My Shark Tank Worthy Idea

Today I was folding clothes.

Nothing different about that.  Most days find me folding a load or two.

But today as I was taking on Mt. Washmore, I had a revelation–a business idea.

Somebody sign me up for Shark Tank.  I’m going to be an entrepreneur.

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I was folding these two shirts that we got on Monday when Aub and I attended the workshop with Hugh Hollowell and David LaMotte.  I smiled at the memories of the day and all the great discussions, and I realized that would likely happen each time I wore or folded these shirts.

And maybe, really, that was why I got them?

I thought about the shirt my oldest got at the Miranda Lambert concert.  Did she get it because, more than anything in this life, she wanted to wear Miranda Lambert’s face across her chest?  I don’t think so.  I think she got caught up in the moment and wanted to have something–a t-shirt–to remember it by.

Same thing with the Jonas Brothers concert, the trip to Disney, and the field trip to see Wicked at the Fox–something to wear to remember those feelings and emotions and the experience.

And so here’s where my business idea comes in.

An app (because, obviously) that you can hit a button and the moment is “captured” and a unique, custom-made t-shirt to commemorate the moment is immediately designed and you receive it in 24-48 hours.  Happy Wearing!  And Remembering.

I mean, when you attend these big events, the shirts and hoodies and whatnot are all already there.  But what about those times when there are no souvenir sellers?

When you cook a meal that everyone raves about…..*click*  “Mama’s cooking RULES” shirt at your door the very next day

When you make it to your appointment on time despite all the bad traffic…..*click* “Keep Calm and Let Mama Drive”

When you have solved the problem of how to fit all of the dirty dishes in the dishwasher AT ONE TIME…..*click* “Because #cleandishescleansink”

When you breathe in the smell of freshly washed hair when your little one comes in to hug you…..*click* “Mamahood–Best. Job. Ever.”

When you are reading a really good book and you hear your children calling you and so you tell them you’re playing hide and seek…..*click* “This is not the Mama you are looking for” (sorry, had to have the token Star Wars reference)

All of those precious, small moments that you just wish could last a moment or two or an eternity longer happen, you would be able to capture them and have a t-shirt to remember it by.

How cool would that be?

Tonight I’m thankful for the reminder that not every precious moment in this life is a big “live one night only show” one–that there are those small quiet and not so quiet ones that mean everything and we wish could last forever that are beautiful too.

Wishing you all a t-shirt wearing, slogan worthy day.

Love to all.

 

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In all seriousness, I will wear these shirts we got on Monday because I believe in their message and because the purchase of them went to help with their mission.  I do believe Love Wins, and it is my hope that we will all see the person beyond the homelessness and find what we have in common and celebrate THAT.  If you’d like to support the mission of Love Wins and/or wear a really cool shirt just like me–you can click here and order your own.  Now that’s something to smile about.

 

Christmas Cheer

Tonight I’m thankful for barefooted little boys feeling well enough to run around outside on a day that has blue skies and sunshine.  I’m thankful for little girls who are growing up but still hug dolls and cry over sweet stories.  I give thanks for big girls who love dolls and listening to the radio and who still get excited about the magic of Christmas.

For the gifts that made me feel loved and the folks who give love so generously, I am grateful–fruitcakes, pitchforks that  turn out to be something wonderful, simple rings that hold a promise, and ampersands and earrings and books and smiles and hugs and phone calls and laughter and time spent together.

Today was filled with the quiet joy that comes from loving those who are here and remembering those who are not and loving and laughing and holding each other close through it all.

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Tonight I’m most thankful for all of those who share Christmas cheer with us.

Wishing you all enough cheer that you have plenty to share with those around you.

Merry First Day of Christmas!

If a Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words…..

A week or so ago, I was “running my mouth” and said something about a picture not taken being worth zero words.  And then I paused and questioned that almost immediately.
Is it?

I’m all about taking the pictures.  (Rarely in them, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.)  I take them in important moments, whimsical moments, “make me laugh so hard I’ve got to get this shot right now” moments, and in moments that hardly seem special at the time at all.

Miss Sophie pulled the empty water bottle out of her sock monkey toy.  This made us laugh.  So glad I was able to get this shot.

Miss Sophie pulled the empty water bottle out of her sock monkey toy. This made us laugh. So glad I was able to get this shot.

Here’s one of those “laughing so hard, oh please let me get it” moments, just for the fun of it.

An old fashioned microphone for your home decor.  Oh-kay.....interesting, considering our conversation.

An old-fashioned microphone for your home decor. Oh-kay…..interesting, considering our earlier conversation.

I also take pictures of things I want to remember.  Like an item in a store.  About thirty minutes before I saw this in the store, we had just been talking about the old-fashioned microphones with our Princess.  I wanted to remember that they had them if I decided we really “needed” one.

 

Cooter picked up the empty tissue box and said, "Mama if you pull out all of the plastic it makes a great cup holder."  Then he proceeded to pick up the whole box and drink from it.  That boy.....

Cooter picked up the empty tissue box and said, “Mama if you pull out all of the plastic it makes a great cup holder.” Then he proceeded to pick up the whole box and drink from it. That boy…..

And then there are the pictures I take for posterity, because I never will remember such as this, but isn’t it something worth remembering?  The time that my 7 yo made a cup holder out of the empty tissue box and then picked up the whole box so he could drink his water.  That boy’s a mess, I tell you what.  And now I can remember what a mess he was at age 7.  (And far beyond, I’m sure.)

 

Once upon a time in my previous life, we were on a trip to Disney and I found myself lugging around a big video camera and trying to document each precious moment.  And you’re at Disney, for goodness’ sake–so each moment is precious if for no other reason than the average price per moment, right?

Yes.

But I got to the point where I realized I was spending a majority of my time watching everything from behind the lens, and I wasn’t really living in the moment.  I was going to go back later and enjoy watching the videos over and over.  Big fun.

So I stopped.  I took a few pictures that were treasures, but I stopped taking pictures of every little thing.

And I enjoyed things more.

I had kind of forgotten my resolution.  Our trip to the Mouse House this past summer went okay, but I probably did take more pictures than I needed to.  It was last Tuesday evening at the Fair that it came back to me.

Sometimes a picture not taken is worth a whole lot of words too.

I was sitting with my family watching Robinson’s Racing Pigs.  (These are the same pigs that led me to meet Phil Keoghan–yep, the guy from the Amazing Race–but you’ll have to wait on that story too.)  It was a beautiful night and the stars were out.  After dark the Fair seems even more magical.  As the pigs came out and began to race, I thought, oh, let me take a picture, let me get shots of my babies cheering on their favorites.

Wait.  A bystander? Watching from the sidelines–behind the lens again?

Cheering them on as they cheered pigs on?

No.

I decided to put my camera (okay, phone) away and get in there and cheer alongside them.  So no, we don’t have pictures of the little piggies waiting for someone to be the first one to jump in and swim across the waterway to get to the Oreo at the finish line.

But what we do have might just be a little more precious.

We have the stories from the night that both of the littles were selected to be the main cheerleader for his/her pig, how our Princess handed me her drink cup so she could throw both hands in the air to cheer her pig on.  How we oohed and ahhed when those little cuties didn’t want to get in the water, and laughed out loud when they eagerly swam across and gobbled up their cookie treats.

And we all did it together.  No side-lining it or staying behind the lens to be ready for the next perfect shot.

I love great pictures as much as anyone, but sometimes, sometimes I like being a part of the memory-making and not just the recorder of it.

And that’s when no pictures make for some fabulous stories.

Love to all.

 

 

 

A Walk, A Weeping Willow, and Magical Memories

This evening in the sweltering Georgia heat our Princess and I took Miss Sophie out for her evening constitutional.  Many are bidding summer adieu and proclaiming this the last weekend of summer.

Yeah, I don’t think Georgia got the memo.

She’s still blazing like a great ball of fire.

We walked along with my girl talking about how our neighborhood is changing.  Again.  One of her friends who has lived here for years moved over the summer, and she is missing her.  I get it.  Already she is looking back at the days of playing with her friend as the “good old days.”

*sigh*

As we walked along, I noticed this tree in one of the neighbors’ yards.

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A weeping willow.

I stopped for a minute and just gazed upon it.  It took me back to my own “good old days.”

The summer evenings at my Granny’s.  With my cousins.  They were magical.  When dusk hit, the stars came out, and the air would stir and cool down just enough to let us run around chasing the lightning bugs.  Granny would sit on the porch and watch us, escaping the heat of the day that was still trapped inside the house.  We ran and laughed and played beneath the walnut and cedar trees.  And on one side of the yard was the weeping willow.

She mystified me then.  With her long flowing tendrils blowing gently in the breeze.  It felt like I could hide away from the world within her arms.  I’m sure I could still be seen, but tucked away in there, I felt safe.  I was puzzled by her sadness though.  Something of a literalist back then, I wondered what on earth she was so sad about.  And so I sat in the quiet with her sometimes.  Just listening.  And thinking.

She still mystifies me.  I think the weeping willow is the poet of the tree family.  She bends in the wind far more than the others, and yet she is still strong.  In my heart I feel like she can understand and empathize with me and still be a stalwart of strength for those who need to lean on her.

I’ve always had a thing for anthropomorphizing.  Sorry, I digress.

Tonight I’m thankful for the whimsical and happy memories of days gone by–mine and those of our Princess.  I hope that she will find a way to make many more.  I am glad I got to hear where her heart and mind are tonight.  What better time to recall and remember and share than when the seasons are about to change and summer is about to end?

Hoping you all have memories of your own good old days to take with you into the seasons ahead.

Love to all.

 

 

The Story of Cooter–A Birthday Tale

Today is my baby boy’s 7th birthday.

Whaaaaaat?

Seven.

Oh my.

I’ve been teasing him for a few weeks about how, when he was a newborn, I’d tuck him against my side and hold him while he slept.  He looks at me like “yeah, right, ” smiles that precious smile, and goes right back to whatever it was that he was doing.  Which probably had to do with obsessing over Indiana Jones (no, he hasn’t seen them), Harry Potter (those either), or Star Wars (he’s seen episodes 4, 5, and 6 only).

He entered the world two and a half weeks early at 8 pounds, 8 ounces.  Ahem.  Yes, I’m glad he was early.  Very glad.  We had not looked during that part of the sonogram, so we didn’t know to expect a little guy.  The thoughtful doctor let my Fella be the one to announce, “It’s a boy!” with a tear-filled voice.  The same voice he announced our Princess was a girl with.  It didn’t matter to us either way.  We had the names, we were going to be happy boy or girl.  But I’ll let you in on a little secret.

I knew.

Somehow I just had a feeling.  I can’t point to any one thing, just that things were different this time around.  With our Princess I HATED salads, with Cooter I couldn’t get enough of them.  I know it’s not much, but there were things like that which caused me to think maybe, just maybe this one was a boy.

The Wednesday before he arrived on Saturday I was really uncomfortable, walking rather funny and telling anyone who would listen that yes, I knew I was 37 weeks, but this baby was coming sooner rather than later.  I also had a splitting headache.  The Fella was flying the next day, so after getting Aub off to school, my two-year old Princess and I huddled in the bed most of the day.  I could not, would not go into labor with him way up there in the air somewhere.  Not gonna happen.

And so it didn’t.  I felt some better on Friday.  I think Aub had a school dance (Valentine’s maybe?), so she was out that evening.  I had an egg sandwich because my appetite was a little off.  I remember Daddy telling me and each of my sisters that we would deliver the week we failed to gain weight, because the baby couldn’t grow anymore if we weren’t gaining weight.  And so he was right.  The next morning before six a.m. I woke up with contractions.  Surely not.  I lay there, timing them with the digital clock across the room, glowing red in the darkness.  Six.  Six.  Really?  Wow.  Maybe this was happening.  And then, YES!  Five minutes.  Several times in a row.  I woke up my Fella.  I called the doctor on call, who was not from my practice.  (Shoot.  I was so disappointed.)  He suggested I drink some water, take a Tylenol maybe?, and lay back down.  What.  On.  Earth.  I’d done this a couple of times before, both different, and yet, in the words of Olivia on The Cosby Show–“I KNOW my body!”  I was in labor.  I took his advice for about five minutes, rolling my eyes at the idiocy of it, and I called him back.  “We’re coming in.”

We called my parents, and we got things ready to head out of the door.  My parents made even better time than they did on Christmas mornings.  Before we were completely ready, they were THERE.  I think this was around 7 or so.  Later my up the hill neighbor (our house was literally down a pretty serious vertical drop) told me that she was up early, saw my Daddy’s truck, and said, “Oh we’re having us a baby today!”

Daddy left his truck at our house, and he and Mama drove the two girls back to their house in my Blazer.  They were in the process of replacing their car that had been totaled in an accident.  What timing!  The Fella and I headed up to Macon to the hospital.  It was a beautiful morning for a drive.  Later he told me that he didn’t really think this was it.  But it soon became clear after we parked, walked across the bridge to the maternity ward, and filled out paperwork, that we were having a baby that day.  Very quickly in fact.  For various medical reasons, I was to have a C-section.  (And yes, I did all my research–this was not an easily made decision.  I’d already had one, and I was thankful for it–our Princess was two weeks early, breech, and weighed 8 pounds, 15 ounces–yes, a C-section please, thank you.)  I was in active labor, so the doctor on call insisted that they bring in extra staff on this Saturday morning so he could open up a second surgery room and deliver this baby.  Pronto.

I have to give him credit.  I went in with a preconceived notion, but he was great.  He fought to get me where I needed to be, despite hospital red tape.  He held my hands and helped me focus for the spinal, and he talked with me about Japan and all kinds of everyday things.  He let my Fella tell me that this new addition was a boy, and he was very kind in the end.  I forgave him for his foolishness from early.  He’d had a busy morning.

Before 11 a.m. I was snuggling with a new sweet fella whom I knew would change my world.  I’ve had a little guy in my life before who is now a wonderful big guy, but I’d never had a baby boy before.  Things would never be the same again.  He went from wrapping his fingers around my pinkie, to wrapping my heart around HIS finger.  When my folks brought his sisters to meet him (with their big sister shirts on–my Mama was ever so organized!), everyone oohed and ahhed over him, just as it should be.  Aub got to hold him just as she had her little sister when she was born.  And our Princess looked over at him, held up in her Cap’s arms so she could see, and said, “Oh Mama, dat’s a cute baby, can we keep him?”

You know, I think we just might.

That night as I cuddled him, and his Daddy and I watched the bull-riding as had become our Saturday night tradition, I was full to bustin’ with love and warm fuzzies and gratitude.   And I still am.

Today we celebrated and tried to make it a great day for him.  I had a lot to live up to.  He’s been counting down the days since the first of February, and the weeks before then.  Actually I think he asked me Christmas day  how long it was until his birthday.  I started off the morning making him pancakes.  Star Wars pancakes.  They weren’t the most perfect, but he was thrilled nonetheless.  I used “Goober’s Pancakes 57” recipe from my Aunt Bee’s Mayberry Cookbook (the BEST).  All through the breakfast, my littles were talking about what a good cook Goober was because these were the BEST EVER pancakes ever.  Well, okay then.  I’ll take it.  Me and Goober, that is.   Cooter ate two huge pancakes and then half of a plate-sized one.  Oh my stars, he never eats that much in the morning.  We had a field trip planned to see “Charlotte’s Web” at the Grand Opera House, and the Fella surprised them and met us there.  When we were checking in, I thought “why not” and I asked if by any chance we could sit in the box seats.  The very sweet lady in charge not only said yes, but she led us to the box and told us the best seats for the best view.  Bless her.  My littles were thrilled, and the Fella was too.   I have to admit I didn’t mind the limited view at all, as I saw the excitement and faraway, enchanted looks in their eyes.  They have wanted to do this for a LONG time, and it was a dream come true for them.  Or, as Cooter put it, “the best thing ever.”  After we said goodbye to their Daddy, I drove them across town so Aub could see the birthday boy and give him a birthday hug.  He was so happy about seeing her.  “I don’t think I’ve seen her since…..since…..Sunday!” he gushed later.  Our Princess pointed out that was just yesterday, and he said with indignation, “Yes.  I KNOW!”  He wanted a cheeseburger so we had a picnic in the van enroute to allergy shots, and then we headed back home.  The rest of the afternoon was laid back and filled with play and laughter.  This evening we took him out for supper to the place of his choosing.  After we came home and I whipped up the “triple chocolate brownies” he asked for instead of a cake.  (Triple?  I got no idea.  I threw in some dark chocolate chips, and he seemed happy.)  He ate four little chicken sandwiches at supper, and as I sat watching him, I realized he’s not a little boy anymore.  Seven–that’s a boy.  Not little.  A boy.  When did all of this happen?  I wasn’t asleep that long, was I?

He has been both the delight and bane of his sisters’ existence.  He’s been known to be quite the little mischief maker.  He has a quick wit and a smile that shines on forever.  He is a picky eater, my only child without food allergies or aversions.  He tells folks he’s a “fruitatarian.”  Which comes closest to the truth I guess.  He loves music, can remember verses and artists as well or better than I do.  He has his Cap’s knack for knowing what make and model a car is.  And he can dance.  He just can’t help it.  The music plays and he starts moving.  He loves cars.  When he was very little his fascination with cars was the reason Cap gave him the moniker “Cooter,” after the mechanic on “Dukes of Hazzard.”  It stuck.  One of my favorite memories of him with Daddy after Daddy became bedbound–Cooter would drive the little matchbox car around the hospital bed frame.  Around and around and around.  Oh my land, I just knew it must be driving Daddy crazy–it was starting to get to me.  But when I asked, Daddy shook his head and said, “No, he’s not bothering me, let him play.”  And then he proceeded to answer the same questions over and over.  “Cap, which car is faster?”  “Cap, which is your favorite of these cars?”  “Cap, why do like Mustangs?”

Tonight I am thankful for the gift I was given seven years ago.  I am thankful for all he is.  Every single bit of who he is.  I am thankful he knows he is loved and that he loves his family so much.   I love that he still likes to cuddle at bedtime, and that he asks great questions that really challenge me to think.  I love the Legos I find all over the place (okay, not if I step on them), and I treasure finding Matchbox cars on my kitchen counters and in my tote bag or purse.  I love the surprise hugs and kisses he gives, and most of all, I love hearing him say my name.  “Mama.”  This baby who has changed all of our lives so much, who isn’t a baby at all anymore.  Happy Birthday, Cooter!  We love you.

Always.

Decking the Halls

About a week ago I was visiting at Mess Cat’s house, admiring her tree, when an ornament caught my eye.  I was transported back in time faster than Marty McFly could start the DeLorean–back to the living room at Blackberry Flats.  I remember the way the angel fairy’s snowflake reflected the different colors.  I loved to sit in “my” chair snuggled up in a blanket, mesmerized by the colorful shadows on the wall, as I crocheted one handmade gift or another for a family member.  (God bless ’em for putting up with me during that phase.)

Mess Cat's angel she got years ago from our Aunt.  I have been looking on eBay to find one just like her.  She brings back wonderful memories of Christmases past.

Mess Cat’s angel she got years ago from our Aunt. I have been looking on eBay to find one just like her. She brings back wonderful memories of Christmases past.

It was about the same time as my visit with her that we decorated our tree.  I found one of my ornaments from childhood.  He is one of my all-time favorites.  Our spirited Aunt, Daddy’s brother’s wife, used to give us all Hallmark ornaments at Christmas.  Confession time–I don’t remember being exceptionally excited about the gift.  Don’t get me wrong, I was thankful and I did think them beautiful and cute and fun to see, but I’m afraid the stuffed animal or tape recorder (oh what a Christmas that was!) garnered more attention from me.

One of my all time favorites.  He spins around inside of the snowflake.  Just awesome.

One of my all time favorites. He spins around inside of the snowflake. Just awesome.

Howsomever…..

the ornaments I still have.   (And okay, a few of the stuffed animals too.)  But that’s it.  As I grew older, I appreciated the gift of the ornaments more and more.  What a treasure!  To look back and remember putting the same ornament on the tree year after year.  Now that’s a grand tradition.

From Aub's Christmas Number 5.  Thankful to my friend who started us collecting ornaments for Aub.

From Aub’s Christmas Number 5. Thankful to my friend who started us collecting ornaments for Aub.

When Aub was a baby, my friend, who had a little guy only six weeks older, started the Baby’s First Five Christmases ornament collection for her.  And another tradition was begun.  Each year, even when we were on our own, I picked out an ornament that held significance for that year.  A few years in there my Great Aunt gave her one as well.  As we pulled the ornaments out to put on the tree this year, I found myself waxing nostalgic.  In just a few years most likely these sweet and funny ornaments–the old fashioned dress shoes that open, the little dolls, the fairy collection, Barbie and her sister sledding, the Christmas mice, the five little bears all numbered as they grew–they won’t be on my tree anymore.

And I’m okay with that.  It’s the reason I started the collection.  So she’ll have ornaments to look back and remember with one day.   But still…..I will miss them.

Our tree is a mashup of personalities as there are ornaments that represent each one of us and our quirks and meaningful moments. From the Fella’s “Christmas Vacation” collection to a Manning boy football player for me (does it really matter which one?) to Princess’ ballerinas to Cooter’s newly begun collection of Star Wars ornaments, and of course, the ones Aub has gotten over the years–guitar, Hoops and Yoyo, the mouse in the silver cup.  It is fun to reminisce each year.  Especially the homemade ornaments.  Mess Cat even has one that Aub made when she was quite small on her tree.

Aub, when she was quite small.

Aub, when she was quite small.

And then there’s the whimsical, like the fishing bobber we got from Go Fish, fishing with Santa last Sunday.

Love it!  The ultimate fishing ornament--can be used year round.

Love it! The ultimate fishing ornament–can be used year round.

Some of my favorites though are 46 years old to be exact.  Mama and Daddy married on December 17.  They didn’t have a whole lot of anything.  I think they were renting a little place in Valdosta where they were both in school at the time.  Newly married, not much to their names.  Definitely no Christmas ornaments.  So they made them.

My most favorite ornaments of all--the ones Mama and Daddy made when their first Christmas together.

My most favorite ornaments of all–the ones Mama and Daddy made their first Christmas together.

These precious little yarn people have graced our trees at Blackberry Flats for a long, long time.  I like to think about Mama and Daddy working together to make these sweet Christmas people.  I wonder which creative genius came up with the idea?  After all, this was back in the days before Pinterest.  Practically the dinosaur age, right?  Once Mama stopped putting up a full size tree, she passed them along to me.  I adore them and cannot figure out how they have held up so well all these years. I loved finding each couple hanging separately on the tree.  The fabric ones Mama made with fabric left over from making me clothes. I had a skirt made from this  fabric–Aub also wore it when she was two.  I think our rocker cushion might have been made from it as well.  I love the embroidery on the stocking.  (Obviously these were made a couple of years later.)  Such a wonderful story and example of the beauty of Christmas being found in the simple things.

I am thankful that my siblings let me have Mama’s Christmas decorations.  She has shared many of them with us over the years, but what is left they have given me.  And I am thankful.  As I pulled them down from their storage spot at the top of my old closet, I felt the ending of an era. Santa now sits on my mantle (he was moved from under the tree for his own protection–he is likely close to sixty years old now, you know).   Mama’s latchhook Santa made by her sister-in-law that I can’t ever remember not hanging in the kitchen/dining area at Christmas now hangs in our dining nook.  And finally, the piece de resistance–

the mistletoe.

Oh ho, the mistletoe, hung where you can see.....

Oh ho, the mistletoe, hung where you can see…..

It hung year after year after year above the door to the laundry room which led to outside.  No one came in that house that didn’t pass under that mistletoe (some of the newer additions to the family had to duck under it), and Mama/Maemae would be standing there with her arms out, ready to give whoever it was a great big hug.  Oh that mistletoe.  It almost feels sacrilegious for it to hang in my house.  And yet it must.  It’s not Christmas without it. And the best Mistletoe. Story. There. Ever. Was.

Years. Ago.  Before the Giant started fighting with Daddy.  Before so much that has happened ever did.  It was a joyful time, and my cousin B had come over.  I think it was when he was leaving he found himself standing under the mistletoe.  He’s always had a great sense of humor.  He looked at Daddy standing in the kitchen, spread his arms wide, looked up  at the mistletoe, then back at Daddy, and said, “Uncle Bill!!!!!”  Daddy did not miss a beat.  He called my cousin’s name, strode straight over to him, gave him a great big hug and a big ol sloppy kiss.  And the rest is history.  We laughed and laughed.  Actually, I’m still laughing over that one.

Tonight I am thankful for industrious, creative, and generous parents who made beautiful, long-lasting Christmas decorations with love and patience, and who shared them and their stories with me.  I give thanks for my siblings who let me have the rest of Mama’s Christmas things–all the things she and the children would put out together each year around the first of December.  And I give thanks for my spirited aunt and my friend who, years ago, knew something that it would take me years to learn and appreciate–the gift of an ornament is more than merely a decoration, it’s the gift of memories collected year after year after year.

And that is where the real treasure in them lies.  Oh Christmas tree, you are full of the stories, aren’t you?

 

(Special thanks to Mess Cat for the pictures of her ornaments–I found a surprise for you girl!  Can’t wait to share it with you.  hint–it’s just like one in one of the pictures.  Love to all.)