I put off reading novels and watching movies. I don’t want my tender heart to ache from things not really happening.  I fear writing will bring out all the carefully stored pain from the grief of losing my loved ones.  Things from the past.  Things not happening now. I despise feeling fear.  I know I will eventually face the fear and beat it back into the hell from which it creeps. I will write the heart ache onto paper and if the tears don’t blur the ink too greatly, I will attempt to share it with the world. If the Lord allows.

Love is the only thing that heals all things. Time is given credit for love’s work.  Time means nothing to some wounds.  Time only passes.  Love is the true healer.  After the passage of time, love comes stealing into a wounded heart.  Someone to love still holds fast.  Someone new to love enters the scene.  The wound is knit together with the bond of lasting love or a new love.  Love is not only for lovers.  It is for mothers and fathers, sons, daughters, and grandparents, brothers and sisters, cousins, nephews and nieces, uncles and aunts, and for friends.  Death, disease, divorce.  Destruction comes.  But, love is greater.   Love is the eternal choice.

Let me have a few someones to love, always. A baby in the mix is pure magic.  But, I will take a near half century old feller who has held fast to me these many years for the daily dose of everyday magic.  Love is what he and I have chosen for each other.  The fear will be faced and the stories written with his courage and His peace to shore me up against the tears.  Love is greater.

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Dilemmas

The weekend is past again.  As usual, I had opportunity to see friends and go with him adventuring.  I even had a full day to lie on the porch with occasional thunder rumbling in the distance.  One of my favorite things to do.  I took time to read for pleasure.  Fiction.  I haven’t allowed myself to do that much over the past twenty years or longer.

I had a brief conversation with an acquaintance about allowing one’s self to do things.  She has retired from a long career.  Children long grown and gone.  She said it took her months to get to a point where she felt it was okay to work on projects held dear but long undone.  We were not in a situation to have a real discussion about the topic.  I certainly can identify with the feeling.

I am not retired.  Working full time and keeping up with his lifestyle takes a lot of time and energy.  Though I rested yesterday, I am tired this evening.  I have a general idea of what I should change to feel better.  I know some very specific things I should change to feel better.   But, there is a big difference between knowing what could be done and actually doing it.

I am trying to get my brain to work out a plan.  A plan and a schedule and the corresponding data to eat the right way, drink the right amount of the right things, get the best type of physical activity, follow proper sleep hygiene and so on.  The first thing is to deal with the constant pain and to get the right foods in my lunch kit.  Then, by drinking enough water and less coffee I may be able to get off my duff and get the exercises done to increase my strength and energy.

Adding to the dilemma is the coming autumn.  Why does that cause a dilemma?  The holidays will be upon me too quickly.  The leaves will be falling and I am anxious to keep up with the raking.  The plants will need to come into the house.  And my out of kilter sense of things will tell me, the trees are losing their leaves so I need to lose the clutter.  For me clearing and cleaning needs to be done in the fall.  Before the brightness of holiday lights and the brilliance of elegant glittery ornaments, the ravages of summer heat must be swept out.  Living in the subtropics, the flora and fauna overrun everything in the heat and humidity.

Additionally, I tend to go through waves of collecting and accumulating then purging and tossing.  Inevitably the outgoing wave happens in the time of shedding summer.  (I have a different mood for spring when traditional cleaning happens.  Then, I can’t get enough flowers and sunshine.  Forget cleaning.  The dirt needs turning over in the garden.)   Fall is upon the doorstep now.  On the stage in my mind, I see the props and costumes needing to go.  No longer appealing or needed, things must go to make way for other things.  Pumpkin tea set, then cornucopia baskets, then the traditional antlered floral monstrosity he loves to see on the dining table.

Summer costumes pulled from the closet must be evaluated.  Do I really want to see them next summer?  Do they go into the giveaway bag or into the storage bag?   Winter costumes pulled from the storage bags must be evaluated.  Do I really want to don them for another winter?  Do they go into the closet or into the giveaway bag?

Trivial things in a simple country house.  The life I have created for myself is indeed simple.  The drama in my life stays at work.  Enough intensity and danger there.  When that red gate closes behind my car coming in the drive, I want simple trivial things.  I want to have dilemmas that I can go to sleep on and forget about in the morning light.  I want to have dilemmas such as trying to get the goldfish still long enough for some good photos.  I want to have dilemmas such as wondering what to take to lunch tomorrow.

I have had the dilemma of wondering if I would ever shed tears again.  I had cried them all out losing Mother.  Cancer can be a long drawn out affair.  Knowing the end was coming.  Not knowing when or what it would be like when it happened.  Six years of nearly constant chemo after 2 years of nearly constant radiation.  Daddy needing hospitalization for bipolar manic depression several times through those years.  Raising two children along with it.   All our parents and grandparents have passed as well as other dear family members and friends.  The illnesses and the passing have been mourned.  But, the living our lives without them will never pass.  The dilemma of needing to hold on to hope will never pass.

That is perhaps why the little ones are so terribly important to us.  They are hope.  They are proof of our faith that the tragic dilemmas can be weathered.  They are the dream.  Ultimately, my desire to be filled with enthusiastic energy and to accomplish the tasks here at home are about them.  A place to celebrate. Full of love and magic and hope and laughter and mystery and marvel.

They are the reason I deal with the fish tank.  Maybe they will enjoy the fish.  They are the reason I don’t have certain things in my yard.  Southeast Texas has everything poisonous and venomous and stinging and biting.  I do not want structures that encourage their habitation here.  They are the reason the carpet must be removed from the porch and the floor redone.  The dishes must be sorted and realigned to make room for things children like and can use safely.  The rooms must be arranged for safety and space to play.  The yard must be diligently kept to deter fire ants and stickers.

The list goes on.  The dreams go on.  A new stage must be set.  A stage for hope and laughter.  A stage for silliness and play.  A stage for games and parties.  A stage for magic and love.

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Eight giant goldfish in a huge fish tank illuminate our living room.  Already I am wondering how to decorate them for Halloween……………they are orange…………maybe some black cat silhouettes on the front of the tank to terrorize them????   Bwahaha!   I know one little girl who might laugh at that!  Dilemmas, dilemmas……….how to set that magical stage moment……………