Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

I have never been so glad to see the year's end!
So long 2009- we are glad to see you go!

Still, my husband is in the kitchen - upright and cooking!
My kids are in the next room- playing a board game!

and I have blogged my way through 2009- embraced and held by old friends....
and glad for the pieces of life that each of you share in your blogs
Blogging certainly kept me going through this last year

So looking forward to 2010 and all that it holds

Wishing each of you a blessed and happy New Year

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I stopped in a park to chart today. Snug in my car- eyes focused on the computer screen and ears attuned to the soaring voice of Susan Boyle (wow) I barely noticed my white, frozen surroundings.

Banshee screams pierced the air, and my eyes flew automatically to the lake in front of me- instantly fearful that a child had fallen through the ice. Nothing- and my eyes returned to the screen.
Screams again pierced the air and this time I swiveled my head to see 6 wild indians, dressed in various hues of purple and blue careening wildly down the hill to my left. This time, I let my attention wander from the screen in front of me to watch. What a great time they were having. Up they went and down again. Sleds escaped them and they laughed and ran following. Soon they were finding ways to enliven the experience, riding on their knees, their bellies, making ramps and flying though the air. When one fell, another ran calling "are you OK?????"

Now diverted, I paused to notice the scene around me. Pine trees- lined, like soldiers at attention across the frozen lake. Bare branches silhouetted against a blue/grey sky. I finally noticed the cold seeping abound my feet and the sparkling of the ice on the parking lot.

It was hard to leave that place, to pull out and proceed on with my day. Warmly sheltered in the home of one of my favorite patients a few minutes later, I couldn't resist telling him about the children at play. It was like opening a treasure chest, and I listened as memories poured forth of his own childhood in the hills of Pennsylvania.

It was hard to pull myself away from there also.... some days I just love doing what I do.

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas gifts

Good times, good friends, great family

And so another Christmas season draws to a close.

We had a rather quiet Christmas, subdued I suppose. Not many gifts- but oh, how much meaning the gifts had. Framed photos. Books. A table made years ago by my dad, freshly varnished and put back together by his grandson. The two never met- it's nice to see something that connects them.

We were forced into simplicity last year. This year we embraced it. It's nice to feel Christmas draw to a close without feeling drained and overwhelmed.

I have loved reading some of the blog posts tonight. Moments where bloggers felt the presence of a living God. Moments of quiet reflection. Moments of appreciation for family and friends.

I'm sitting here wondering... what were some of the best gifts you received this year?

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

cinnamon rolls- not

Yeast is not my friend.

My Christmas morning cinnamon rolls are a lifeless lump of dough, with no intention of rising for the occasion.

It is my own fault I suppose. Each year of my mis-spent youth I went to my aunt's home in the summer. There I was supposed to work on my 4-H projects and learn the intricacies of baking and sewing. We developed the perfect plan- or at least it seemed so at the time. While I went merrily off to the hay field to toss bales and drive the tractor, she stayed in the house baking my rolls and sewing my skirts. Seemed like a win/win. I got a blue ribbon every year- but I am paying the price for my tomfoolery now.

ah well, cinnamon rolls or not... Christmas will come...

Wishing each of you a blessed holiday, filled with the peace that this season can bring.

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Friday, December 18, 2009


I wonder why we cram so much into the Christmas season?
Concerts and parties. Tours of Homes and Madrigal Feasts.
Cards and decorations.

So many people seem so overwhelmed. I would have loved to tour some homes- but I would love it just as much- and most likely more, in JANUARY... when there is nothing else to do.

It seems to go by so quickly and then woooosh- it's all gone and we wait for spring.

I've picked up on one new thing this season that will get me through the duldrums of February- Tamika's challenge to 12 days of community in blogging. I've had a bunch of fun, late in the evening, by the light of the tree- following links to other blogs. Author, Jody Hedlund and Journaling Woman to name two.

This is one Christmas pasttime that is going to see me well into the New Year- actually makes me look forward to those short February days.

Hope all in blogging land are finding peace in this holiday season. Put your feet up and browse awhile.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Random thoughts

We put our tree lights on a "clapper" Anyone looking in my window this morning would have thought that a witch lives here... I dance around the tree three times, clapping my hands, and suddenly- lights

The tree has fallen 3 times this year- twice before any decorations, once after. My kids heard me come in singing last night... "it's the most wonderful time of the year" then Oh My Goodness... and then, a pathetic clapping.... at least it had lights while lying on the ground..
The tree is now firmly tied to the wall

Dogs barking turn the tree off and on..

I love to get up early in the morning, light the tree and sit quietly in the darkened room, sipping tea, staring at the lights. I have to get up pretty early to do this- but it is worth it. It is a very peaceful way to start the day

These holidays require peaceful beginnings. It is very easy to lose your perspective in the midst of all the holiday "cheer"

It seemed that all the hospice families I visited yesterday were managing to balance their pain and illness with joy and rememberance. A wife was baking cookies. Soft Christmas music played in the backround. There was some type of decoration in each home- even if it was just a small tree. People seem to find a way to remember, to celebrate, to honor... even in the midst of illness and grief

Here's hoping that your season is peaceful and bright

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Saturday, December 12, 2009


This church sits on a hill in the midst of the farm originally owned by my great grandfather. My grandfather was born, and died, in a house just down the road. The original barns and much of the land can be seen from the vantage point of this simple church.

We went there tonight for a service, scripture reading and carols.

Tim leads this service. His musicality is amazing- it is as if he and the piano are one instrument.

I love sitting in the pews, knowing that my father, my grandparents and my great grandparents all sat in this space, singing the same songs- praising the same Jesus..

They rang the bell in the midst of the service. As the sound peeled over the valley, Tim got a tear in his eye. "There is just something about that bell" he said.

I agree... there is something about that bell- something about that place... something timeless.

Something lasting.

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Friday, December 11, 2009

A Year

It's my anniversary! One year of blogging!

I am filled with gratitude... for all that we have been through this year, for all that God has brought us through... I am grateful for all the blessings - all the people who carried us- through this last year...

Our hospice pastor often prays that we might be God's hands.... I surely understand that sentiment in ways that I never could have before. We have been the recipient of those hands- we have been richly blessed.

Blogging has brought clarity and focus to this year- and for that, I am also grateful... I wasn't so sure about the idea when I was nudged toward it a year ago. I am grateful for that nudging-for the focus and sanity it brought. Grateful for my faithful "followers".

As we head toward 2010- and hopefully smooth sailing..... I look forward to participating more in the blogging community. There are fascinating people sharing snippets of their lives....

Tamika, at The Write Worship blog, suggests that we spend "12 days of community" -visiting and commenting on other blogs. It seems a perfect suggestion for such a blustery weekend.

I remember clearly that a year ago, I was looking for some fun. Now, I believe, I am seeking joy. Quite a bit of difference in those 3 letter words.

I am looking forward to blogging along the way. Here's to finding joy in 2010. Thanks for joining me.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Piglet or Pooh?

I read the post of Shelli at "Market My Words" yesterday and laughed til I cried.... so much of what she was saying made me remember my own days of toddlers and preschoolers... Wow- it seems like that was a long time ago- a golden time. Days when I was greeted as I walked in the door with the excited shouts "mommy's home"

I must have had her post on my mind as I drove home with the wind pushing my car off the road. All I could think was "it must be the wind you know".... Now - who said that???? Pooh? or Piglet?

I remember other blustery days, curled up with Candy Land and Barney- PJs with feet and hot chocolate.

Walked in the door tonight to be greeted by teenagers. "Whatz up" "Yeah" My arrival barely raises an eyebrow these days. Still, as I settle here to catch up on the blogging world, they wind their way in and out. Kisses on the head. Half hugs. Snippets of their day. Laughter echoing from the next room- accompanied oddly enough by the song of Sponge Bob Square Pants...
Guess we're not that far from toddlerhood after all.

It was a long, cold, stressful drive home. Those memories wrapped themselves around me and warmed me.
Wishing each of you a cozy night- warmed by the ones you love...

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Monday, December 7, 2009

Dec. 7

The sun shone weakly today- while snowflakes fell lightly. Christmas music played in the homes that I visited, while old men faced bravely the end of their days. Pearl Harbor happened on this day- when those same men were young and strong. Virile and brave. Full of themselves, I'm sure, as only the young can be...
I watched today as grown women were reduced to children when faced with the prospect of losing their father. Although I saw an old man, lying in a hospital bed, they viewed him through the same eyes that saw him as their hero. In their eyes, he will always be young and strong- always their dad...
Pictures grace the walls, children with their parents becoming parents with their children..

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Friday, December 4, 2009

You Rock

In the midst of thinking about thanksgiving turkeys and pumpkin pies- I was issued a challenge

It came from the mouth of a 15 y/o and went something like this "YOU, play guitar hero? Huh!"

It was on.

Before I could catch my breath and realize what I'd done, another 15 y/o was walking in the door, carrying an array of plastic guitars and microphones. Microphones?

An hour later I heard the sweetest words I'd heard since someone announced "it's a boy"
I heard "your mom rocks"

who, me?

I often wonder, as I drive from home to home, what makes a "life well lived"?
I think.... that much of it is found in the moments like this one...

You may not find me blogging for awhile.... I have, over the last week, gone from beginner to easy and last night- to medium..... I'm pushing hard for expert- so I'll catch ya later...

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