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Friday, December 20, 2013

It's A Wonderful Life

  December has really flown by, and it's almost Christmas.

 I finished my shopping early, and have had a lot of free time to watch Hallmark Christmas movies, and make candy. It's been great.
 I made Martha Washington candy, several varieties of fudge, and tried some new recipes. One of those was Bourbon Balls. This is a very easy recipe, once you find the chocolate wafer cookies, and if you follow the instructions well, which I did not on the first try. The recipe called for a cup of this, a 1/4 cup of that, and so on. After mixing up the first batch, I could see it was too thin to make into balls, so I asked Jon what he thought I did wrong. He looked over the recipe, and our conversation went something like this. Jon, "Did you use one cup of powdered sugar?"
Me, "Yes"
Jon, "One cup of cookie crumbs, 1/4 cup bourbon?"
Me, rather indignant, "Yes"
Jon, "1 and 1/4 tablespoon corn syrup?"
Me, a little more sheepish this time, "Is that what it says?"
Jon, "How much bourbon did you drink?"
I had added 1 and 1/4 CUPS of corn syrup, and I hadn't drank any of the bourbon. I was not drunk, just blind. I don't really need my glasses, unless I want to see.

 Like I said before, I finished my shopping early. In years past, I have gone so overboard, I never knew when I was through. It was just a matter of running out of time. I think, for so many years, I was trying to give my kids that classic, over the top Christmas, building traditions and memories, that just could not be achieved with material things. It was stressful to everyone involved, and ran up terrible debt to be paid in January, or more likely, February and March. Jon and I decided to tone it down this Christmas. We want to try to make it all about Jesus, and just enjoy being with the people we love.
  At Bible study, our core leader wanted us to share a happy Christmas memory. I heard some pretty funny stories. One lady talked about her grandmother buying all the kids bicycles. She said she had them all lined up by the Christmas tree, and when the kids came running in, one was bumped and they all went down like dominoes, crashing into the china hutch. There was broken glass and china everywhere. I don't know why that's funny, but I laughed. Another said her mother is nurse practitioner, at a large hospital emergency room in Houston, and brings a stranger home for Christmas dinner every year. Of course, the stranger is welcome to come back the next Christmas. She said they never know who is going to show up. I thought that was nice, gutsy, but nice.
  I was a very little girl, when I received my most memorable gift. Santa had been to our house, and left toys, fruit and candy. Everyone was happy and all was right with the world. I saw my daddy walk out to his pickup where he had hidden two gift wrapped boxes. He gave the first one to my mother. It was a black negligee. I thought it was a slip and embarrassed her, by telling everyone I knew about it. The other gift was for me. I opened it and was tickled to find a little pair of gold house shoes. I put them on my bare feet, and suddenly felt very warm. It warms my heart now. I can imagine Daddy was in a store, looking for Mom a gift, when he saw the gold slippers, and thought of me. Maybe he knew my feet were cold. Or maybe he was thinking about his other little girl, who got so sick, it damaged her heart. Anyway, he was my daddy and he loved me. This will be my first Christmas without him.
 I miss you, Daddy. Thanks for the shoes. The memory is still keeping me warm.
 


                                                      

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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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