First the Lights Went Out

Can you believe the holidays are just around the corner? It seems unreal because of the virus – how our everyday living has changed. Even though it’s hard to fathom that the year is coming to a close, my trusty calendar says it is, so I thought it would be a good time to post this Christmas tale from last year.

In excitement we wriggle from head to toe anticipating our daughter and fiancé’s visit from Nashville. The newly-engaged couple flies out early December to beat the holiday airport chaos. Thanksgiving dishes barely sparkle when we push and pull our Noble Fir through the front door. I want the house to be dressed in holiday attire for when they arrive. But the day after Thanksgiving is early to buy a tree, so the pickings are slim and the cost is a heart-stopper. Yet, there in the living room by the window stands the evergreen, reflecting in the paned glass.

My husband takes charge of putting up the outside decorations – hanging the Christmas flag, stringing the lights on the house, and sprinkling big ornaments on our shrubbery. My son and I begin indoor decorating by winding the lights among the branches on the tree. As we hand the wiry bunch to each other, around and around, they blink awake like eyes opening brightly. But then suddenly, they go out like sleepy eyes closing. When we tested them earlier, they lit up just fine, so their slumbering is surely a mystery. Feeling frustrated, we fuss with the tiny bulbs, and eventually, they blink “Merry Christmas” again. (Problem solved or so we think.) Then come the ornaments – many made by our children’s’ little hands: photos of them skirted in gold stars or in the arms of pink angels. The clothespin reindeer look excited to join Santa on Christmas Eve, and the homemade sequin ornaments from my husband’s grandma transports him back to the sixties. His grandma was stern but kindhearted, and when she cooked each Sunday for the following week, there was enough food to feed everyone in the county. Then my fingers feel around in the box for another ornament, latching onto the white puffy heart engraved with Dad’s birth and death date. It’s like hanging memories one by one, triggering teardrops or raising smiles. When the tree stands fully adorned, it truly looks Noble.

Copper’s on full alert for a Christmas treat!

Outside for onlookers, the house lights blink a winter white with a splash of red, gold, green, and silver hanging among the greenery, but more Christmas spirit arrives with our Nashville kids. They gave us a beautiful wreath which hangs on the front door and completes the decorating. In the evenings, we gather around the table, catching up on life and sharing delicious food. They share their wedding plans and we hear their excitement to search for a special place to exchange vows. And we bake! Having my daughter home to help mix up some sweetness conjures up delightful baking memories.

I want to freeze time – for it alone is an illusion: drifting by like the slow drip of honey, yet, flying by like a hummingbird seeking nectar. With a blink of an eye, our visit with them has ended and it’s time for goodbye-hugs which are never easy; bittersweet tears fall like liberated water over a broken dam. Too soon my cell phone pings, telling me they’re boarding their plane. Once their feet safely touch Tennessee ground, I push the restart button in my routine. Phone calls, Facetime, and text messages don’t replace their presence but will suffice until their next trip.

Our focus is back to the Noble Fir and we notice it doesn’t appear to be thirsty. This evergreen that cost an arm and a leg is beginning to dry up faster than a drop of water on a sun-kissed sidewalk. Then to our surprise, the bottom lights go out! A couple of days later with one tilt of our heads, we spot the lights on top of the tree are out! Frustration seeps into our veins for a second, then trickles of laughter follow, and because we’re too busy to shop for new lights, our tree remains topless and bottomless where festive colors once shimmered! We join Charlie Brown and call it our Peanut’s tree – a little forlorn to our eyes but beautiful just the same. The angel our daughter made years ago, though only a toilet paper roll with lacey craftsmanship, sits in a place of honor on top of the tree. Replacing this dear angel is out of the question, so we look to her for hope that the tree lasts until the big day!

Moving on from our tree-light calamity, it’s time to bake again. I find my mother-in-law’s gingerbread recipe, preheat the oven, then press the button on my faithful hand mixer. When all ingredients are blended, I dip a spoon into the sweet-spicy batter. I have to make sure it’s fine for others to eat. Of course, I do. I was about to put the pan in the oven, opening the door, when I realize 350-degree heat did not whoosh out at me in the face. I call my husband over and we do some button-pressing, hoping our magic touches will perk up the oven. No luck, but no need to panic fully because the burners work, so not a total loss. The gingerbread stays overnight in the fridge, but I’m unsure as to how refrigeration will affect the batter. I call on a friend for help and use her oven the next day. When the timer beeps, the bread looks done, except for the molten-looking center – mushy, but honestly, gooey and delectable.

Two weeks pass since the oven’s demise, and no repairman is available until December 30th. It sounds like the death of many appliances! At least the oven functioned when my daughter and I needed it to for our upcoming cookie exchange. Four dozen buttercream-frosted sugar cookies were displayed on glass platters: stars, Christmas trees, gingerbread men, and angels all bejeweled in red and green sprinkles. Now, as Christmas draws closer by the minute, I feel off-kilter because I’m unable to bake.

While the oven sits waiting to be repaired, the alternator in one of our cars dies! First the lights, then the oven, now the car! But wait, there’s more…our big TV is next on this chain of events! What a kerfuffle this holiday season has been with things going kaput! I won’t ask, because if I do, we’ll wonder what’s next! I didn’t ask!

Because of the unexpected and unfortunate events, our shopping sprees have barely begun. But we’ll still find merchandise sitting on the shelves, contrary to popular belief that Black Friday is the only day to shop for Christmas. And each time I walk past our unique Christmas tree, I am reminded of the quote, paraphrasing, of course, “It’s not about the beginning or destination; it’s about the journey.” Well, the tree’s middle glows with Christmas enthusiasm and so does our journey through this holiday season in spite of the blips.

These hiccups caused us to pause, but they’re not the end of the world. Baking later could develop into a new tradition. Our tree will remain noble until Christmas Day, or at least we hope it will. Those temperamental lights will be tossed when the tree comes down. The car is on its wheels again. So, regardless of these glitches, the blessings stand tall: precious family time, safe travels for our Nashville kids, and gifts beneath the tree acting as an evergreen anchor. Saving the best for last – our family’s good health. What more can we ask for besides new lights for our tree next year!

I hope this account of my family’s last Christmas brought smiles and maybe even a few giggles. And I have a strong hunch, this holiday season will look a little different. But if good health abounds, that’s what matters most. And Cheers to hoping 2021 is much brighter for all!

Lauren💓💓💓

The Season’s Spirit

Blue-Christmas-Ornament-Backgound-Vector-Graphic

Guilt overshadows the season’s joy
when others’ loss becomes prevalent
They wish for a miracle of healing
their spirits hang on a thread so delicate

When will the blood stop shedding?
What will keep mouths from starving?
Do you hear it where you are?
The noise of despair is jarring

Is it so simple to say a prayer
for their anguish to be calmed
for love to hug their weary souls
for all to feel a connected bond?

~Lauren Scott © 2017
Photo: Google

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 💝

 

 

 

A Sweet Gift

Christmas cookies 2011

many merry shapes

frosted and sprinkled with love

a way of giving

 

Lauren Scott © 2017
Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!
I wish that share button was a
little more literal, then I could
share these with you! 

 

 

The Miracle

 

 

Christmas child

Let us view
Christmas through the eyes
of children –
the magic
the wonder of the season
pure joy, love, and hope

Lauren Scott © 2017
Photo: Google

Wishing you a blessed holiday season ❤

A Holiday Wish from Afar

Dear Friends,

How are you? I know, it’s been awhile since I’ve been around. I offer no excuses, so this is just a quick post to say “hi” and send my well wishes to you. Last week, I had an unexpected medical emergency that threw a wrench in my December plans. Fortunately, I’m home now and slowly on the mend to continue with the holiday shopping and tying of loose ends at work before the festivities begin.

Anyway, I hope this note finds you all happy and healthy, and I wish you a blessed holiday season that continues into 2017. I’m including two photos I found on Google of Lake Tahoe showing off its winter and holiday beauty (one of our favorite places). 

Sending Love, Hugs, Merry Christmas, and a very Happy New Year!

~Lauren

lake-tahoe-winter lake-tahoe-christmas-2016

Hiatus Time

Dear Friends,

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! 

Sending hugs, love and blessings,
Lauren ♥

IMG_0195

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday, USA

 

 

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 

 Happy 4th of July weekend 2015 picassa

(Part of this is a repost from 2012)

 

 

Early New Year Wishes :)

happy_new_year

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 the impact
another year of living
the gift of existing
So accelerate in high gear
no invite for fear
Pour the bubbles
forget your troubles
Clink and Chime
Celebrate Big Time!

Lauren Scott © 2014

One year later, I share this poem again
with sincere wishes of a wonderful, joyful,
productive 2015 for you all
and a safe celebration for ringing in the New Year!

With love, Lauren

Offering Good Cheer

Life picassa 2014

 

The holidays are joyful in many ways, but they can also be tough.
Skipping Christmas is often wished for through difficult circumstances and going through each day with merry measure, being joyous all together, simply may not happen.

We all have problems we’re dealing with on various levels. No one is exempt and as we turn on the news, trying to be joyful in a world filled with so much tragedy isn’t easy; it’s hard enough to comprehend.

So I’m offering a little bit of good cheer and inspiration. It’s not a lot and it might not help. Then again, it might make a difference for even one person reading, which would mean the world to me.

Remember, while the road may be unpredictable, you’ll always have “tough and strong” to lean on. 

Sending Love, Smiles and Blessings for this day and all days to come,
and wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! 

Lauren ♥