Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Holiday Report, Part 1

If I don't take a few minutes to blog about Christmas I'll miss the window all together! It was just as holidays should be -- filled with family, friends and fun with just a bit of traveling thrown in. (The best excuse I have for not blogging. I didn't send cards this year either, but I don't have a good excuse for that yet. Don't worry, I'll think of one.)

On Christmas eve we hosted the annual party, a holiday get-together which has been a tradition for more than 30 years. It started with just ourselves and the Shaffers. Both of us far away from family, wanting to keep our kids home for Christmas morning, but finding out that made for a lonely Christmas eve! So began the tradition -- my dear friend Nadine would ready her house and plan fabulous hors d'oeuvres. Gary built fires in both the fireplace and the woodstove. We would eat and sing Christmas carols, enjoy each other's company and try to keep the kids reasonably settled. Our small group grew to include the Fergusons who didn't have family nearby either. And then the Thayers, Parsons, Thumms joined us. This year (and last) our pastor and his family joined in. Some of our kids are married and having kids and our gathering continues to grow.

A couple of years ago we decided my house had more room for parking outside, and maybe a bit more room for people inside, so the party changed venue but stayed the same. The deal used to be Christmas eve at Deenie's, Christmas dinner at Betsy's. That's reversed now. Let me tell you how nice it was to laze around all day on the 25th and then go over to my friend's house to eat. Nadine is like a sister, a really, really good sister. I have some great sisters, but Deenie, she's a friend who sticks close like a sister. Don't think I don't know how lucky I am!

Enough talk -- here's a glimpse of the fun.

Next blog will cover our family Christmas party at my brother's house in the Poconos!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Going, Going, Soon to be Gone

We're selling Christmas trees like crazy. I can't imagine there's anything left to choose from out in the fields. I asked Tom if he'd consider taking down the signs when he comes home from work today.

Then an aquaintance called and ask if she and her husband could drive out to the Frasier Fir field and get a tree. Oh dear... I told her that we were so busy over the weekend I didn't think she'd find anything suitable at this point. She & hubby were not deterred. Sure enough...a little bit later they came to the door to pay for the big green fir tree they had in the back of their big red truck. She assured me there were more to choose from...don't take your signs down yet, she says. People really like to come out and tromp in the fields and cut down a tree, she says.

Alrighty then...the signs will stay in place for a few more days. But I'm cautioning people not to pay until they find a tree they like! ...oop, just a sec, here's another customer.

Yeah, well, that guy insisted on paying upfront. He said he got two trees yesterday, and now he's got his son-in-law, daughter and couple of grandkids here to pick out their tree. "Don't worry," he says. "We'll find a tree. And we've got to hurry before we run out of daylight." I called out a thank you and Merry Christmas. He returned the Merry Christmas greeting and said thank you for growing the trees.

Isn't that nice? People really are (for the most part) nice, and good, and honest. Sometimes I run an errand or I'm out in the field and someone will get a tree and slip their $$ in the mail slot. Really! Other people tell us they've been coming here for 15 years to get a Christmas tree. Really? I didn't know we were selling them 15 years ago. Time sure gets away from ya.

As for me...I'm rather neurotic. Why am I so worried people won't like their Christmas tree? For heaven's sake -- they are the ones picking! They sure don't have to buy one of our trees if they don't want to. Still, I fret.

But it is ridiculous to worry about that. Look how happy these kids look. They came with their parents, grandparents, the little doggie and a big truck to accomodate their big tree. This is what it's all about!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Getting Ready

The house is decorated. Two big trees are trimmed. Manger scenes are carefully placed. We're getting ready. I can hardly wait.

...Awaiting something special...eagerly anticipating...
We're preparing to celebrate in honor of the coming King, born all those years ago, humbly, as a baby in a manger...So that I (and you too!) could be reconciled to God. Imagine that!

God, the creator of the universe and all that's in it -- our heavenly father -- wants to be close to his children, so He became a child! That's hard to fathom, but what a joy to embrace!

"Pleased as man with men to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel."

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Happy Holidays!

I missed a Happy Thanksgiving Day blog. So here's a note to cover that, belatedly -- and to wish you well for this happy time of year. It's the big pick-me-up before what can sometimes be a downward spiral through a long cold snowy winter in these here parts. But for now, the snow is welcome. It ushers in the Christmas season and up until mid-January it's a lovely sight. Mid-February it becomes tedious. Mid-March is like, enough already. And snow in April makes you either laugh or cry; there's no in between.

This year the snow came early, and it's gorgeous. See!

There is so much I'm thankful for... playing in the snow with a child, a warm cozy house, a mellow little dog at my feet, Christmas trees all lit up, good food, hot coffee, hot tea, hot chocolate -- any kind of chocolate!, a view of the creek, colorful birds at the feeder, icicles, a fire in the fireplace, fleece blankets, popcorn, movies to watch, family, friends, company who drops in unannounced. (Just let your kitchen be messy and someone's sure to drop in. That's why I hardly ever tidy up the kitchen -- always hoping for company!)

I'm thankful for the opportunity to take a walk in the snow, which I'm off to do right now. And as much as I like that, it's children who really know how to enjoy the fluffy white stuff!