Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Bitter Sweet This season is so bad for so many people. It is a bitter-sweet time, with celebrating Christmas and remembering those who have passed before us and those who are fighting for their lives, more so now and in the Spring than any other time. Don't forget to allow yourself time and privacy to shed the tears that heal, holding them back causes a scalding pain that is only relieved by allowing yourself to grieve. I have always found it better to go into the pain and through it to the other side than to try to stifle it and shove it back to be dealt with later. I have also always found being by the water to be comforting and healing. We also have to remember the good things of the Season and be sure to make new memories each year. I wish I could package and send every one of you a sample of the smells in my kitchen right now. My daughter by choice spent yesterday and today with me, doing our Christmas baking together. We are far from done, but the smells and the camaraderie and the joy and laughter are so thick you could cut and serve it. Pity I can not share it as I would like. When my health deteriorated to the point that I can no longer do all the things I used to, I thought my life was over, but I have learned that the old skills and knowledge and stories from another time are also valuable and I can make memories for children that will last them a life time. I can share the magic, and help it to go on and on. I don't need to be physically fit to do this, I only need the will and desire to share. How many of us think that we have reached a point where we are no longer worthy of love and able to contribute to our families, friends and society in general? I did, but have learned so much since then. I have learned that it is important to share myself, not just my efforts. I have learned that people enjoy spending time with me, even if they have to do almost all the work of baking (or anything else) but they value my spirit, my knowledge and lore. Tomorrow morning the girls (ages 8 and 6) will join us for the first of two cookie baking days. This one will be peanut butter cookies and the other one will be ginger snaps. Both batters hold up well to a lot of mauling and still taste great. Both have no egg so our allergic members will not get sick.
Written November 2006
We are in the middle of a snow storm that threatens a foot or more of snow and the girls are going to cut their tree down this evening. Can you think of anything more magical? How many of us know older people who are basically alone in this season but have a wealth of history and experience that they would be so very pleased to share if anyone stopped to notice that they are worthy of attention and consideration. How many of us know a lot of the old ways that we could bring a little of it back into our lives and the lives of our families. Someone told me they were going to take their young brother to a shelter to serve Christmas Dinner with him. The idea of teaching children the value of giving, and particularly giving of themselves is wonderful. Something that is done here, that might be possible in other communities....most small communities have senior citizen residences or nursing homes, where there are elderly people who have outlived their families and really have no visitors or very few. When baking, a lot of us make extra to take to the home for their Christmas dinners. It is usually pretty easy to find out what kind of baking would be most appreciated. Do the schools do anything special with the kids for Christmas? Old fashioned decorations? Pine cone expeditions? Old stories? Any of that? I know that many of them do not get any of the magic at home anymore because the parents do not have it to give. I do not know where the fault lies, in my generation or the next one? but somehow the chain has been broken. We can not make it whole again, but we can mend it enough to give the little ones a chance to see that there is something more, and maybe they will seek it out when they are grown. Sometimes the schools have programs where kids can visit an older person and get to know them in these homes. Sort of a surrogate grandparent thing. It helps the senior and it helps the kids. When kids grow up without contact with the elderly, they almost seem to fear them, or at least the aging process. I wish you all the joys of the season, and the desire to try something old! PS: My granddaughters by choice had a wonderful tree fetching expedition in the middle of the snow storm. Their dad sneaked ice cream and cones into the back of the truck before they went to the woods and after cutting their tree, they had ice cream in the snow. Solo

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