Simply Christmas

Christmas was a happy time for our little piece of the universe; perhaps that is why I remember it with such fondness.

Part 1
12-20-2018

T-Minus 96 shopping hours left before Christmas! And all is well!

Sorry, I just had to do that. Sorry if I sent you into panic mode. I could have subtracted sleeping time, but I didn’t know how many hours a day everyone slept. I was a late shopper this year as well due to an injury, so online shopping it is, and do you know that even that is becoming a bit stressful. I saw a few. “Sorry this won’t arrive until after Christmas” notes on some of the first pick items I wanted. I discovered that the only way to get ahead that way is if you shop on Cyber Monday or Cyber week. Okay Lesson learned. *Smile*

But today’s blog is not about shopping, or critiquing how you shop or even your choice of shopping. This is simply about the “Ghost of Christmas past”. So close your eyes and take a magical journey with me.

Imagine being that child again and smelling the scents of Christmas. The sweet, sweet smell of the tree the night Mom and Dad brought it home. How it spread throughout the house. The very smell that would tell you it was the beginning of the Christmas season, and it was almost time for Santa to come. Decorations, centerpieces, and my mother’s manger would come out. Oh what wonderful time it was. It was like there was a peace in our house for the season, and lots of activities planned to celebrate the season.
We always waited until the next day, or afternoon to decorate, because the tree had to “settle” as my father would say, and so the next day we would go to school, church, or whatever our activities were for the day, and we would anxiously await that moment when we were all together in the evening to decorate. First it was dinner then the adult prelude of lights and streamers, and then it would be our turn. Under the expert guidance of our much more experienced parents, and older siblings, the youngest of us would adorn the tree with the baubles and decorations of the ages. Sometimes we would make paper chains, which our parents would happily allow us to put on the tree or around the house. Christmas was a happy time for our little piece of the universe; perhaps that is why I remember it with such fondness.

Another activity I remember about Christmas was caroling. Every year our family church would gather together, and we would go around town caroling. One thing I will never forget is my mother’s voice lifted in song. She had the voice of an angel, and I think one of the reasons I went every year was just so I could hear it; well that and the hot cocoa at the end; it was made with warm milk, and it was very creamy. They enhanced the sweetness with marshmallows floating on top slowly melting into the hot liquid. A delight to the taste buds of adult and child alike.
I also recall skating at what was once called the town common, now a privately owned

two girls ice skating
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

tennis court in the middle of town. There were Barrel fires, warm clothes, and ice skating. I’m not sure who hosted it, or who was in charge, all I remember was having the time of my life. I don’t remember the year it happened, nor if it was something that only occurred once or an annual celebration, but it was such a Joyous time that the snippets are ingrained in my memory.

Do you have favorite memories of your Christmas past? How often do you share them in the Christmas present? Try it.

If you’re having a hard time, this season, finding a moment to be happy Let the “ghost of Christmas past” remind you of a time where tears could be changed to laughter, and bring it forward to combine with some grains of “The ghost of Christmas present.”

We just lost my mother in October, but we remembered her love for Christmas, and we made sure we celebrated Christmas before she passed. I dedicate this “ghost of Christmas present moment”, to her. She loved paper chains, homemade Christmas Decorations, and lifting her voice in song this time of year. She sings with the angels above this Christma

s to celebrate the season with God, and she looks down on those she loves here on earth. If we listen real carefully, maybe we can hear her.

Christmas is here, we can’t put it back in the box. Yes it is one of the most hectic times of the year, but also one of the most blessed times of the year for family. Make a paper chain, or a popcorn chain. Paint your own Christmas ornaments for the tree. Make some memories, share some with others; because once you have them, nobody can take them from you.

Merry Christmas, and God Bless.

Simply Lost Dreams

 Have you ever felt trapped in a job or activity that you didn’t like simply because somebody told you, you belong there? If you say no, you are one of those endangered species who have had everything go right for you, and I would love to have coffee with you, and find out your secret to life.

Dreams are what make us who you are . . .

 Have you ever felt trapped in a job or activity that you didn’t like simply because somebody told you, you belong there? If you say no, you are one of those endangered species who have had everything go right for you, and I would love to have coffee with you, and find out your secret to life.

Unfortunately, I’m not one of the lucky ones. As for me; I have so many unfinished dreamer paths in my life that I could fill the pages of a book on how to not help yourself  that would probably become a best seller.

My reasons for not finishing them; rejection, sabotage by people close to me, a person I admire or love greatly telling me I won’t get to the brass ring because I didn’t have a “Degree” in that specific topic. Even if I had classroom certificates for the activity; Oh and one of my favorites, “You’ll never get that far, because you aren’t as good as others before you.”

What about the person in life who always has to compete with you or the person who always has to give you something else for you to do that takes you away from what you want to do simply because what they are doing is more important (or so they believe). Yeah. That’s my favorite too.

In all of life’s complications, and interruptions, why must we give up what makes us who we are?  Who says they are worthless, and they will go nowhere? It’s not only those that are lucky that realize their dreams, it’s those that work hard, set goals, and follow a path to get to where they want. My problem is that I let those around me interrupt my dreams, and tell me “they aren’t going anywhere”, or that “I’m not good enough”, or that dreams “should be hobbies”, or that “I should tend to the obligations that they lay out for Me.” Or that “I’m not doing it right.”  Because, their way is the only way to do it, so I should do it that way too.  Whatever happened to individuality? To believing in yourself? To having faith in yourself? Having family and friends encourage you, and supporting you? Whatever happened to dreamers having the freedom to follow a path and a goal?

Here’s what mainly holds me back, I am 55 years old and I am afraid of failure. My faith in myself is seriously lacking, because over the years I have been put down, or shoved into holes that I just don’t fit into.  I have nobody that is close to me to share, and talk about my dreams or my path to them. I have nobody who encourages me, or takes an interest in who I really am, or what my interests really are. There are times I feel so alone, and that doesn’t do a lot to encourage me to reach for that brass ring either.

What has changed? Too many people are thinking about how they have to keep the peace by keeping what is important to themselves out of the conversation, especially if they know the recipient has no interest in “that” conversation.  It has become a very lonely world we live in when everyone has to lose their individuality to please others.

My Love to All!

A Soul of Darkness

 

    Darkness: An absence of light.

Concerts. Love them, they are a great place for one to have fun, dance, meet and greet others with the same passion, and even dig in the closet for the perfect combination of clothing that expresses your devotion to an artist or the genre of the music.  Make-up, accessories, shoes, and the hat. A final look in the mirror reveals you are ready to meet other fans, and possibly get a glimpse of your favorite artist, maybe even a short video, or a snap shot with your iphone. What a thrilling and exciting evening it is going to be. You say goodbye to your kids, parents etc . . .  your friends knock on the door and off you go to an evening you will never forget.

   That is the way last Sunday night started for 22,000 fellow Americans as they excitedly dressed for a night out with friends, family, spouse, lover, etc. . . but what started out as quite possibly a special memory turned into a horrifying nightmare. One minute they were dancing, line dancing with a friend amongst others in a surrounding crowd just having a ball. Some were having a drink, filming their favorite singer. Taking selfies or pictures of loved ones and friends until they saw them drop to the ground or others around them, and then chaos. Friends realizing a dream that was wiped out, saw their loved ones shot down, or were left lying on the ground, with nowhere to go, wondering, “Am I next?”

                What is happening to the thread of our country?  How could one man have darkness in his soul so thick that he would just callously think “Hey, a concert? I wonder how many people I can take out.”  Authorities have found the means, the opportunity, but are frantically searching for a motive. People want to know why? How could one man hate humanity so much that he would commit the worse mass murder in history? Authorities have gone through the top possible reasons. Racism, gambling, Isis, depression, government conspiracy (really?) . . . He was rich, owned multiple homes, (no gambling debts) He was deeply in love with his girlfriend, and they were happy, no depression meds found in his houses or on his person so that has been ruled out. They have ruled out Isis, even though they tried to claim responsibility for it because they found no links to them in his personal belongings, phone calls, date books, or history of traveling. There is no connection to any of the normal things they usually link an attack of this magnitude too.  They’ve even spoken to his girlfriend, and she has shed no light on their investigation, though she did decide to lawyer up because of the money he shipped overseas for her.  As of today, news says: He had an accomplice, he visited other hotels for dry runs, and he even tried to blow up gas tanks. Me thinks they are trying to prove an Isis or some other International link. I hope they have the proof, and don’t just pin it there, because they have nowhere else to pin it.

                  Until they find the real motive, minds are left to wander. No matter what the report says about motive, one thing the evidence does prove, Stephen Paddock had darkness in his heart that had been left to fester, and eventually take over his soul, to me there is no other explanation. A person who could stand on the scope end of a rifle, and look through at a massive amount of innocent people, cutting them down, young, old, prime of their life, with no remorse has to have a darkness so thick that light can no longer penetrate it. A Coldness so deep, warmth has been long forgotten.  This kind of darkness can consume a person and create a hate so passionate that there may be no rhyme or reason for their actions, that soul has just chosen to become pure evil.

                Stephen Paddock did not want to keep the darkness within himself, he wanted to spread the pain anguish and hopelessness that it demanded so he took 58 souls, injured 527+ , and traumatized 21, 414 others, and then he took his own life, yet in the midst of all the chaos and fear, heroes arose, and gave what he tried to take away. Ordinary people not only helping those that he had cut down, but restoring faith and hope in humanity, and showing those of us watching stunned and shocked that not everyone has given up on love and caring for their fellow man; a love that was born from a heart full of light and warmth.  This is the kind of love that counteracts the darkness in this world; a darkness that took control of Stephen Paddock.

                That darkness is spreading so fast. The proof is all around us. Lone wolf attacks. Violent acts and people dying during what is supposed to be peaceful protests. How can we help? So many of the people in Las Vegas showed us how. We can follow their example. Now I’m not saying run into dangerous situations to play hero, but there are so many small things we can do. Help a friend with something they need to do. Help an elderly citizen with something they need; even offering a ride to a doctor’s appointment or to get groceries or meds etc . . . . Volunteer at a local homeless shelter or somewhere you could help your local Veterans. Start your own fundraiser to help someone in need or a cause to better the lives of many who need it.  Another way? Simply do random acts of kindness, show people that love, light, and warmth still exist.

                At a time when the darkness is taking over the weakest in our country, and they are feeding on our innocents, those of us that still believe light and love can beat it back need to stand up for those it chooses to attack. A soul of light and love will always outshine a soul of Darkness, and love will always prevail if we don’t remain dormant.

Simply Love

Hate – to feel hostility or animosity toward. To detest. (No matter how you look at the dictionary meanings listed the three common words are – Animosity; hostility; or detest.

Love – (Informal) a friendly form of address / Used to express affectionate approval for someone / a great interest and pleasure in something. 

   Above are the dictionary definitions of love and hate.  I like to simplify it. To me, hate means and absence of love. Simple, right?  Then why can’t we find some of that love, and spread it around?  Why can’t we redirect the hostility, and animosity, with a little bit of affection, friendliness, kindness, and share a little pleasantness with another person?  Have we forgotten the golden rule; treat others the way you want to be treated? I’m sure it does not mean you want complete strangers to hate you for your ethnic background or a crayon color.

Hate is such a, for lack of a better description, debilitating parasite. It lodges itself in our heart, and eats away until there is nothing but a black hole where our soul used to be.  Love, on the other hand, feeds our heart, and nourishes it. It plants seeds of kindness, friendliness, and affection. It also creates the desire to share, and to pass those feelings on to another. How do we do that?  Many people wonder how they can possibly even share a bit of kindness in a world so full of darkness, fear, and alienation, without being judged.  So, so, sad,

Fear of judgment is, unfortunately, a roadblock stopping Americans from being kind to each other, sharing love for their neighbor, reaching out to those they meet in their daily activities. Why? Picture this will you. You live in a great neighborhood. Every one of the residents is seen daily, either walking kids to school, or gathering at a local pool depending what time of year it is. Women gather around the toddler pool during the day, and chat about what new and exciting things their children are doing. “Hey, Theresa took her first steps today.”; “How exciting! Marsha put her own shirt on today.”; “Oh that is so wonderful!”; “Pete used the potty for the first time today. He was so proud.”  

All of this and more are how many people reach out and share experiences, joyful experiences, with each other. At that moment in time, these moms or dads are bonding through the experiences that every parent finds exciting. It is exciting, it is fun, and it is sharing something very precious with someone else. They don’t care what their background is, what the color of their companions’ skin is. It is just sharing memories, and sharing love. This is how seeds of love are planted, sowed, and harvested.

Do you open the store’s door for the person behind you? Stop your car as a pedestrian crosses the road in front of you? Allow a car to go before you do in an intersection?  Show some courtesy when you are in a traffic jam?  Yes, I agree, these are all little things that some people do, but what about holding the door to a store open for the one that held the door for the one before you?  There’s a mouthful.  How about helping someone load or unload their groceries, or even taking a shift for someone who is trying desperately to take care of a parent or another member of their family. What about offering transportation to appointments for those who can’t drive themselves. These are all little acts of kindness that will help build a wall of love.