Does your Holy Week feel Holy? Or rushed, hassled, stressful? Why do we let ourselves do this every year? I have been following a wonderful blog called down-to-earth for over a year and do believe it may be the answer everyone seeks. This lady, Rhonda, and her husband are a retired couple who are nearly self-sufficient. They live such a peaceful, purposeful life with chickens and dogs and honeybees. I realize this life is much easier for a retired couple than for you with young families, but hope you look for her at www.down-to-earth.blogspot.com when you have a minute. She is starting a "living simply" month in January which should be informative and fun to read. They live outside of Brisbane Australia on a little patch of land behind the gates. Courtney lives in Brisbane and although they will never meet, I feel closer to Courtney when I read this blog. Stephen King and I move closer to this peaceful living as I contemplate retirement. He loves his garden, I'd love to quilt daily.
Our gifts are bought and stacked in the back room waiting to be wrapped in shiny, red foil and placed under the tree. Which will probably be completed 10 minutes before the grandkids tear them open. I'd rather fool around on here than stand, bent over the dining table, wrapping gifts. Sorry. Once again, Grandma has overdone the spending, buying much too much for kiddos who do not need anything. This is the last time, I promise, again. But I love doing it, finding those cute sweatshirts for my boys, the rough n tough little hoodies and jeans. The toys they just have to have, Transformers the size of end tables. And for my big girls, the clothes and boots and bags and coats, where do I stop? And my Madeleine? The quilted coat in Blossom with the heather gray leggings and zebra tunic. And the brother and sister life size dolls, Katie and Kyle. With real hair and kissing sounds? How could I not? I know...my name is Grandma and its been 3 days since I've shopped. I won't even talk about the daughters-in-law. Every year, it is the same.
I spent today at Mom's with my sister making candy and cookies or trying to. Mostly we laughed and talked and hugged because we never get to spend a whole day together and Mom was having a good day. Aging is so bittersweet; wisdom and peace come with age, but so do pain and confusion. It breaks my heart to watch the light go out of Mom's eyes as she slips from us. Not all the time, not even daily now, but it is there, waiting. That place where we cannot follow her, where she is alone and scared. The new meds are working for now and that is all we can ask. NOW. Tomorrow will come and we will deal with it then. For today, it was good. She was Mom.
My niece, Stori and her husband Jamey are hosting our Christmas Eve gathering again this year. Yes, they are the couple who have the new babies. They are amazing and loving and want the family at their house. So we will cook and carry and gather round their beautiful new kitchen and celebrate the birthday of our Lord. And celebrate these new members of our family, Chad and Ian. And celebrate another year of being family.
I hope each of you have that family gathering each year to celebrate being together. Keep that connection as long as you can, it is so important that the young ones know where they come from, who they are, what they are a part of. I am the oldest of my grandparents' grandchildren on both sides and we have lost that connection for the most part. The cousins still keep in touch but our children and grandchildren don't know their distant cousins or great aunts and uncles. It makes me feel sad and guilty for not working harder at planning reunions and birthdays and Christmas together. I suppose that is the way it is in all families...the drifting a part when the number of people becomes too big to manage. I have a difficult time working our Christmas dinner in with only two sets of in-laws to juggle. No wonder I can't coordinate over 200.
I love all the picture cards this year, Ladies. Next year, we will have a Baby Mac to add to it. I wish you all Blessings for the New Year and Happy, Peaceful Hearts for Christmas. Talk to me. Love, Hedy