Tuesday, December 24, 2013

{ my gold ring }

He is jittery with excitement as he locks the door behind him.  He shoves his hands deep in his wool coat pockets - his fingers find it quickly - yes it is there.  He looks up above the smokey brick buildings and dirty white streets - the Rocky mountains rise strong and tall - their peaks hidden behind low misty clouds dropping their load on the valley below.

There is an excitement in the air all around him.  Workers in the dark sooty factories forget their aching backs and cold feet.  He works with a light heart today - he steals glances at the clock as often as he dare - and yes as he checks his pocket - it is there.

The siren finally blares - workers hurry for the door - anxious to be home with families on this Christmas eve night.

His heart pounds - his breath heavy in the cold air as he navigates the team of horses along the frozen path.  Up ahead he sees a wagon on the side of the road - its wheel broken, stranding its cold passengers.  Four sets of warm eyes sheepishly plead as he pulls the horses to a halt.

It's there up ahead - warm lights glow from the parlor window.  Cedar and fir garlands drape the fireplace mantle.  Figures scurry - platters are laid out - the piano keys dance - candles flicker on the tree.  He pushes the door open - a warm grin and eyes all lit with breathless anticipation.  Across the room - there she is - his bride to be.

He ushers the family in - coats are taken - warm coffee is served.  They gather around the fireplace - strangers no more.  He straightens his tie, and pulls it from his pocket - with his strong warm hands he takes her tiny finger and slips it on - she beams - tilting her head up she kisses this man - her love.

She sheepishly approaches the cold pile of new earth.  Lovingly she takes her cold finger and slips it slowly off - full of reference and respect.  She slips it carefully into her suit pocket.  She glances up - there they are - two black suits laboring with each step as they walk arm in arm towards the waiting car.  Never strangers.

{ Harry and Etta married December 24, 1889 }

Friday, December 20, 2013

{ what's good about the cold?}

After many nights of freezing temps I am asking myself...Is there anything good about the cold...the hard freeze...it burns...it cripples...it drives me indoors.  I wonder this for nearly a week.  Then, Yes!  I see it now...it slows me down.  This is a good thing and a gift from God.

We added the verse, "Trust in the Lord with all of your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take."  Proverbs 3:5 and 6, to our Christmas card this year.  So even in the bitter cold I seek Him.  This seems easier when I am less busy...less distracted.  Most days and evenings are so nice around here that I can barely bring myself indoors - so this weather finds me at home - inside - either near the fire or the stove.  Cooking in the winter is so satisfying.  You select, chop, simmer and savor long.  Inspired by the movie "Julie and Julia" I tried Julia Childs ancient recipe "Beef Bourguignon."  I love meet simmered in wine.  End of story.

We stay home this week - decorating the house for Christmas.  I've found for me decorating around the 10th of the month seems to work best for us.  This year I found joy in in using things we had around the house - the antlers above my dresser got the big call to hang above the fire place for the holidays.  I really like to use natural cuttings found on our property - so this year it was oranges with their leaves.   I did buy 3 new European cedars that will be planted in the yard following the holidays.  I like to keep my decorating easy and natural.  

From my heart to your home - Merry Christmas.