Crumbs…

You know that pathetic plate of Christmas cookies that linger on your counter top on the 26th of December?  You know what I mean…  those hard sugar cookies that still look edible, but, you know you could chuck them into the woods and knock out a bear one hundred feet away?  Yes, those cookie crumbs.  But, you don’t throw them away because you know if you just pop them in the microwave for three seconds they will soften up a bit and almost taste good?

I hope I am not the only one who hesitates throwing away the last remaining cookies in hopes of keeping the celebration going.  Yes, I do confess I still have a paper plate filled with a few remaining goodies that will soon become housed in the trash can.

These are not the crumbs I am referring to, though.  As I mentioned in my last post, Little Man and crew left late morning on the 26th.  As I wiped my tears I realized we were leaving the following day for Florida.  I looked around the fully decorated house and thought.  I looked outside and thought.  The weather was going to dip into the low digits while we were gone.  We were going to be away from home for ten days.  I knew I had to move, so move I did.

I went outside, removed the garlands, the bows, the lights, the nativity scene.  I sort of reminded myself of the Grinch stealing the Who’s decorations.  I moved quickly and soon it looked barren outside, well, except for the trees and the mulch.  I took everything upstairs to the extra room we have.  I placed everything in piles waiting to be put away.

Next I hit the guest room.  I stripped the decorations off the tree in that room.  I took down every hint of Christmas.  I proceeded to go through each room, removing things on the walls and on top of tables.  The house literally echoed with the absence of the fun things.  I did not stop until evening.  In between I did laundry and packed for our trip.  It was a full day.

I stopped short of taking down the tree in the living room and the tree in the loft.  I knew if I came home to a barren home, it would give me great sadness.  So, now I am home.  I have enjoyed my trees and the lights that I left on our stairs.  It has allowed the celebration to stretch just a bit.

Yesterday I took all the decorations off the living room tree.  It is standing looking dejected.  A mere shadow of its former glory.  Today I will pull out the bins and the boxes and fill them up, removing (hopefully) the piles so neatly organized in our extra room.  I am not looking forward to doing this.  Not that I want to keep Christmas going, I just don’t feel like lugging out the bins and the boxes and actually getting things put away.

I was debating doing any of this today, until, I sat down to look at my blog page.  I sat on the couch, lifted my laptop onto my lap and glanced out of our french doors into the screen room.  There, sitting out there was a huge Christmas crumb.  A Christmas tablecloth on our outdoor table.  A blatant reminder that it is time.  Time to put it all away, time to store all the festivity, time to get myself moving.

So, I will close this out, and go deal with Christmas crumbs.  Maybe I will start a new tradition, maybe I will make some cookies…  I think I may deserve a nice fresh cookie and a cup of tea after I deal with the leftovers of Christmas.   Thanks for stopping by,  Cathi (DAF)

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Looking Back…

In November, I had great plans for writing about our Thanksgiving visit with Little Man and his folks.  I took pictures and I may still use them and write about them, but, somehow, time flew by and nothing was written.

I had a wonderful holiday season.  I was so busy making memories that I did not take time to write about them.  I would not change a thing.  Sometimes it is so much more important to live in the moment and catalog each giggle, each smile, each sigh in your heart than to think of how to express those deep feelings with words.

We spent Thanksgiving with Little Man, like I mentioned.  We stayed with some dear friends and we celebrated Hubby’s birthday all in the same week.  It was a week filled with hugs, kisses, old movies, mini golf, lots of food and the comfort of being with friends who are family and family .  It couldn’t have been better.

We drove home from Thanksgiving and I dove into decorating.  I took my time and I have to say that this year’s decorations were surprisingly beautiful.  My ideas of what I would like to see actually worked!  I was amazed.

We had a couple of parties at the house and the house echoed with laughter and conversations and of course, there was plenty of food.

Christmas saw Little Man and his family here.  From the greeting with my obnoxious ugly Christmas sweater (which Little Man loved) to the tearful parting and good-bye the day after Christmas, our home and hearts were filled to the brim.  Laughter rang out and there was music and old movies and new movies, legos, games, puzzles and old stories filling our home.  These all outshined the decorations.  When your home is filled with loved ones they are the perfect decoration and make the gifts and ribbons and bows pale in comparison.

Shortly after Christmas, Hubby and I traveled to Florida to see Little Miss and her folks.  We spent ten glorious days with them.  Again, the time spent with them was time that we will cherish.  Seeing Little Miss be herself, complete with singing, dancing around, playing with her dolls and her legos, made our hearts glad.  She is full of life and she reminds us how fun it is to be three…  we laughed for ten days straight.

Looking back on this holiday season fills me with such a peace.  I was hugged and kissed by two of the most important people in my life.  Their obvious love for hubby and I melt our hearts.  Being hugged by sometimes sticky hands is the absolute best feeling in the world.  I was spoiled this year with gifts, but the two gifts I cherish most are my grandchildren.  Their smiles, their laughter, their stories, they are the things that make anytime special.

So, Happy New Year!  I hope 2018 holds the best for you all.  My year ended and started in the best possible way,  I look forward to the coming months.

Thanks for stopping by, Cathi (DAF)

 

It’s a New Year…

Yes, it’s the third day of this new year.  No, I haven’t been celebrating for the past four days.   I am just now getting around to reading blog entries and deciding to write.

I have read blogs talking of new starts, new hope, blank slates.  All of them poignant and encouraging.  To be honest, this year, I haven’t done my usual inventory of the past year and I haven’t thought about this new year.  As cynical as it sounds, my thoughts have been wondering what all will happen this year.

Each year I have tried to look ahead.  I try to plan things I would like to do.  I don’t call them resolutions because I know by February I will have forgotten what I resolved to do.  I just like to make mental plans of what I could do during the year.

Except this year.  I haven’t a clue as to what this year holds.   I know whatever happens, with the grace of God, I will get through it.  The grace of God is what has gotten me through several years.  It is only by His grace, His care and His love that I am where I am.

A year ago today, if someone were to have told me that my hubby was going to be laid up throughout the summer and I would have to do the things I had to do this summer, I would have run screaming through our woods hoping to get lost and never found.  I would not have had the courage to go through this year.    I would have quit.  I wouldn’t have gone forward.

That’s the thing about not knowing the future.  We may not have the courage to proceed if we know what is in store for us.

So, as this year starts, I am sitting here wondering what this year will be like.  I wonder what I will be like this year.  I wonder what changes will happen.  How they will affect me.

Last night I made popcorn.  Not a remarkable event.  But, it was the first time I had made popcorn without our puppy underfoot.  As usual, I dropped some popcorn pieces as I was pouring it into the bowls.  I looked down and realized that for the first time in 16 years I had to pick that popcorn up.  There was no Shugo to scarf it down and beg for more.

This is just one example of how things have changed this past year.  Last year the thought of losing Shugo was a possibility, but by the end of the year, it was reality.

I am grateful for my faith in our Creator.  For, without that faith, that assurance of His care and protection of me, I could not face a new year that is unknown.  I know this is a different tone than my usual post, but, this is what is on my heart.  I face this new year, now, 362 days left in it.  I know I will write about it, cry over it, fight it, enjoy it and this time next year, Lord willing, I will look back and once more know who it was who actually got me through it.  Thank you Lord, in advance.     Happy New Year.

Crumbs from Christmas….

Before I dig into my day I stop and think of what I want to accomplish.  I know I need to clean.  I look where our Christmas tree stood until late yesterday afternoon.  I swept up most of the fallen needles, but there are a few left on the carpet… waiting to be swept up by the vacuum.

The fake presents I wrap and decorate so that our dog does not lift his leg on our tree or drink the tree water lay around the floor looking oddly out of place.  Today, I will unwrap those boxes and throw them away, saving the ribbon and decorations on them for next year.

The dining room has the sad remains of my ‘snack’ table.  Sad, forgotten and unwanted cookies lay on the plates knowing that they will never be eaten and today will join the wrapping paper and boxes in the trash.

The mostly empty tins of pralines, now soggy and too sugary  await their final destination also.

The only hopeful is the tin of peppermint bark, almost completely empty, but still tasty.  I think that will be my reward for cleaning up the Christmas crumbs.

So, onward I move, not nearly as excited as I was a month ago when the ribbons and wrappings were fresh and looked beautiful.  It is a new year now and time marches on.  Valentine’s Day  decorations are beginning to peak through the mounds of Christmas decorations awaiting their long summer’s sleep.  Red and green is replaced by red and pink.

I already feel like this year is speeding by.  I look around in anticipation of what this year holds.  But, first, I must get busy.   Thanks for stopping by.  DAF

The Unexpected Year…

Happy 2016!  I am blowing the dust off my blog and writing.  Last week I read my year review of my blog…. it was abysmal to say the least.  I started strong and just faded into the sunset.

A year ago as I put away the Christmas decorations I wondered where I would be this year.  Hubby and I talked about the possibility of being somewhere new, in our own home.  We then laughed and said, “Nah, we will be here still.”

We were wrong.

Last February, on my birthday we received a life changing phone call.  It was from our Realtor.  He told us to get up to the upstate of South Carolina, for he thought he had found ‘our’ house.  We came up, not expecting it to be ‘the’ house.

Again, we were wrong.

The house was perfect for us.  A 15 year old home, that will need work as everything is original to the house.  The next five years will find us replacing and repairing things.  But, the house is perfect for us.  We are so very grateful to be here.

Before we moved, we prayed and felt like this house would be a place of rest and restoration for people.  We felt like we were told to expect our house to be filled with guests.  We figured we would have a couple of people visit for a few days.

Guess what?  Wrong again.

I figured it out one day about a month ago.  The first six months of living here and we had three and a half months of company. Since then, we have had company for another 10 days.

Each person who comes here says the same thing.  This place is so peaceful.    It is.  It is our little haven.  I open the curtains in the morning and thank God for His blessings on us.  Yes, we need to paint and replace the carpet and rake a ton of leaves, but, it is our place to rest.

I have missed writing.  It is the place where I actually sit still long enough to reflect on life.  That is a good thing.  I have missed my blogging friends.  I am sorry to those whom I usually read, that I have not read and encouraged and laughed along with you all.  I promise to do better.

Life sometimes takes over.  It is like a bulldozer and you are swept up in the busyness that can envelop us.  I can hide in the busyness.  It is easy for me to do so.  I can make excuses why I do that  and think that I am right.

No, I am wrong.

We need one another.  We need to encourage and support one another.  This blogging intertwines lives.  We get glimpses into each other’s thoughts and wishes and dreams.  We laugh at experiences we have.  We cry with sorrows shared.  I think that I can write or not write and it makes no difference to anyone.

I hope I am wrong.

So, here is my first post of the year.  In thinking of my blog this coming year, I am hoping to be more consistent in writing and reading.  I await the unexpected this year, for that is where we have adventure and experiences that give us things to write about.

Thanks for stopping by.   DAF

Good bye 2014….

A year ago today, hubby and I sat and talked about the past year and the upcoming year.  We had a strong feeling about 2014.  We knew it would be a year of events.  A year of change.  A year that was different.  We anticipated it, we felt it coming.  Little did we realize the impact it would have on us.

This year has flown by.  I mean that, it really has.  To me, it seems like it should still be March of 2014.  But, sitting here in my living room with my tree still decorated, I know that it is December 31st.  The last day of this year.

I started out writing often.  I was encouraged and thrilled that I was consistent in writing.  But, as is so often the case, life took over and writing was squeezed in when I had a few minutes to sit and put my thoughts together.

During this year we have spent two and a half months in Pennsylvania.  We tramped through old paths.  We shared memories long dormant.  We held hands where we first held hands together.  We remembered those high school kids who fell in love, got married and travelled the world together.

We remembered family members no longer with us.  We remembered laughing with them, talking with them.  We remembered.

This year we saw Little Man turn two.  We saw him go from a toddler unsure steps to running and jumping and snapping his little fingers.  We saw him put puzzles together, recognize the shapes of the states, name the states and sing songs to melt our hearts.  We shared our Christmas with him.  We counted going up steps and down steps.  We cried when he had to go back home with his Momma and Pappa.

We met Little Miss this year.  She was a surprise to us, which added to the excitement of 2014.  She captured another part of our hearts.  She fascinated us as we watched her squirm in her little bassinet, eyes wide open, ready to move and explore if only her feet could hold her up.  We know from experience that won’t be long from now.

I was in California for seven weeks this year.  I said a proper good-bye to the city I called home for almost 28 years.  This good-bye was a slow one, not hampered by the rush of packing and moving and schedules.  It was a good-bye in a visit.  I was able to ramble through and recapture good memories and times.  I then packed those memories away in my heart scrapbook that holds all the precious times of my life.

Yes, 2014 was a unique year.  I have no idea what will happen in the next 365 days.  But, being the age I am, I know there will be wonderful days filled with the very best of things.  There will be days that will strike me in the core of my being.  There will be days filled with questions and no answers.  There will be days that seem to stretch into eternity.  This time next year, though, I know I will look back and remember fondly.

May your new year be filled with the best of everything.  Health, wholeness, laughter, and tears.  Happy New Year.  Thanks for stopping by, DAF

Good-bye 2013…

I could wax on about the past year, but, having read through several of my posts from this year, I think you have already heard it from me.  So, I leave this year with a quote that I want to share with you.

An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in.  A pessimist stays
up to make sure the old year leaves.  ~Bill Vaughan

There is an optimist in me and I look forward to 2014… but, there is also a big pessimist in me and I think I may have a broom in hand and sweep the floor around midnight!

Seriously, though, I pray for the new year.  May it be a year of health, wholeness, enough finances to stave off worry, laughter, moments that grab the heart with joy, and love of family and friends.  This I pray for those whom I have gotten to know in this blogging arena, and for my family and friends.  My life was enriched this year by you all and I look forward to more of the same in this new year.

God Bless you with a wonderful New Year.  Cheers!  DAF

Looking back…

Many of the news outlets, media outlets, magazines are doing a review of 2013.  The most read stories, the most followed celebrities, the stories that shocked us, the cutest animal photos, it goes on and on.

Even my Facebook page has a button to push for my year in review.  It shows the photos that I posted, it shows which things I posted that got the most traffic.   Last year I ignored that button.  This year I was weak, I was bored, I pressed the button.  Not to my surprise most of my photos were of Little Man.  Most of my posts were of… (yes, let’s guess…) Little Man.  Actually, not a bad thing.

So, in looking back over 2013, I see that over all, this year I was blessed.  I have a beautiful grandson who has brought me laughter and joy and pride.  I see this trend continuing.

I also see change on the horizon.  After all, it is a new year.  A fresh year.   I am reminded of a quote that is one of my favorites.  I think it fits the ending of one year and the birth of a new one, “Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it… Yet.”   ―    L.M. Montgomery,    Anne of Green Gables

Yes, 2013 ends tomorrow at midnight.  And 2014 begins at one second past midnight tomorrow, it is a new day, filled with grace and free of mistakes.

Thanks for stopping by, DAF

Out with the Old…

We live in a small neighborhood, there are two roads in this subdivision and there are 37 houses here.  So, when I walk the dog we walk the entire neighborhood.

This morning as I walked onto the porch I could hear the wind.  I love days like this.  The neighborhood has tall pine trees, oak trees and some sycamore trees.  Each house is surrounded by trees, especially ours, which has a buffer of trees in our backyard.  Beyond the buffer is a large reservoir.

I love hearing the sound of the wind.  It rustles the branches and the trees sway in choreographed motion.  The sky is gray and we are having rain off and on.  It is a delightful day.

Some small branches were strewn across yards, wind chimes were not melodically chiming, they were being slammed against porch posts.  The remnants of leaves were flying around as if the trees were trying to shed the last of this past year’s foliage.

I enjoyed my walk this morning.  I watched as the trees bent and birds flew on the air currents.  What truly came to mind, is this, the wind is blowing the rest of the year away.

That thought has kept coming to mind.  To get rid of the old year.  It is tired and has had its day.  It was filled with good things, but it is almost empty.  So, as I listen to the wind outside, I sit here thinking of what I will do with the remaining days of 2013.  How will I end it?  What else is in store for me in the waning hours?

Anticipation begins to fill my heart.  A new year coming.  A new season of buds and blossoms and leaves.  Pretty exciting, huh?  I think so.  Thanks for stopping by.  DAF