Monday, December 29, 2008

Is it worth remembering?

It's strange how every now and then a stray thought meanders into your mind and causes you to sit up straight and give it further consideration. I was busily engaged doing absolutely nothing a few minutes ago and it struck me.

Whatever I do today will be what I have to remember tomorrow

What kind of a memory am I making? Is it going to be worth remembering? For me? For one of my children? For a friend?

I had just written on Lin's blog about wanting to spend more of each day doing what inspires, interests and pleases me. Maybe if I don't quit working altogether I will, at the very least, take longer recesses. I'll try to snatch some corner in every hour to do, visit, write, or make something memorable. Why not? I'm not in much of a hurry anymore. I can certainly allow myself the time to smell the lilacs along the highway.

This holiday season has been awash in some tender, some giggle snicker snort, and some inspiring moments, memories to be cradled in my mind and cherished forever.

I can't think of a reason why I shouldn't have some portion of every day furnish me with such treasured times. Seems like a worthy goal for 2009.

I think I'll give it a shot.

pics are one of my families favorite Christmas traditions. Mom's (that's me)wrapped packages. Someday I may share the reason I wrap presents like this even for the two year old. It's one of my favorite stories.

AS REQUESTED: This is a codicil

There was a woman from Georgia living as a missionary in Japan with her husband. One afternoon in the early fall, the missionary couple were visiting with one of the local farmers. She mentioneed how much she missed the Georgia peaches this time of year. The old farmer pointed to the top of a mountain in the distance and told her that very sweet peaches were known to grow there. She sighed at the thought and they discussed that it was a long way to go and there was no transporation available other than an old goat and cart. Much of the trip would have to be made on foot. It simply wasn't possible to make the trip to get them.

A few days later, the old farmer stood at the door of the missionaries home. He held a basket of beautiful, golden red peaches in his hands. The woman gasped and asked, "Where did you find these?" "On top of mountain", said the farmer.
"I can't believe it! I can't believe that you traveled such a great distance to bring me such a wonderful surprise." "Great distance, part of gift." was his softly, humbly spoken reply.

I LOVE that! I love the generosity of spirit it expresses. The time, effort and creativity that I put into wrapping a pretty package is "part of gift".

Monday, December 8, 2008

Since the Year 1969...

The year was 1969. I was standing at the window of a rather expensive boutique admiring, and desperately wanting to buy, an extremely expensive handmade Father Christmas. "You know what, Shirley? I think I'm just going to break down and pay the price." "Why? Let's just go home and make one." "Make one? Are you kidding me? I couldn't make one of those!" "Why not? They did."

To this day, I remember that conversation. I absolutely knew that there was no way I could reproduce what I saw in the window that day. I'd never painted anything in my life. I had dabbled at trying to draw a pencil sketch of an ex-boyfriend, and one of my dad...but, that was the limit of my artistic endeavors. But Shirley somehow convinced me to at least go home and try. So, we stopped at a junk yard, found some weathered wood, went home and drew a pattern on it, cut it out, and she proceeded to show me what to do to bring that old board to life. The results are the second picture from the top.

Since that time, I've painted, carved and sculpted quite a few Father Christmas's, Santas, Belsnickles, etc.

Shirley is my aunt. She's my mother's only sister, and she's younger than my oldest sister. She is also one of the people I love most in life. I lived with Shirley, my Uncle Bill and their daughters in three seperate houses over a period of several years. Shirley and I had such a great time together. Laugh? Omigosh! Til I couldn't stand up. She taught me so much! She especially taught me to never be afraid to try and accomplish anything. Her expression was, "If you're going to miss the bus anyway, you might as well miss it running after it." She gave me confidence and helped me to discover a few hidden talents. I'm a better person than I would ever have been without the precious gift of her in my life.

I tell you this because I'm leaving for California in the morning to spend some time with her. She's not dying... at least not physically. But, a few years ago she lost a daughter to liver cancer... now she's losing another one. When Nancy died it was so hard. They fought valiently to save her before she finally closed her eyes and took her last quiet breath. But, this daughter... this one is harder still. This girl will go on living, but she'll be living in hell. And Shirley can only watch from the sidelines, wondering when it all began. Where was she when it started? Why didn't she notice? What could she, should she have done? She can only look across the room at her husband with his leaden eyes and stooped shoulders and wish for a way to reach in and grab the joy that used to be apart of him. I need to be with her.

I won't be writing for a while, and I may not be commenting for a while, I didn't want anyone to think that baking and decorating had become more important to me than stopping by your sites for a visit. I'll miss you. And I'll try to check in from time to time. But, if you don't hear from me, please know I wish you all the Merriest Christmas and the Happiest Ever After.