Saturday, December 31, 2011


With the New Year, we have before us a brand new book containing 365 blank pages. May we fill them with all the forgotten things from last year—the words we forgot to say, the love we forgot to show, and the charity we forgot to offer. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cherished Traditions

Only a few hours ago, my house was full of happy chatter and laughter. Now it’s as quiet as a tomb. My out-of-state children and grandchildren have gone home. Christmas is officially over. Even the holiday music on the radio and TV has been silenced.

The Christmas tree stands in the corner looking much less impressive than it did a week ago. Last night, at least two sets of lights opted to close their eyes on the Christmas of 2011. I usually enjoy the tree until after New Year’s Day, but, with large sections of darkness dominating, it has lost its charm, so I’m ready, for the first time in years, to take it down and put it away before January 2nd.

But first – a little rest. How exhausting it is to enjoy oneself! It is especially so when the celebration is always at my house and I’m the one who does most of the work. My husband helps, of course. I’d never make it if he didn’t. I cook, he washes dishes; I bake cookies, he makes wonderful cashew brittle; he puts wrapping paper on the presents, I add ribbons and bows. We decorate, order gifts online and go shopping together when it’s necessary. It’s a shared effort and we work well jointly. Not a surprise. We’ve been doing Christmas as a team for many years!

Unlike most people, we aren’t finished with this holiday at the end of Christmas Day. Our daughter and her family, who live in another state, arrive the day after Christmas, and her siblings and their families return for yet another celebration. Though it’s enjoyable, everyone agrees that it's getting a little more difficult every year to pull off the second festivity with the same joyfulness that we did the first. Not only are we, the parents, getting older, but so are our children. Therefore, we’ve considered making changes in the routine.

But, since the mind seems to erase bad memories and retain only the good ones, chances are we’ll be raring to go next year as always. It’s not easy to alter cherished traditions. Once again, we’ll gather at this happy time to eat, laugh and reminisce; we'll also take pictures and make beautiful memories to hand down to the younger generations.

And before many years pass, someone else will be forced to take over the hosting of this, and all, special family events.

The never-ending cycle continues...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A December Graduation

A little more than four years ago when my husband and I attended our grandson’s high school graduation, I promised him we'd be there in four years to watch him walk across the stage and accept his college diploma.

When I made that promise, there was no way I could foresee that he’d be graduating with the fall class and his graduation ceremony would occur only one week before Christmas. At that time, I imagined a spring ceremony: warm weather, blooming trees, daffodils, the scent of lilacs floating on the breeze. No pressure – just a wonderful trip to North Carolina for a leisurely visit with family and a side trip to attend the graduation.

But those four years passed like a dream and that special occasion is taking place this coming Saturday, December 17th. I really hate long car trips anytime, but doubly so in December! However, some things you do - like it or not.  And so... we are preparing to make the trip on Friday, and praying for good weather.

It'll be a quick trip. Like many people, we're rushing to get everything done in time for the big day, so we plan on returning Sunday. That'll be a lot of hours in the car, in a short time, for two "older" people and we'll no doubt be exhausted. But we’ll do it. Why? Because there’s no way we could “not” do it.

A promise is a promise. Especially to a grandchild!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Admit You Need Help Now!

Alcohol destroys!  It not only destroys the person who drinks, but also the people who care for that person – family, friends and acquaintances.

If you think you may have a problem with alcohol, here are a few questions to ask yourself. If any of these apply to you, you need to start treating your alcohol problem today…

1.      When you drink alcohol, does it cause problems?
2.      Are you always looking for more alcohol once you’ve exceeded your limit?
3.      Have you tried quitting before?
4.      Do you hide alcohol around the house?
5.      When you get drunk, do you pass out and later forget what you’ve done?
6.      When you’re drinking, does your personality change?
7.      When you’re drunk, do you become angry with other people?
8.      Do you often start arguments with family and friends when you’ve been drinking?
9.      When you’re in a sad mood or alone, do you always look for the bottle?
10.  Does your health suffer from drinking too much alcohol?
11.  Have you ever wondered if your life would change for the better if you stopped drinking?

If you can be honest with yourself and admit that three or more of these points apply to you, then you need medical help!

Most of us have had experience with heavy drinkers. No matter how much patience we have, it finally grows thin and we either have to tell the person how we honestly feel or distance ourselves from him/her. It’s a matter of self-preservation. Drinkers often do and say cruel, hurtful things that we never forget. And the worst part is, they almost always find a way to blame their problems on someone else. Until they come to terms with their problem and do something about it, they will always be in danger of an early demise from the effects of alcohol—and even worse, they will undoubtedly end up alone!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Grandparent's Answering Machine

Good morning. . . . At present we are not at home but, please leave your message after you hear the beep. Beeeeeppp ...

   1. If you are one of our children, dial 1 and then select the option from
       1 to 5 in order of "arrival" so we know who it is.

   2. If you need us to stay with the children, press 2.

   3. If you want to borrow the car, press 3.

   4. If you want us to wash your clothes and do the ironing, press 4.

   5. If you want the grandchildren to sleep here tonight, press 5.

   6. If you want us to pick up the kids at school, press 6.

   7. If you want us to prepare a meal for Sunday or to have it delivered to
       your home, press 7.

   8. If you want to come here to eat, press 8.

   9. If you need money, dial 9.

If you are going to invite us to dinner or take us to a restaurant, start talking - we are listening.