Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I remember Christmas eve

I came from a fairly large family. There were six of us kids, two boys and four girls.
We moved a lot because of my father's job, but we spent a lot of time living in Vermont. I remember one Christmas eve, very late a night, I was looking out the window at the pristine snow. The street lights sort of made everything glow like a fairyland. The many shaped crystals fell gently to dust the already foot of snow on the ground. I got a feeling, it's hard to describe. Amazement, wonder, the beauty of it touched my heart. Someone special had made a fairy land and I was there to see it.
I'd done the same thing dozens of times on Christmas eve. That special quiet time would always come to mind when I think of Christmas. It's a special gift, something so beautiful it always brings tears to my eyes.
Late at night, everyone else was asleep but me. I touched my finger to the ice on the window and blew on it to make a fog. Then I drew a star on the window, it faded rapidly.
Then inside the star I saw something just a bit odd. There was a figure walking down the covered streets. It was a large bulky figure covered from head to toe to keep warm. I knew it was a man, it had to be. He carried a large bag over his shoulder, and no he didn't look like Santa. From the bay window in the front of the house I knew I could see better. So I quietly walked to the living room and pressed myself against the window. At first I couldn't see him well, the swirling windblown snow dimmed my view. Eventually he walked past the front of my house and I got a better look.
Suddenly he looked up and saw me. I was scared at first, and then he gave me a little wave and stopped. He lowered his bag to the ground and just stood there looking at me, cocking his head to the side as if he was thinking. Then he reached into the bag and lifted something out. He laid it on the soft snow and gestured to tell me it was mine. Now my parents had always told us to beware of strangers so I was a little scared to go out there alone. After a few minutes he picked up his bag, gave me a wave and shook as if he was laughing. Then he continued on down the street. I didn't see him stop anywhere else. He just walked down the road and I watched until the darkness and snow obliterated him from my view.
Immediately I ran to my room and woke my younger sister JoAnn. It took a minute to clue the dingbat in. But when she woke up enough to understand, she ran to the front window with me to look. We could see something in the snow, it was a bag and it was moving slightly. I told my sister to stay in the window and watch me, while I ran out in my nightgown and bare feet in the snow, to see what it could be. Gosh it was cold on my feet, but I can't say as it bothered me much. I was too interested in what was in the bag. I grabbed the string of the bag and made it back into the house in record time.
JoAnn was at the front door when I came back in. We were both so scared and excited we could hardly contain ourselves. My sister opened the bag so quickly I got a bit annoyed. I found it, I should have opened it. But that was all forgotten as she pulled a furry bundle from the bag. It was a kitten, small, mewing, warm and alive. I don't think I have ever been so amazed, because our mom and dad had just told us we were going to look for a pet cat. The calico furry kitten immediately began to purr as I held it close.
We must have made enough noise to wake my mother because she walked up to us and asked if we were okay? JoAnn tried to hide the kitten, but somehow I knew it would be okay with my mother. So I held it out to her and she took it. She brought it to her nose to smell the clean scent of a baby cat. I think God must make baby things smell good so that our hearts are drawn to them. Ever smell a human newborn baby, it's pure heaven. My mother is such a kind and loving soul, and to watch her hug the kitten, touched a place deep inside me.
Finally she asked where I got it and I told her. She laughed and then asked where I really got it. I had to swear to her and my mother still looked at me with the, yeah right look. It was when she said we could keep it that the tears leaked from the corners of my eyes. You have to take care of it she told me. And I agreed, while my sister giggled her happiness. It was so odd that my mom had just told us we could get a cat, and viola a kitten. I have to admit it was a weird way to get a cat and God only knows who the man with the sack was. I thought he was an angel, my sister Jo'ann went for the, it had to be one of Santa's elves.
We had that special cat for fifteen years, she was smart, handsome and most of all lovable and gentle. No matter what my baby brother did to her she just laid there. The best cat we ever had.
So now I had the picture perfect snow scene, and a miracle to remember. Every Christmas it will mesmerize me with the memory of that kitten for the rest of my life.
I never told anyone because it scared me a little, but how did that man know we were going to get a kitten, and who the heck was he? The really strange thing was that when I looked behind him as I watched the man walk away. There were no footsteps in the trail he walked, none.
So we named her Jeepers, as in jeepers creepers, cause it was so weird how we got her. She was the best cat we ever had, equally loved by us all.

Then imagine looking at a living room filled with toys and gifts for six kids. And little miracle of life to love on top of the pile. Merry Christmas to you and may you find your kitten in the snow.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Happy Holidays!

So it's that time of year again. The time when we scrape and charge to buy gifts. We push our way through the crowds at the stores, hoping to find that special gift. That gift that will please the recipient and make all your efforts worthwhile.
So I'm gonna tell you a funny story, and it still makes me laugh till this day.
We all know that there are those relatives through marriage who we are not very close too. I have a sister in law that's like the ice queen.
Anyways, it was Christmas day at my in laws. They were strange people as it was, at least to me. We were discussing the worst gifts that you had ever received. I mentioned how I think that the worst give you could give to a woman is Jean Nate, and a man, old spice. It shows how little you care for them. How you only bought the gift because you had to, buying those cheap perfumes was an insult! My husband agreed with me, and so did most of the room.
Guess what we both opened from the ice queen? Yep! Well I thought it was so funny I couldn't stop laughing. And to this day, I will never forget the look on her face.

Now we'll talk about the opposite kind of gift. When the giver has taken the time to look for that special gift. Or maybe they made you a gift that took time and effort because they couldn't afford to buy something. Well there was this one Christmas that I got a gift I will never forget. My friend was having marital problems and was separated from her husband. She was lucky if she could afford the mortgage. Not a lot of people know my birthday is on Christmas day. But this was my best friend and she would never forget. I told her we shouldn't exchange gifts, neither of us could afford to. But that wouldn't stop her.
She could sing, I mean like really well. It was 12:01am in the morning on Christmas eve, (we lived next door to each other then), and I heard music, soft pretty music, coming in my open window. In Florida we open windows in the winter. So anyways I get up and go to the front door, open it a crack and peak outside. There she was dressed in her nightgown and robe on my front lawn. She was holding a cassette tape recorder from which came my favorite song at the time, Our Prayer. She began to softly sing the words and as the tears came down my face I noticed my other neighbors. One by one the doors opened and people stood there listening. By this time I'm blubbering for all I'm worth. And when she finished and stood there it was quiet for a moment. Then one by one at each door the applause began. There were a few whistles along with the clapping. And she whispered just loud enough for me to hear, "Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas my friend."
Now if that isn't the best present ever, I don't know what is.
Have a great holiday, and may you hear music on your birthday too, just like I did.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

December 25th, My birthday Ugh!

Well I was just sitting here thinking about birthdays. On one of my author loops they always wish people a happy birthday.
I never liked my birthday, it's X mas day. Now I didn't mind the fact that you couldn't have a party. With six siblings in one family, there weren't many parties.
But Christmas at our house was a special thing.
My father decorated every thing that could reach an outlet, inside and outside. My mother cooked a turkey the size of a small sheep, and there were burners cooking from morning to dinner, with the side dishes. With that many kids there were lots of presents in the living room. I don't know how they did it, but we all got five or six things to open; hated the clothes, loved the toys. My brothers drove some electric thing around, and someone dragged a doll or an etch a sketch around.
Though I can remember that really got me ticked was the present that was marked, 'for your Christmas birthday'. Everyone did it, but I hated my birthday. No one remembered your birthday on Christmas!
So for my whole life I felt cheated and resented it.
I am pleased to say I don't care anymore. I don't care that my birthday is on X mas, because I don't want anymore birthdays. Now when I remember, or someone else remembers it. I cringe.
Because it means I am getting older, and for me I'd prefer not to.
I'd really just as soon stay this age. I'm old enough.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Bonnie Vanak blogs for the Pink Fuzzy Slipper Writers on Saturday12/13!!!

The Bonnie Vanak, 'Best Selling Author', blogs for the Pink Fuzzy Slipper Writers on Saturday, 12/13/09 Her historical romantic adventures are riveting.
Bonnie is a member of my local chapter of the Florida Romance Writers. She is a wonderful, down to earth lady, with a fascinating life. She travels the world, and then comes home to play with the family's train collection. I might get to see it!
She was so kind and agreed to take her time, and her time is precious, to come and talk to us.
It was her first book The Falcon and The Dove, that hooked me on her books. Bonnie writes with imagery that puts you in the story. And you're hooked, just like me.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tell me how to do It.

I just watched the evening news. Some poor man had just lost his wife and two daughters when a military jet crashed and hit his house. The sheer blank stare of disbelief the only emotion on his face. Even before he said it I ws in tears.

"Tell me how to do it, I don't know what to do?"

Honest, down to the point, raw pain, fills his heart. He has no idea how to go on, or whether he wants to at all. His mind is stuck in the shock of disbelief. It hasn't really yet hit him I don't think.
He is in the first stage of grief, shock.
But his question is universal. How will he go on. What will he do now that his life is so changed.
A thousand prayers and well wishes will not change the fact that he will never be the same.
Each day will be a new task. How will he do it?

In each one of us is a soul, that thing which in my mind makes us an individual. What is our spirit, our life light, there are lots of words for it. This poor man will have to dig into himself to survive. He will have to force himself to get up in the morning and he will have to overcome despair. I don't envy him, for I don't know the answer to his question.

But this I do know. If he can make it so can I. If he can find that spark in his soul that gives him the strength to go on, I can. My everyday problems don't compare to his nightmare. So if he can do it so can I.

It takes a moment, or a comment like this to remind me. I can do it, it won't be easy, but I can do anything I want to.