Sunday, December 14, 2008


santa display
All the presents wrapped: check. Crates of presents sent thither and yon: check. Decorations up, both in and out: check. Plans for Christmas Day in hand: ooops!

Santa walking staff

mirror over livingroom sofa

larger shot of the Santa display

I had thought that Lloyd and I would run up to see our daughter yesterday. There is still a box intended for her and her husband, and some books to trade with my sister whose home is on the way. I don't want to have the box delivered as it includes a pair of glass candlesticks that once belonged to my paternal grandparents. These are not a Christmas present. They just didn't go home with Cyb last time she was here. It seemed logical, as they were already boxed up, to include them with the Christmas presents.

Claudia, Lloyd's elder daughter, is going to visit with her mother in Arkansas, thus will not be coming down for Christmas. She was here at Thanksgiving so her other relatives will be happy to see her this month. Tim, our son, is still in Oregon. He won't be back for Christmas. (He claims he's allergic to Kansas. I think he's allergic to Oklahoma from whence we get most of the dust and pollen.) Cyb's brother-in-law is to be back for Christmas, so she and her husband will be spending time with them. My sister went to Iowa for Thanksgiving, so we have invited her down for the day. However with the weather so unsettled this time of year, that probably won't happen either. I'm just going to put one of those Hormel tenderloins in the crockpot and whoever comes will get fed something. At least I don't intend to have Beanie-Weenies on toast as my parents did the first Christmas the three of us kids were out of the house.

In our Christmas cards this year, I sent an actual letter (gasp!) Going through my address list, I realized that a number of people only hear from us at Christmas time. Many of them had not heard of Lloyd's medical problems, nor that the company I work for had been sold. (I'm doing the same job with the usual suspects, just the logo on the shirts have changed.)

Yesterday a fellow who used to work with Lloyd answered my letter with a note of support. Also two dear friends—Betty, who used to cut Lloyd's hair, and her sister, Joyce, who makes the best sweet potato pies in the world—stopped by to chat for about a half-hour. As I hadn't seen either of them for some time we did quite a bit of catching up. I now also have their e-dresses and phone numbers in case of need. Such an uplift for any season.

Our word of the day for December 14, 2008 is "braced" Pronunciation: \ˈbrāst\
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): brace; braced; brac·ing
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French bracer to embrace, from brace
Date: 14th century
transitive verb 1 archaic : to fasten tightly :
bind. 2 a: to prepare for use by making taut b: prepare , steel [brace yourself for the shock]. c: invigorate , freshen. 3: to turn (a sail yard) by means of a brace. 4 a: to furnish or support with a brace [heavily braced against the wind]. b: to make stronger : reinforce. 5: to put or plant firmly [braces his foot in the stirrup]. 6: to waylay especially with demands or questions.
intransitive verb 1: to take heart —used with up. 2: to get ready (as for an attack).

Our quote for the day is from Edwin Markham (1852–1940), U.S. poet. "Lincoln, the Man of the People" (l. 30–35) [Our Holidays in Poetry. Mildred P. Harrington and Josephine H. Thomas, comps. (1929) The H. W. Wilson Company]:
Sprung from the West,
He drank the valorous youth of a new world.
The strength of virgin forests braced his mind,
The hush of spacious prairies stilled his soul.
His words were oaks in acorns; and his thoughts
Were roots that firmly gript the granite truth.




  1. Just like your neck of the woods at this time of the year family and friends seem to be going this way and that...I think perhaps Christmas here is a bit more like your Thanksgiving when family try to spend time together. I have been very very fortunate in that I have always been around the family for Christmas with one exception the year my Mother died I flew to New far away as possible from reality...this year with my dearest darling Jacqueline missing I only wish that this time I could be somehwere far away as well...However I will BRACE myslef for the coming days with a smile fixed on my face...I order myself to do that each morning !! Much Love Sybil xx

  2. My husband Dan's mother and my own mother had Alzheimer's. All diseases are devastating, but this one is particularly cruel because you and the sufferer can both see it coming. You have my support and understanding, Jan, it is a tough row to hoe. Take care of yourself.

    Our Christmas tends to be a bit different each year. One year we were on a plane flying back from Ireland on Christmas Eve. It was actually quite nice as there were empty seats and the passengers could spread out and take naps. I'm betting that is not allowed to happen now, instead they will just cancel the flight if it is not full.

    That was the trip I actually got to meet an author whose work I admire greatly. I'm not so sure about the man, now, but I still love his work. I also am madly in love with that country and hope to be able to see it one more time.

    Live is odd. You just never know what lurks around that nondescript corner.



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