The Little Light…..It’s not on, Clark

This is a public service announcement:

Please make sure your children know that any and all light outages should be reported to those in charge–namely, you.

New Year’s Day started off lovely. Miss Sophie and I had a long, pleasant January summer (Georgia–check the calendar please) walk, and the rain didn’t come like we thought it would. When we got back I went to our freezer in the garage, as I was preparing our traditional dinner, and I noticed the things didn’t feel quite so cold or crunchy. They felt wet and soggy. Oh NO! Y’all, at some point the power outlet that the freezer was plugged into had shorted or whatever they do when there’s a storm and it clicks off and has to be reset. I immediately shifted my schedule around in my mind, as I knew that my priority had to be on assessing what had defrosted and what was still frozen.

I went inside to put down a couple of salvageable items and to grab my wits and wherewithal. This was going to require both. I saw Cooter, who had prepared frozen pizzas for him and his sister during our “lit” New Year’s Eve party the night before. Remembering this, I asked him, “Hey bud, was the light off in the freezer when you grabbed your pizzas last night?”

“Yes ma’am,” he answered, pretty distracted by the pregame show for the upcoming football game. (Are you kidding me right now?!)

“Ummm, buddy, what did you think was going on? Why didn’t you come tell me?” I tried to hide my frustration. I really did, but ummmmm…..

“I just figured the light was out,” he shrugged. Teenage boys, y’all. Check on your friends with them, we might not be okay. (Just kidding–I love him as I love my teenage daughter, but their brains are still figuring out the circuits and sometimes I think they need to be reset.). Also, maybe we should be more attentive to replacing bulbs that are out in our home *try to remember if I’ve shrugged when someone has commented about a bulb being out*–yep, I might have brought this on myself. *sigh*

After educating Cooter on the importance of telling me when said light is out or not coming on or the interior of the freezer is dark for ANY reason, I moved on to my next project–trying to save as much as possible by cooking what was still cold.

Life is so funny. I once heard that what you do on New Year’s Day, you’ll be doing all year long. I take that very seriously. Just as seriously as not doing laundry or sweeping on New Year’s. I even plan out what would be good. Do I want to take a nap–so that hopefully that opportunity will present itself more often in the coming weeks and months? Or do I want to keep on pushing through the day, accomplishing all of the things to set a great precedent for the year? I even sat my people down talking to them about their task of unloading the dishwasher, so I wouldn’t be *nagging* on New Year’s. I definitely don’t want that to be a thing all year long.

So here I was. After planning so carefully, I was having to shift everything around and be a good steward of what we had and try to save as much as possible. In addition to our traditional black-eyed peas and collard greens, for their dining pleasure, I also offered burgers, macaroni and cheese, okra, broccoli, spinach bites, veggie burgers, and French fries. A veritable smorgasbord, not exactly traditional. It was and is laughable.

So if that set precedent for the New Year, here’s how I’m reading it. May 2022 be a year of doing what is needed to be a good steward of what we have, a year of being flexible in the face of a need to change plans, and a year of laughing in the face of adversity. Did it go as I had hoped? No, but my unplanned abundance brought family around the table–including ones who don’t live here, and there was laughter and requests for seconds and mismatched crazy food on plates. And today there were plenty of leftovers, as there are for tomorrow, so as we get back into the swing of things–I don’t have to cook.

Though completely unexpected and in no way wished for, not a bad precedent to set for this year. The year I have deemed as the one where I will figure it all out. Or at least make the effort.

Love to all.

PS–You might all be pleased to know that my putting off defrosting my freezer saved a lot of our food. That piled up ice really kept things cold. (So no, that is not a photo of my actual freezer–bless it.) Procrastinating for the win! *sigh*

A New Tradition, FunGiving

English: Advent wreath, First Advent Sunday

English: Advent wreath, First Advent Sunday (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today was the first Sunday in Advent.  Advent means “coming,” and this season is for quiet reflection and waiting for what is to come–the birth of Jesus.

I have decided to try and enjoy this season.  This time of year when the days are the shortest and the darkest of the whole year could be the hardest yet.  However, as a wise one told me today, “If you don’t have enough fun in your life, you’ve got to go out and make your own.”

It seems like the children started talking about Christmas early this year.  Maybe it started after Aub’s birthday in September.  I can’t remember exactly, but it for sure started in earnest after our Princess’ birthday two weeks ago.  I know it’s part of being a child, dreaming and wishing, but I could only take so much.  I don’t like all the “I want” talk.  I especially cannot handle the lists changing ten days out.  Enough is enough.  And we have enough.  So I started a “new tradition” last week.  On Wednesday I told my crew to write their letters, finalize their lists, whatever it took.  Wednesday was the last day to pick their three things to ask for.  They are allowed to put three things on their lists.  They might get other things, they might not, but the three is a good guide to let them dream and not go too crazy.

Wednesday.  Now there will be no more talking of wish lists and “what I want for Christmas.” That’s the new rule.  Shhh.  Tight lipped.  Tick-a-lock.  My thinking was get it out of the way and then let’s enter the Thanksgiving season, with an emphasis on Thanks as well as Giving.  So now we are in the waiting period of Advent in our home, but I’m also going to challenge us to celebrate a time of Giving.  Each day I want us to think of something to do or give (not necessarily bought–we’re gonna get creative here) to surprise someone.  How much fun could that be?

Yes, I know, it could be stressful, but I’m going to do my best not to let it become so.  As Mama would say, “It’s all for the fun of it.”  And it’s time to make our own fun.  Because you are never too old to run and hide and play games with your siblings or your children or surprise someone out of the blue.

Tonight after I talked with the littles about our plan for GivingFun, I heard Cooter as he walked out of the room, sharing his thoughts in the only way he knows how to–loudly.  “I think we should go out and sing Christmas songs and raise money to help our friends who are homeless.”

For the love.

So if you see us standing around somewhere singing Christmas songs with a baseball hat on the ground in front of us, “Will you please put a penny in the old man’s hat?”**  We may be out of tune, most likely will, but just know we are having a blast and it will go to a good cause.  It’s the season for waiting and quiet reflection and, as our family’s new tradition dictates, a time of having fun with the Giving of the season.  (So it might not be so quiet around here.)

It’s all about sharing the Love and Light and Hope in the darkness.  Wanna join us?  It’s bound to be an Adventure for sure.

**from the song “Christmas is Coming” Here.  Take a peek.  And yes, it’s the Muppets version.   Focusing on fun here, remember?