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Monday, December 26, 2011

Tradition

  For the second year in a row, Jon and I woke up Christmas morning in a motel in Austin. Before going to our daughters apartment, we had coffee and opened our presents to each other while watching a Sanford and Son Christmas special on television. I know you are feeling all warm and fuzzy about now, but I must tell you, I do not intend to continue this tradition another year. It was just the only way to be with my children at Christmas time.
 Our Christmas' have been anything but traditional since we lost Lauren. And honestly we haven't tried very hard. The way I see it, the tradition has already been broken by the very fact that she is not here. So, we do odd things like go to art shows and movies. We tried to have dinner at a Chinese restaurant, like they did in the movie,  A Christmas Story, but hundreds of other families in the Austin area had the same idea. So, we had ham sandwiches on my daughters couch in front of the Mavericks game. But we were together, Eric, Sarah, Jonathon, Jon and I, so I was happy.
  Last night, before going back to our motel room, Jon and I stopped at an IHop for coffee. The place was full of people, probably families, who seemed happy to be together. I thought of my brother in Oklahoma, snowed in and unable to be with family. I thought about the children of an old friend who died just days before Christmas. And I felt bad for the young man taking my order, and the rest of the staff having to work on Christmas. My life is really not all that bad.
 I will miss Lauren for the rest of my life. Christmas will be hard and so will the Fourth Of July, but I'm not alone.
 Next year I want to stay home. I want the kids to be here and for us to get snowed in. I want to cook a big meal, light a fire in the fireplace and drink too much eggnog. I want to meet my future daughter in-law and be looking forward to a grandchild. In fact, I think grandchildren would be a great new tradition.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Celebrate Me Home

 With this Holiday season, I have managed to rekindle an old sugar cookie addiction. I know the withdrawals will be great in January when all the snacks dry up, and the cookie fairies begin their hibernation. But for now, I won't ignore them, I will enjoy their bounty.
Really it's crazy how the goodie trays in the break room are replenished over night, and how easily we forget everything we know about healthy eating.I plan to make fudge, Martha Washington candy and peanut patties this evening. Not because I know anyone who needs to consume forty pounds of sugar, but because it's Christmas and that's what I do. But, January 1st, 2012 I will break out the calorie counting app on my Kindle and use it religiously, .....for two or three days.
 Also, with this Holiday season, you should know, I will not be offended if you say "Happy Holidays!" instead of "Merry Christmas!" I think this is a non issue and some folks are trying to create an offense where there is none.

 So much has happened in the two weeks since my last post. C J Wilson went to the Angels, thank you Jesus, Newt has risen in the polls and I have finished my Christmas shopping. This morning, the news that disturbs me the most, simply because it was delivered with a no-news air, is the War is Over. Shouldn't we be a little more excited? Did we win? Was there a clear winner? Where is our pride?
 We were cheated out of our victorious exit from Vietnam and many people are still hurting. Let's not repeat history, or at least not this history.
 When our parents celebrated the end of World War II, it was a big, huge, hairy, history making deal. There were parades with confetti and sailors kissing nurses in the streets. Who can ever forget those wonderful Life Magazine photos. That's what we need today. Too many lives have forever changed to just shrug this off. Let's have a parade and kiss some sailors...and tell a soldier, "Thank you, so glad to have you home for the Holidays".

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Mennonite's Winter Dream

 We all pretty much know what the Amish are all about. We love their furniture and quilts and everyone has seen the movie Witness, staring Harrison Ford and that girl from Top Gun. In short, there's no real mystery there. But we don't have Amish people around here. Instead we have a group of folks few know anything about. They are called Mennonites.
  I see them around town almost every day, but no one I ask can tell me anything. The women run around in dresses that are hardly modest, made from thin, poor quality fabric, no socks or hosiery of any kind, Keds type sneakers and a little scarf on their heads. The boys and men, in what my husband calls "gimme" caps, look like they just got back from a 1970's FFA convention. Once, on a very cold winter night, I saw a Mennonite woman walking into Walmart in her thin little dress and no coat whatsoever, talking on a cell phone. I thought to myself, so, it's not technology but, fashion they reject. Then, again today, Jon and I were leaving Olive Garden and there was a Mennonite couple waiting on the bench outside, in the cold wind. Yes , they were going to eat a meal, in an expensive restaurant, that serves alcohol, but she had no coat.
 I want to talk to these closed off people, and ask, "What are you thinking?". Do they believe in Jesus? Are they a Christian religion? If so, God said to love your wife like He loves the church, and the church needs a little heat. I'll say it in King James so you'll understand." Thus sayeth the Lord, buyeth your woman a jacket!"

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A wife, mother, and spoiler of small dogs, I grew up in a small West Texas town, with my eyes full of sand, and my heart full of joy.


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