Merry Christmas to one and all

I can hardly believe that we have already come round to Christmas again. It seems like it wasn't that long ago I was busy pushing the snowblower down the driveway wondering what 2014 would bring. And here we are again with one major difference. We haven't had much snow this year!

The trail.
Yes, it's a green Christmas this year and what a lovely change it is. We've had a couple of light snowfalls in past weeks but as of yet, nothing that warranted pulling out the snowblower or even the shovel. Some folks are lamenting not having snow at Christmas, but I'm fine with it. It's Christmas Day and we just came back from a lovely walk on the confederation trail near our house. No gloves and a lighter jacket was all that was needed with 15'C. It was a little damp as we've had rain off and on, and in fact it started to rain on our return leg. We walked in the rain and didn't feel that uncomfortable.

Various lichens and mosses

Belle River Pond




























 We cut our tree from our woods again this year. It's not a perfectly shaped tree, in fact, it's a little oddly shaped. Fortunately the shape lent itself well to the small niche we placed it in. We made the tree selection day a family affair, including our young lad's new girlfriend. Hubby of course was more than happy to have another reason to pull out the chainsaw and get all lumberjacky. Oh my, he just gets so much enjoyment out of finding fallen trees in the woods, hauling them out with chains and Jeep, and then cutting them up for the wood pile. I think this activity appeals to his rugged, manly side.
 The new kitty (renamed Keiko) is slowly fitting in and finding her place in her new home. She is an avid user of the catio. Of course, on the cold days having a window open and the wind howling in doesn't exactly do much for the electricity bills. It's hard to say no to her though, sitting at the window and crying her heart out until I let her out. Her and Poncho still respect each other's space. She has tried to initiate games a number of times but he isn't quite sure about that yet. One day it will come.

We quietly celebrated our 5th anniversary and reminisced about our fabulous day with the sun and sand in the Cayman Islands. It was a wedding, honeymoon and vacation that we will never forget. Maybe someday we'll go back and visit to celebrate a milestone anniversary. But this year it was just a quiet dinner with a little table decoration to remember our good times.


 I've continued my weekly visits to my friend Roberta who deteriorates week by week. It's heart wrenching to watch someone slowly fade away. My heart breaks for her as I watch her struggle to express herself, trapped in a body that doesn't function as she wishes anymore. Somewhere inside is still a vibrant person who even sometimes manages to somehow communicate a little humour. How she maintains her humour under these circumstances is beyond me, and awes me. I always feel quite humbled after a visit with her.

I've been further inspired and impressed by another friend who is managing to keep it together despite a very bad year. She lost a good friend to cancer, she lost two jobs, her husband had a bad car accident and is spending Christmas at the hospital, and as if that wasn't enough, she attended her brother as they pulled the plug on his life support just a few days ago. And with all of that weighing heavy on her heart, she is working a 12 hour shift on Christmas day when most of us are snuggled up with our families and counting our blessings. If there is anyone who deserves a new year filled with blessings it is her.

So, with these two angels full on my mind I find it hard to complain about the difficulties we have had this year. However, we are turning our thoughts to hope and belief that next year will be a banner year for us. We are making plans for what we want to accomplish and I'm still in the planning stage of a business venture that will hopefully give me an income from home.

As I close this post and the final one for this year, I am thinking of family that has left us. Christmas was always a special time of year in our house because it was also Mom and Dad's anniversary. And so when we are staring at the tree full of lights and decorations, I am reminded of Christmases past. When 'Stollen' was baking in the oven and mom was playing all the german Christmas carols on the record player. I would help her make the butter cookies, cutting them out and decorating them with sprinkles and sugar. On Christmas eve, Dad would take my brother and I out for a drive to look at all the Christmas lights other folks had put up. While we were gone, Mom would get busy putting gifts under the tree and trays of chocolates, nuts and marzipan out. When we would return there was always the "oh dear, you JUST missed Santa Claus! He was just here! If you had come home a minute sooner you would have seen him." And so every year I wondered why we couldn't skip the light show and just stay home and say hi to Santa when he arrived. We were always excited by what gifts were under the tree and I don't ever remember getting a gift I didn't like. Mom was always good at finding just the right thing even on their limited budget. It was always a time of family warmth and love, made more by the celebration of their anniversary, a day when they declared anew their love for each other.
Dad 1981
Me and Mom 1989

Comments

  1. Lovely story! Great to see the pictures of your old and new life....

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