Can you believe we are nearly through 2014 already? I remember how horribly slowly that first year crawled by. Now, time is going faster than I can keep up. If you ask me my age, my initial response is still that I am "39," the age I was the day I stroked, the age that seems indelibly imprinted on my brain. Give me a moment and I'll realize I'm actually 42. Or I may tell you I'm 41, or 43, but at least I will get pretty close, given a moment to contemplate. ;)
I've sat down to write this post probably at least a half dozen times. My focus keeps changing. Saturday it was going to be about how I finally got every Christmas item up this year, first time since the strokes. Sunday morning it was going to be about how I learned I do have aphasia (loss of language) with my second language and all the emotions I was processing with that realization. Sunday afternoon it was going to be a prayer request for a woman I actually witnessed stroke on Saturday evening and didn't know it until Sunday morning! Somewhere in there I planned to talk about shoes and share some Christmas Thoughts and Prayers. Today, I think I better post a series of posts tonight as tonight's blog would be WAY too long otherwise! (If you are reading this via Facebook, I'm not getting on FB at all for a few days, taking a little break, but this should still auto-post there for me this evening.)
The Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving, our daughter
|Let's start at the front door!|
|As you come in, the first thing you see, the Reason for this Holy Season!|
|Next to our tree.|
|All beside the piano.|
|In the rocking chair, another reminder of the Why.|
Our daughter decided that if we were going to decorate the tree...
...we better include the large house plants too!
These are a very small selection of the ornaments my grandma designed and made for our tree each year while I was growing up:
Some special gifts from friends and family...
And a few we have added over the years on our own (anyone notice a theme going on here?) along with some treasured antiques from Rick's family:
As you follow me into the dinning room, we will pass a side table where our daughter lovingly arranged about seven more of the nativity scenes from my collection.
Every direction you look, there are more reminders of celebration.
|I just bought this bear at a yard sale, not long before my strokes. I actually got to use him for the first time, last year!|
|Rick's childhood decoration.|
|My grandma (same one who made the ornaments on our tree) hand-carved and painted the birds to make this wreathe.|
Into the dinning room...
|Table centerpiece this year.|
And on into the kitchen...
|Window passage between dinning room and kitchen, dinning room side.|
|Same passage from the kitchen side, looking back to dinning room. |
(Christmas tree is to right of dinning room, in our "formal living area" turned game and music room.)
|Only Christmas tree we had up that first Christmas home from the hospital, given to me by my loving writer's group.|
Do you see the TINY nativity scene nestled in the branches?
|Also about a foot tall, this is the tree Rick's Grandma crocheted for us early in our marriage.|
|3D Nativity "star" hanging from kitchen light (sideboard full of nativities about 2 steps to your right), looking out into family room.|
|Looking back into kitchen (dinning room now on left).|
|Looking at the far side of kitchen (opposite from sideboard and dinning room) with family room to the right.|
|Our fireplace. I especially love the stuffed bear under the Pooh stocking. He reads the entire story of Christmas, direct from Luke 2, to his "grandchild" bear who is sitting on his lap.|
|The Nativity I made from teddy bears, early in our marriage.|
Those first few Christmas celebrations after the hospital seemed rather "Charlie Brown"-ish, both in our home and in my heart.
This year 4th Christmas out, I finally feel I am recapturing the wonder.