Endearing Traits

I’m always surprised by Wednesday, especially when I don’t have a post ready for Thursday. Like today. I always mean to write several posts and schedule them. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

Hello, Thursday Morning friends! I’m so glad you’ve stopped by, sparing a few moments from your busy, busy day to visit with me.

I just returned from a quick dinner out with my husband (Bob). He was uncertain what he wanted to eat and where he wanted to go, but we have dozens of good restaurants nearby to choose from. We’re driving and he says, “Hey, let’s go to that place with the big fan.”

I laughed, because this is classic Bob. He’s a smart guy, but he can’t remember names. Now, lest you think he’s on the road to memory loss, that might suggest he had something to lose. Where names are concerned, that is. It’s an endearing trait that provides ample opportunity for humor in our family.

We went to the place with the big fan. On the drive home, I was musing about all the other places he can’t remember. “Hey, how about the place with the horses out front?” Some of you may recognize that one.

“Let’s go to that place next to “chillis” (Chili’s—that’s another joke, but for a different reason). Chillis is how his mother pronounces the name of the restaurant. I guess the red pepper on the sign wasn’t an ample clue for her. It’s been years, but we still call it that. Bob doesn’t care for chillis, so we go to the restaurant next door.

Hey, don’t we know that guy?

It’s not only restaurant names he can’t remember. I often get an elbow in the ribs when we’re at church, or at a party. “Quick, what’s that guy’s name?”

I give him the “I can’t believe you” stare. “We’ve known him over forty years—he was in our wedding!”

“I know, but what’s his name?”

My favorite episode happened recently. We were sitting in a nice little Mexican restaurant when a friend walked in. She stopped by our table to say hello before taking her seat. We had to pass her table on the way out, so Bob wanted to speak to her. He punched me. “Quick, what’s her name?”

I narrowed my eyes at him. “Oh, my gosh. You’re kidding me.”

He frowned. “What’s her name?”

“Her name is Betty.”

“No, really, what’s her name?”

I leaned closer. “Betty.”

We cracked up.

We’d been married barely two weeks when he forgot my name, while introducing me to a friend. At the time, I was shocked. “Really, Bob? How could you forget my name?” These days, I just shrug and smile. “Classic Bob.” I squirrel it away to tell later, when the family gets together.

Oh, and he’s directionally-challenged, too. But that’s another endearing trait for another day.

Peace Through the Storms of Life

I have to laugh at myself, so this coffee pic seems appropriate.

Hello, Thursday morning friends! Thanks for stopping by this morning. I’m reminiscing again, but for a different reason.

NOTE: I accidentally entered the wrong date. This was supposed to post on Thursday!

Once upon a time, I had three beautiful aunts. Actually, I had one more out west, but I never met her. And oh yes, there is my uncle’s wife in Idaho I never met, too. But that’s another story.

My brothers and me with Aunt Edna’s kids, minus one not born yet. We were a handful!

Tennessee family. I had three lovely aunts, my dad’s two sisters, Jenny and Fran, and his brother’s wife, Edna. Growing up in a close family meant a lot of love. My aunts were like “other mothers” to me. Sometimes, I could talk to them more easily than my own mother. But, I always knew Mom would hear about it. They were all great friends who told each other things like that.

Aunt Jenny and Aunt Fran died several years ago, within days of each other. Aunt Jenny always looked after her younger sister, so I joked that she stopped by the nursing home on the way out and  took sis with her. And that was okay. Our hearts hurt, but we knew where they were.

This week, Aunt Edna left. She was a survivor. She survived colon cancer and lived with a colostomy for many years. She endured many losses in her life. But her love stayed strong. Though she was little, she was a fierce warrior where her family was concerned.

11738096_10205150625025104_478638103348948120_n
Mom on left, Aunt Edna on right.

I like to think she passed that fierce love to all of her children—those she gave birth to, those she loved like her own kids, and the numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren who called her “mammy”.

My heart aches at this loss. But if the alternative is not to have love, then I say it’s worth the pain. I’ve experienced great joy in life because of these three women who loved me unconditionally. I think it would be a greater loss and heartbreak to go through life alone.

Aunt Jenny, always smiling.

A kiss going in, a kiss going out, and sometimes, a kiss just because. That’s what we said about Aunt Jenny, but it could easily be said of all the aunts. They never missed an opportunity to show affection and love, because they had learned the value and importance of physical touch, and making your feelings known.

Peace through the storms of life, that’s what unconditional love provides. A shelter in the storm. Knowing you’re loved and accepted somewhere, by someone. In this in-your-face, confrontational world, it may be an old-fashioned concept.

Aunt Fran & Me (I’m the little one).

Or, maybe it’s a southern thing. All I know, is I will miss their hugs and kisses.

I’ll miss Aunt Edna’s voice. But the love is still there, because she never missed an opportunity to pass it on.

So, now it’s our turn. The baton is in our hands.

All I Want for Christmas Part 2

There are a number of Christmas stories, books, and movies that begin with the line, “All I Want for Christmas…” — and one very silly song. I won’t mention that one, because I don’t want to get it stuck in my head. Hey, I’m doing you a very great favor here.

Christmas time is here...
Christmas time is here…

So, Hallmark Christmas movies are a genre all their own. The tendency is toward sap and silliness and incredible situations. Even the credible ones tend to be quite predictable. Don’t get me wrong, I love some of those silly offerings. And every once in a while, you stumble across one that is truly delightful.

I have a few favorites. They’re not all made by Hallmark, but definitely in the genre:

  • One Christmas Eve is a total blast! I laughed so hard.
  • A Season for Miracles–angelic!
  • The Christmas Bunny–different, but I liked it.
  • Christmas with Holly–mostly because of the location, and the Basset hound.
  • A Christmas Card–it has everything–an icky fiance, and curly fries.
  • The Road to Christmas–wonderful actors.

Okay, that’s enough. Most of these are romances or contain romance, but not all. The couples meet and fall into forever love in just days! But something in them appeals to me. Laughter, love, warmth…and honestly, by the time Christmas gets here, I’ve watched too many. I feel like a total glutton. I’m ready to move on. But if you like to watch them all year, they are available. Nice to know.

But the time comes when you need to get your head out of the Hallmark movie and face real life.

family-310364_1280Because there are some people out there who need a positive influence in their lives. They need us to share the love passed down from our Heavenly Father and the Savior we celebrate during this season. Hey, if your pocketbook is a little too slim, find other ways to bless your friends and family. Don’t be a Scrooge!

So what’s my Christmas wish this week? Time to watch movies? No. That would be a little shallow, don’t you think? Fun, but frivolous. And besides, I wished for time last week. So this week, I wish for gatherings and fun and fellowship. My holiday house is open to sons and their wives, their families, and carloads of granddaughters (one of my favorite things). The best recipe for fun and laughter is a house filled with those you love.

chip-1And maybe someone will come and bring their dog. I’d love that.

What’s your greatest wish? Is it an impossible dream, or is it a maybe–something within the realm of possibility. Faith is believing, so I’m going to stock the fridge, do some baking, and be ready for that wish to come true.

Gratitude

Gratitude. It’s not just a synonym for thankfulness, it’s a state of being. Something that is often forgotten. Those nine lepers in Jesus’ day (Luke 17:11-19) missed a blessing by not sticking around to say, “Thank you.” Yes, they were miraculously healed, which is a gift in itself. But in their haste—their excitement over being cleansed of this horrible disease, did they forget something? Where was the gratitude?

“Were there not ten of you,” Jesus asked the one who came to thank him. “Where are the nine?”

Shame on the nine.

Shame on me, when I forget to say thanks.

illustration-1546834_1280

What does the word gratitude mean to you? What thoughts enter your mind when you read that word? Do you think of things (inanimate objects)? Do you gaze around at your personal possessions? The roof over your head? Or do you think of your health? Are you thankful for each new day when you wake up and get out of bed?

Some don’t wake up. Some can’t get out of bed.

I tend to think of people. Those who are special to me. Family, friends, and those acquaintances who may become good friends in time. These are the most pleasant of gifts. Folks who actually care whether or not you wake up in the morning.

Some don’t have anyone.

turkey-1456681_1280On Thursday, we gather together to celebrate a turkey. Of course, I’m kidding, but it does sometimes seem that way, especially at my house. If I put a turkey in the oven, they will come to see me. If there’s pumpkin pie, it’s pretty much a guarantee. 🙂

This year, I’m especially grateful for the loves of my life, my husband, my sons, their wives, and those precious grandchildren. I plan to make gratitude a big part of our celebration.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. And if you have all the things above—a roof, possessions, health, family—I hope you remember to express your gratitude for those gifts. If you don’t have some of these things, but you have your health, you can be grateful for that.

In Philippians 4:11-13, Paul the Apostle writes:

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (New International Version)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Save

Save