Monday, December 26, 2011

I Did It.

December 26th. One day after Christmas. I got through the holidays, folks. Lots of tears, memories of better days, and fun with the here and now. I mean you can not be too sad when you have a 16 month old and a 11 month old running around being too cute and having fun. Just look at what I mean!!

Christmas Eve:
Waiting for their presents

The 11 month old eating sausage balls. I hope he was not sick all night.

The boys in their Santa outfits. Here is the diaper they had on..........

Christmas Morning:
Kenny and Bethany had Vann's Christmas at home. However Dylan was at Nana and Papa John's house with his parents, Gigi and Uncle Christoper.

I didn't do it.... really I didn't!!

Dylan with his buddy, Uncle Christopher.

Dylan with his Nana.

Busy morning..........nap time.

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Now, on to the New Year!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Count Down to Christmas

Christmas time always panics me when I start thinking about it (oh, about Nov. 1st). How will I ever get everything done? And, I stay in a panic for weeks and then all of a sudden, every gift is wrapped, cookies are made, the house is decorated. I just sort of sheepishly grin. I'd done it again. Panic, panic, panic. Looks like I'd learn.  Well, maybe some day.

I got out today to buy the last two of the gifts I needed. I hadn't been gone from home more than ten minutes and the rain started and hours later, it's still coming down. Now that I am back at home I like to listen to the sound of the rain hitting the roof.

There are three more days til the big day. I need to check my list.

All gifts bought   YES
All gifts wrapped NO
Cookies made     NO
House clean        NO
Music playing     YES
Lights twinkling   YES
My anticipation growing    YES

So, it looks like I am running even. Half done, half not.  Guess I need to get busy and wrap some gifts, clean the house, make some cookies....

Hmmm. I think I will just listen to the music playing, watch the twinkling lights and listen to the rain. Tomorrow is another day,  (oh, that was Scarlet that said that, sorry)

Monday, December 19, 2011

I'll Have A Blue Christmas

I can hear that baritone voice of Elbert's singing 'I'll have a blue, blue Chistmas without you'. His voice was not extra-ordinary in any way and some songs he just couldn't carry a tune to but this was one song that he sang that I thought sounded as good as any recording I ever heard. That, and 'I'll be home for Christmas, just you wait and see'....

If those songs come on the radio or my cd player I quickly switch to something else. It just breaks my heart to hear them. No, he will not be home for Christmas this year and yes, I will have a blue, blue Christmas.

There will be plenty of mistletoe and laughter and food and family but the one person that held it all together is missing. Christmas will never be the same again. However, the family is here, the little ones with their eyes all aglow, 'cause Santa Claus comes tonight. There will be tons of food, which I don't need, but I will eat anyway. Hey, I have an excuse, Christmas comes but once a year. Dieting can start the day after!! There will be gifts to open and oooh and aaaah over.

This first Christmas without Elbert will be filled with so much sadness. Memories of the past, happy ones, but it is time to make new memories with the newest generation that he and I were responsible for starting.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Emotions... they run high

Yesterday was the Wreaths Across America where live wreaths are laid on every veterans grave in the United States. I awoke early and headed to the cemetery. As I drove along in the cold, crisp air my mind wandered  back to a similiar morning so many years ago on Dec. 10, 1950. It was on a day just like today that Elbert and I were married..... 61 years ago.

At the cemetery, I waited while the large truck arrived with the wreaths and then I got into line, along with tons of other people, to help place the greenery.

 Once I had the wreath in hand, I walked to where Elbert lay and leaned the circle of green against his tomb. It didn't look right to me and, as I straightened it, tears sprang to my eyes. So many memories, so much pride, such longing for days of yore when we were young and happy.

The ceremony followed at noon. We had a long moment of silence to honor those who had deceased. I could visualize the thousands, tens of thousands of loved ones, workers, volunteers who at this very moment sat with their heads bowed across the spanse of land from Maine to California and beyond. My heart filled with gratitude that what small part Elbert had played in keeping this country safe was being recognized and appreciated.

There was the placing of colors, the pledge to the flag, and I looked over and saw an old gentleman standing with his gnarled hand resting above his right eye in salute. I remembered the numerous times I had seen Elbert give a salute to his fellow officers, everytime he boarded the ship, when he was saluted himself. And, I remembered the last time I had seen Elbert give a salute. Our grandson was visiting and he begged his aging grandfather to don his Lt. uniform. Elbert was already deep into Alzheimers so we just slipped the jacket on and placed his hat on his head. Elbert slowly stood up and gave his grandson a salute.

For the final part of the ceremony, a bagpiper led the crowd to where the very first 25 veterans were interred in this particular cemetery.

 I stood watching as each member of some branch of service honored the person they had just placed a wreath for.

And, then the bugler began Taps...

and my mind flashed back to January 5th of this year when another bugler played Taps for Elbert's funeral.

The music for Taps is so solemn, so sad. I wonder what was going through the young mans mind when he wrote those notes first on paper. I listened to every note ringing out over the white stone tombs and I felt at peace knowing that Elbert was resting and at peace in a place where his service was truly appreciated.

As the last notes of 'Amazing Grace' vanished out of the bagpipes Shirley, John and I walked back to Elbert's grave.

 We visited at the site for a few minutes and then we walked away, daughter and wife of the veteran we loved, arm in arm.

please go to my other blog to see other pictures

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas preparations

I love Christmas... but for some reason I always get depressed during the holidays. At least I did in the last few years. I know having a sick husband did not help. I just had so many trials in my life that singing 'Jingle Bells' didn't lift my spirits one iota. Decorating the house seemed to have less and less energy and thought given to the task. There were just too many other things to have to care about and I got to where I did not care... period.... about all the hoopla over Christmas.

My life is different now, an empty hole in my heart for sure, but I have resolved to have a fresh start, to recapture some of the excitement that I have enjoyed in years past. So far I am managing very well. I started dragging out boxes and boxes of decorations and found myself feeling the excitement and the contentment putting each little piece in place. Music going in the background.... My Dickens village taking center stage in the dining room...

 I downsized my artifical tree to one I could carry from storage to house and then place on a table in the sunroom...

I found a pin on Pinterest that I liked. Here's what gave me that inspiration..

 I have a tiered silver dish ... I can do that!!  Hey, why doesn't mine look like that one above???

Something new so that I am not reminded of the 60 Christmases Elbert and I shared. Keep my mind focused on the here and now... don't think back and you will make it through the holidays, I tell myself.

I take every moment and try to enjoy it. I start my morning with a prayer... Thank you, Lord, for having him 60 years, thank you for a beautiful day and thank you for loving me when I didn't deserve to be loved. Help me live this day as You would have me. Amen

And, I'm doing alright..... so far...... stay tuned for further developments!!