It is a New Year!

I didn’t accomplish all I intended to this year. I did not clean the kitchen cabinets. No, instead I finished reading Chesapeake by James Michener, a book I began reading in 2015. (Not to worry, though, the year was still young.)

I did not clean closets, either. I did read Barbara Bush’s Reflections: Life after the White House. (Gee, was it really spring?)

Instead of washing windows, I read, Killers of the Flower Moon. (What?  Summer already?)

I didn’t organize 47 years’ worth of family photos, but read Gracia Burnham’s book, In the Presence of my Enemies. (Are those falling leaves?)

It will soon be a new year, though, and surely I’ll accomplish one or two of my household projects during the new year. I’ll start soon, too, but right now I’m going to read a page or two of Michener’s Alaska. After all, I started it last January.

I hope your coming year is filled with happiness and if you’re a reader, a good book or two.

Happy New Year!

(Thank you, Mrs. Woodward for introducing me to Little House on the Prairie– and so many other worlds—that long ago day in the fourth grade.)




Merry Christmas!

“Mom, there’s a fire in the oven,” my daughter yelled.

That was the year we had a crockpot Christmas. There was also the year the refrigerator died Christmas Eve and the year I found a dead (or so I thought) possum on the driveway while helping Santa at midnight–not so good memories of Christmas.

However, hearing “she’s here, and she’s perfect,” the year my granddaughter was born at Christmas time is a good memory. It was good, too, to see “landed” on the arrivals board at the airport the years my son and his family flew home from overseas for Christmas.

The constant memory, though, is attending church. When my children were young, my focus wasn’t entirely on the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Now that I am older and not responsible for squirming, anxious children awaiting Santa’s arrival, I enjoy the Christmas carols and scripture readings telling of Mary’s and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem.

Merry Christmas–may you have wonderful memories of this Christmas.

Thank you, too, for reading this blog each week. I appreciate your comments.


Let’s Decorate the Tree!

When my children lived at home, we decorated the Christmas tree the Saturday following Thanksgiving. John cheerfully brought the artificial tree in from the storage building. “Of course, I’ll check the shed yet again for the tub containing the tiny, white, plastic reindeer with two broken legs, ornament your second-grade teacher gave you,” he would say with a smile.

Then each child in turn carefully placed his or her favorite ornaments on the tree as we listened to carols and drank hot chocolate. Once the last bulb was hung, my youngest child placed the angel on the top of the tree.

Some years something similar to the above happened. There were a few years, however, when I struggled with tangled lights, ornaments were broken, hot chocolate spilt, and an argument or two ensued.

The kids are grown now. This year John brought the tree in before he left for work on a Tuesday morning. I took it out of its box, assembled the three parts of the pre-lighted tree, and “fluffed” the fake boughs while watching Bonanza and drinking coffee.

Gosh, it would be fun to hear those tiny voices criticizing their siblings’ choices of ornament placement again.

New York City?

It’s again time to make my annual “to do before Christmas list.” As in past years, at the top is “spend Christmas in New York City.”  I have yet to mark that off the list. I leave it there in hopes some year I will be in New York for Christmas and unable to complete the rest of the list.

The rest of the list is always composed of such things as wrap the deck in garland and put snowmen figures in the bathroom. I have white-tiled walls in the bathroom, so I think the snowmen feel at home there. There are presents to purchase in town, and there are a few things which must be ordered on Amazon. There are packages to wrap, fudge to make, cookies to bake, the Christmas letter to write, the tree to decorate, and grandchildren’s Christmas programs to attend. Somehow, the list must be prioritized and then accomplished!

Still, I enjoy Christmas and am always glad I have decorated, stuffed presents in gift bags, and baked cookies. I must go now, though, I still have my collection of carolers to gather around the piano.

New York City? Maybe next year….

Aging Signs

I have changed as I have aged. I don’t mean the obvious changes either such as gray hair, wrinkles, and upper arm muscle tone. No, I mean the less subtle changes. Here are a few:

Many of my conversations begin with either “remember when?” or “I can’t remember, but….”  No matter how the conversations begin with my friends, though, they eventually center on health issues. I am constantly going to get something in the other room, too, but once I am in the other room I can’t remember why I’m there.

This year I decorated the house for fall by placing just two pumpkins on the deck. The days of hay bales and corn stalks are long gone for me. I didn’t even search through the storage tubs for the rubber skeleton.

I’m contemplating using only half of the Christmas decorations I’ve accumulated over the last 47 years. Gone, too, is the anticipation of shopping December 24 for bargains. My children like opening those small, wallet-like envelopes from my bank. I’m hoping, too, this winter’s total snowfall is only thirty minutes on Christmas Eve.

Sometimes younger people offer to help me carry groceries or offer me a seat—wait–maybe this aging isn’t all bad….