Saturday, January 12, 2019

Saturday Smiles

*Two years ago, my husband and I were trying to decide what to get our youngest son for Christmas.  We wanted to do something extra special for him.  I noticed that in all the photos we have of him, he never smiled where you could see his teeth.  My son had mentioned that his teeth were bad and he didn't like to show them.  That became our gift to him.  We began helping him pay for getting his teeth fixed.  Yesterday we went to his appointment to have more work done.  When he came out, he was smiling.  He said, "look, mom."  His bottom teeth were straight and white and beautiful.  But the best part was the look on his face.  He was very happy and had an air of self confidence about him.  That alone was worth the cost of the dental work.  He isn't done yet but my husband and I feel that this was the best Christmas gift we could have given him.

*I don't know about anyone else but whenever I cooked when my boys were younger, there were many times I heard..."I don't like that.  I want burgers or pizza.  My friend's mom cooks better."  It can make a mom doubt her cooking skills.  This past week, my cooking skills were given a big boost.  My youngest has moved into a new apartment and when I asked how I could help, He asked me if I would write down some of my recipes for him.  My jaw dropped in surprise and he laughed.

* I finished reading a book that my oldest son got me for Christmas.  It was "Becoming" by Michelle Obama.  It was very good and it was by my favorite First Lady.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Word for 2019

It's that time of year again when I think about what word I will focus on for the coming year.  In the past, I have used the words: Hope, Peace and Creativity.  It is not an easy thing to come up with a word to focus on.  I meditate and pray on it.  I have done some free think about it.  This is where I just list all the words that come to mind that speak to me.  Then I go thru each one and either eliminate the word and move it onto a new edited list.  By doing this, I have been able to narrow the list down to the word I will choose.  However, this year something different happened.  The word just came to me one morning while I was having my coffee and journaling at the start of my day.  No other word seem to come to me as clear and definitive as this one.  So, for the year 2019, I am choosing the word, "OPTIMISM".

Daily we are inundated with what is wrong in the world, our country, people, etc.  It has caused me to wonder if everything is (as in my mother's favorite phrase) "going to hell in a handbag".  So much hate, violence, and anger.  One can become overwhelmed with so much darkness.  For 2019, I want to focus on the good, the peaceful, the selflessness of life.  I want to find each day an example of what life should be even if the example is small.  I want to smile more at the ups instead of constantly frowning at the downs.

Abraham Lincoln said, "When you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will."

I want to turn this around for 2019 and look for the good.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Christmas is my holiday!

Everyone has their favorite holiday.  For example, my husband's favorite is Halloween.  But my favorite is Christmas.  I have loved Christmas all my life and not just because kids get presents from Santa.  I have loved Christmas because of my dad.  It was his favorite holiday.  Dad had so many Christmas traditions that made us look forward to the holiday season.  From decorating the outside of the house with multi-color lights (he was not a fan of houses lit with one color) to spending hours driving with all of us in the car from one tree lot to another to find the perfect tree. Dad was not a fan of artificial trees either..."Only real is Christmas" He would say.  The traditions that dad had with us have passed on to my family.  We always have a real tree for Christmas.  But unlike dad, we don't put tinsel on the tree (cats).  The first ornaments to go on the tree are the first ones we bought when the boys were born.  The tree topper is the same one mom and dad had on their tree for 40+ years.  My Christmas village grows every year as I acquire a new building for it and my mother's choir girls and boys candles always stand by the church.  A poinsettia plant sits on my diningroom table as a reminder of my mom's birthday on December 6 and next to it is the large ceramic Christmas tree that belonged to my mother-in-law.  My father-in-law's sleigh bells hang on the front door along with a 2-foot angel made by a parent of a first grade student when I was teaching.  Under the tree is a very large creche built by my father-in-law with figures given to me by a best friend.  On one of the beds, sits 44 stuffed animals.  My husband has been gifting me with one for every Christmas we have been married and he says it would not be Christmas without him finding me one I do not have.  Of course, baking all the family recipes is a definite tradition we all enjoy.  Although I am usually the primary baker and the men in my family are the tasters.  I think the funniest tradition we have is what we put out for Santa on Christmas Eve.  This tradition we stopped one year when we thought the boys were too old for it but they raised such a rucus about it, we started it again and do it even now.  The strange part is it is not your "normal" treat for Santa.  We put out a plate with a salami sandwich and a cup of coffee.  This came about when I was a little girl and we would put out cookies and hot chocolate for Santa.  One year, there was a note on the plate on Christmas morning, asking us to leave a salami sandwich and cup of coffee for Santa on the next Christmas.  It has been a tradition ever since.

I would like to think that after my husband and I are gone that these traditions will continue with our sons.  However, traditions it seems in this day and age are not as important as they once were.  So I will be realistic and hope that one or two will go on.  But until then, I shall keep the traditions of my holiday going and enjoying the memories that they bring to mind.