Tuesday, December 19, 2017


The decorating is done.
 The Cottage is quiet and
 the light of the candles
 casts a warm glow, 
along with a delightful essence, 

 There is a feeling of contentment
 that always settles in
 at this time of year.

 I think it may have started
 many years ago 
when, as a young child,
 I saw how my mother was affected 
by this time of year and
by Christmas
in particular.

I kind of skipped over
 our decorations these last few posts,
 so as I continue my Christmas Story, 
I will give the Cottage her due
 and share them with you
in between.

My mom was a twin. 
 She suffered from ill-health 
most of her life
 along with low self esteem.

  She always felt she was inferior
 and not as pretty as
 her twin sister 
and, as you can see, 
they looked just alike. 

 For whatever the reasons were,
 I think she may have compensated
 by giving herself to 
being a wife, mother and home keeper. 

 These things she excelled at.

I know I have mentioned before
 how we never knew 
where the furniture would be 
when we came home from school.

 Our home was always 
pretty, immaculate, and 
we all sat down to dinner each night
 with a hot, full course meal.

  We didn't have a lot of money
 but, to my eyes,
 Mom made our home look like we did,
 by sewing pretty tablecloths and curtains,
 and by arranging fresh flowers 
throughout the house that 
she grew and tended herself 
in the garden.

 She also had a 
wonderful eye for color and style.

In later years, I found out 
that she went to bed many nights 
with chest pains 
because she had overdone during the day.

  But, to all of us, 
this was just who she was.

 My dad was a good provider and
 we loved him very much, 
but it was my mom who 
made our world go round.

This was never more apparent 
then at Christmas time.

 It wasn't just the gifts either, 
although the sight of packages 
under the tree 
was exciting.

 We usually got the "big" gift from Santa
 and the few, required, ones 
such as underwear or stockings, 
and the occasional doll or toy truck,
were wrapped in pretty papers, 
leaving us to wonder for days 
as to what was inside.

 I never shook,
 or even picked up,
 a present 
for fear that I might guess 
what it was.

 The surprise was, 
and still, remains
 everything to me.

As I mentioned,
 it was never about the gifts for me,
 there must have been something 
in my mother's attitude 
that set me on the path 
to my love of Christmas.
The special ways she would
 decorate the tree,
 or the baking and the home made candy or just the fact, that I could feel her happiness.
  Any one, 
or all,
 of these things 
could have made a
 lasting impression on me.

The pride she took
in what she did 
for her family and her home
 was very apparent.

 how she felt was never talked about, 
I can imagine,
 because all of these ideals 
were passed on 
to me.

It is not just at this time of year
 that I see the results 
that my parents passed on.

 I see it, every day ,
in my daughter's family as well.

 It is like a line of dominoes,
 falling one by one,
 each taking their part 
from the ones before,
 and, I see,
 how lucky we all are 
to have this legacy...

...it is especially apparent to me
 at Christmas time...
 when the Cottage is quiet, 
the candles are lit and 
I sit by the tree. 

 I can feel the smile 
on my mother's face and
 know that she would be happy and proud 
about her job 
well done.


Thank you each, and everyone, 
for taking the time to visit with me throughout this year.

 I appreciate all of your kind words and
 the fact that you let me return the favor.

  I hope you all have 
a wonderful holiday and 
take a good rest 
after the celebrating is done.

  I will be doing just that 
and will return next year. 
 Talk to you then...but 
(as if this post wasn't long enough already)
 I want to share with you 
a beautiful Christmas present 
that our whole family received...

Meet Bo 
(pronounced as in Mr. Bo Jangles)

He is a golden retriever that 
Tami and Tim adopted.

 He has the most gentle soul. 
 He is loving, kind to all humans 
and other animals.

 He loves nothing better than
 climbing onto the sofa and, 
literally, climbing into your lap,
 where he will make himself comfortable
 for days, 
if he is allowed.

  Bo has epilepsy.

 His former owners were told this 
and were give prescriptions 
for medications that would help him,
 but they chose to use
 marijuana for his treatment instead
 and when he continued to have seizures, 
they abandoned him at the shelter.

 Luckily, Tami works at that shelter,
 and saw him immediately 
when he was dropped off.

 She said it was love at first sight 
for them both. 
 He has had one bad seizure 
since they brought him home and
 he is now on the meds 
that the doctors prescribed.

 There is no guarantee 
that they will stop the seizures completely
 but we are all hopeful 
and it is not a factor at all 
in the amount of love 
that he will receive 
or that he will give
 to all of us.