Saturday, December 7, 2013

I am living in a WinterWonderland this morning! We have about 9 inches of beautiful snow. The sun is lighting up every sparkly surface, the tree limbs, the rooftops and the vehicles are all coated in velvet frosting. My little house is warm and quiet and my coffee is hot. I think I am happy.
Christmas decorations need to be taken from storage boxes, a tree needs to be put up and dressed in bright lights, my wooden Santa needs to be hung on the front porch, but that can wait. I'm going to sit in Stephen King's chair and look out at all this glorious wonder for awhile. God has blessed me with all of this today and I want to appreciate it, to thank him for it and to bask in its beauty.
My shopping is complete, all done by surfing the World Wide Web. It is not the most exciting approach to gift buying, but for me it is a grand fit. There is anything a person could ask for out there,  soup to nuts, A to Z, including the kitchen sink! My little boys have figured out how to go to Amazon, shop for their hearts' desire, and place it in Gma's cart. Never clicking on BUY, of course. They are so thoughtful. ;-) I love giving, always have. Christmas has always been a special time for me. The idea of a newborn in a manger, and people from all over bringing Him gifts has inspired me since childhood. I've alway wanted everyone to get just that perfect gift. I was grown before I realized that Baby in the manger was the perfect gift for us all. But still, I think all year about what special thing would please my kids and grands. Steve always fretted about my spending, but then was pleased that they were thrilled with the presents. Christmas will be so different this time. No Mr. Scrooge huffing as the UPS truck pulls into our drive, the wrapped gifts pile up under the tree and the kitchen becomes a maze of candy and cookies platters. We will miss him sitting back watching all the chaos of unwrapping, squeals of delight, and Gavin's traditional "best gift ever", a look of satisfaction on his face. But we will do it anyway because we must go on as if he were still here with us. And I think that he will be.
I've a new activity in my week, I've started delivering meals to the needy in French Lick. They are fresh cooked by the volunteers at The Mercy Center in Paoli. I get to give back a bit to this community that supported my school for so long and I enjoy it. Most of the folks are seniors but a few are younger families that just need a hand. Friday is my delivery day and I have between 60 and 70 meals to get to houses and apartments all over town. If you've never been to French Lick, it is a town built on hills, steep hills, narrow streets cross-crossing each other. My route takes about two hours, but the food is packed in cartons and kept in insulated bags so it's still warm upon delivery. Most folks meet me at the door with a smile, happy for the meal and a bit of company. It is a blessing to be allowed to serve them. I thought I wanted to be on the preparing end of things, cooking big batches, but I truly love delivering. The Mercy Center is a wonderful thing in our county, serving 2500 meals to shut ins and on site drop ins. There is hope to provide an emergency shelter in the future. Even little, rural Orange County has homeless nowadays. My particular concern is with teens who for whatever reason have no place to live. So many are sleeping at friends homes or on couches in places that are not safe for them. I pray daily for an answer for this.
My days are quiet for the most part now. I spend the weekend with Mom, then generally stay in the rest of the week. I seldom have the TV on but listen to music on my iPad or laptop. Talking seems to annoy me especially the voices on TV. I read continually, probably too much. I clean a bit around the house, walk Hank once a day, eat hummus or peanut butter and sleep. Once a week I go to the gym and workout with Devin. It is helping but my muscles don't respond like they did before Lupus, weakness strikes a lot. But I feel better, exercise is good for the brain. I'm not at the "runner's high" level but it does lift my mood afterwards. Sadness seems to be my constant companion and I guess that is ok, sadness isn't depression. Grief is different than anything I've known before. And grieving for Steve is different from the grief I've felt with my dad and grandparents and aunts passing. This is as if I've grown a second skin, covering me with sadness. I doubt it will ever leave. But it isn't malignant like depression, just a new dimension to my life.
I'm making pillows for the girls so I best get at it. I find it difficult to concentrate at the sewing machine but push myself to do something productive.
Take good care and talk to me. Love