I wanted to share a Christmas poem, but the words just weren’t flowing. So, you won’t read anything fancy today, only that I’m taking a breather from blogging for the holidays and this will be my last post until I return sometime in January. As we all know, breaks are necessary so that we can recharge our minds, bodies, and spirits. But before I go, I want to thank you all for your continued support! It has beenwonderful to meet and get to know so many talented artists in this virtual community.
On that note, I wish you all a holiday filled with Peace, Joy, and Love, everything we’ve heard before but all we truly need. ❤️
Sending holiday hugs, stay safe, be well, and I’ll see you in 2022! Cheers, Lauren ❤️🎄❤️
This holiday season is different for my husband and I, a bit quieter around the house because we became empty nesters several months ago. And I admit that with Christmas just around the corner, the quiet is a bit thunderous. I remember past holidays when our son and daughter were little; we’d keep the magic going and would look forward to witnessing their wonder of the season each day up until the morning when we watched them with delight open their gifts. They knew that just the night before, Santa had come down the chimney with the hefty pack of presents on his back.
Holiday baking is a tradition that I carried into my family from memories of my sisters and I baking with Mom. She was beautiful and festive, wearing her Christmas apron as she taught us how to make sugar cookies and her German Christmas Stollen – a delicious recipe that I’ve made only once in my life but will attempt again when I have the required energy in both mind and body. The recipe is complicated, involving yeast and bread rising and everything that I know very little about, hence, the need to muster up that energy! Baking with my young children was a time when their excitement and giggles bounced off the walls as they helped make sugar cookies in different shapes: bells, boots, Christmas trees, angels, stockings, candy canes, holly leaves, and more. Licking the beaters was a must, and no one ever got sick. Their tiny little hands had so much fun with the cookie dough as if they were creating with playdough. Christmas carols played in the background adding merriment to the mix.
I must have inherited my love of dressing festively for the holidays because when our children were little, I loved painting on t-shirts and sweatshirts for family and friends. I was no artist, but my daughter and son were thrilled to wear their white “Merry Christmas” sweatshirts with candy canes and Santa’s “Ho, Ho, Ho!” The grandparents wore their Santa Claus sweatshirts with pride, and they looked cute! My husband and I still wear ours and that paint has never peeled off, even after thirty years! Having fun was the main objective!
But this past Saturday a new tradition began when just the two of us drove to our most patronized grocery store to look for a live Christmas tree. He’s an Arborist and an avid tree hugger, so as long as the prepping of the tree – fitting it onto the stand and keeping it watered – doesn’t become physically challenging, a living tree will be our preference. For the first time, we brought home a beautiful Grand Fir. My husband prepped the tree outside, trimming the bottom branches, making sure the flush cut was level with the base of the tree, then drilling holes around the center hole to allow water to be soaked up. Inside the house, I rearranged furniture, vacuumed, and pulled the red festive tree skirt from the closet, prepping the perfect spot by the large window in the living room. When the tree was set up, I poured sugar water into the base and waited a half hour to ensure no water was seeping through.
Tony Bennett sang Christmas carols in the background while we strung the lights around the fragrant tree. As we picked up each ornament, precious memories flooded our minds. Most ornaments were handmade by our children as they were growing up, and many have photos of them from kindergarten, first, and second grades. Oh, the memories! Now our beautiful Grand Fir stands tall by the window adorned in red, green, and white lights, adding magic to the room. The tree topper is our very own precious angel that our daughter made when she was a little girl. She used a toilet paper roll. Hilarious, but clever, and so special that this angel will never be replaced.
I realized early that day, I didn’t feel the same excitement to put up the tree as I’ve felt in years past. But we had a great time, perusing the trees on the lot, then getting both tree and house ready. Feeling reminiscent of those years when our children were little invoked gratitude for the blessed Christmases we’ve had when we all lived together, or at least, when one child was home while the other was away at university. So, even though we missed the presence of our adult kids during this tradition, I’m grateful for my husband to share another holiday season with. Perspective is key: this is the next chapter for each of us, and it’s all good. Most importantly, we are healthy and safe.
Everyone has their own struggles and sorrow from various life events; some are just a matter of going along with the progression of natural changes like becoming empty nesters, and some events are so tragic that joy drifts far, far away. Hopefully, though, joy can be found wherever our hearts and minds may be this holiday season, even if only in tiny, fragile fragments.
And speaking of memories, if you’re looking for a holiday gift for family or friends, my memoir, More than Coffee: Memories in Verse and Prose, is available on Amazon:
“More than Coffee is a heartwarming collection of memories and anecdotes in which the author reflects on her early life, her marriage, her love for family and friends, and her appreciation for the great outdoors. In poetry and prose she writes poignantly (and often humorously) of love, loss, sadness and joy, and I found myself relating to each section. The overall feeling I had after reading More than Coffee was one of optimism and upliftment. A wonderful book!“
I believe there is some meaningful discovery for each reader, or at least, this is my wish.
Sending you all hugs of joy during this holiday season. Lauren ❤️🎄
Their eyes see twinkling magic Unaware of worldwide discord. Children, innocent in youth, Show how joy can be restored. Let their wonder guide and excite With their eager anticipation – Let our worries fall to the floor As we welcome exultation.
Christmas memories from when our son and daughter were little are still so vivid – how they became excited awaiting the rooftop-arrival of Santa Claus and Dasher & Dancer & Prancer & Vixen & Comet & Cupid & Donner & Blitzen & Rudolph!!! They were my little helpers in the kitchen baking cut-out sugar cookies for Santa and we made sure to leave a bowl of carrots for his reindeer to chomp on.
Those were magical timesof make believe, yet times also for believing. 🌟🌟🌟
May we hold that magic of innocence and our inner child in our hearts during this holiday season. 🎄💗
I’ve lost blogging momentum because of some health issues in our family and procedures during the holiday. My mind has been a little preoccupied. But on the morning of Thanksgiving, my husband and I enjoyed a walk around the neighborhood. The sun was shining and the temperature was invigorating and brisk. After turning a corner, we stumbled upon a van that invited passersby to write their gratitude on the colorful hand turkeys provided. Sharpies and hand sanitizer were also conveniently supplied. We gladly participated and added our turkey to the eye-catching and humbling collection. God Bless the owner of this van, for even in dark times there is much to be grateful for.
Just like many others, we were ready for some Christmas joy, so we bought our tree on black Friday and we’ve never seen the line so long! Patience really was a virtue that day! We call our tree the “Family tree” because most of the ornaments are homemade from our son and daughter when they were little. The angel on top is our daughter’s creation and there is no reason to replace it. Our senses are heightened by the Noble Fir fragrance and the room is cozier than ever now.
Copper enjoys the warmth and coziness of the fire, but he prefers not to be too closeto the snap, crackle, and pop.
Lastly,WordPress tells me that I have a 10-year anniversary to celebrate!Time sure flies when you’re having fun creating, along with meeting wonderful people all around the world. So, Thank You, for your support and friendship!
I hope those of you in the U.S. had a wonderful Thanksgiving and wish you all a blessed Christmas and holiday season. Stay safe and well, too! Lauren 💗
Does time fly by at faster speeds each year? It sure seems like it. Are your thoughts similar? Well, now that we know a new year is just around the corner, have you made a list of resolutions?
A few days ago, I reminisced about this year and all its glories and sorrows. Resolutions, for me, are a thing of the past. However, I have completed some goals that were set in the beginning of this year (patting myself on the back). I like to create new goals rather than resolutions. So, this began the wheels turning and the goal list for 2018 has commenced!
Here is some wisdom from the author, Kirsten Sevig:
“I decided to measure success in happiness, progress, wisdom, accumulating rejection and failure, resilience and determination, pride in my work, confidence, and comparing only to myself instead of to others.”
What great wisdom this is because how many measure success in dollar signs only? How many compare their accomplishments to others’ successes and easily beat themselves up for not achieving as much? I hope this wisdom enlightens your visions of the New Year! And even though we’ve read similar encouragement before, this affords us another chance to make our lives what we want them to be.
Below is an old poem I wrote for New Year’s that I hope you enjoy again or for the first time.
There were… High points to this year Low points to bear Tears to dry from reasons to cry Lessons to learn by Adventures to try Demons to fight Wrongs to right Resolutions completed Some deleted But looking back we see impact Another year of living The gift of existing Accelerate in high gear No invite for fear Pour the bubbles Forget your troubles Clink and Chime Celebrate Big Time!
This season of Magic, Miracles, and Faith isn’t joyous for everyone; for many it’s a Blue Christmas. So, may the Spirit find itself embracing all people, but especially those who are dealing with stress or depression from tragedy, and may Peace weave its way into their hearts, minds, and lives. Let us remember the Vision of “Goodwill to All Men.”
I’ll be away from blogging through the holiday weekend, so I wish you all a Christmas filled with an abundance of Love, Joy, and Peace. And a Big “Thank You” to all of you – both old and new friends – for your continued support here on WP. ~With Love, Lauren 💝
I’m leaving blogland for awhile (again), and I’m not sure how long I’ll be gone. My muse just left for her Christmas vacation, so the timing works out fine. 🙂
Anyway, I wish you all a peaceful, joyous, and safe time during the holidays
and a very Happy New Year!
Our flag proudly flies holding men and women in its bold stars and stripes Colors in the sky together we “ooh” and “ahhh” Independence Day
Wishing you all who celebrate a fun and safe Fourth of July!
Each year we go to our county fair, which is our plan for today.
And each year it’s the same, nothing changes,
yet the experience is still fun as we view the exhibits, the animals,
ride the big Ferris Wheel, take in the great music, enjoy some wine and beer
and of course, enjoy the fair food…my faves are gyros and root beer floats. 🙂
So have a Happy time and a Wonderful Weekend! Sharing Love and Hugs, Lauren
I’ve always loved this beautiful Irish Blessingbelow and this photo brings back many fun Easter memories.
“May the road rise to meet you, May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, The rains fall soft upon your fields, And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand”
Here’s a Valentine wish for my hubby to whom I’m smitten and to all of you who peek at what I’ve written, to my dearly missed Mom, it’s been a year since she’s been gone to my family who support me, they’re as strong as the sea
Today isn’t just a day for lovers, It’s a day of love that covers everyone who adds color to your life, lessens the strife, adds calm to your crazy, brings life to your lazy, and adds love with a hug.