This year we had plans to visit with John & Ellen in Richmond along with the Derry's from Louisiana bringing our little Jackson north. Unfortunately, plans changed because Fred (Ellen's father) became ill and is in the hospital ( and our prayers) so we headed north to Grammy's rather than south.
Grammy had tasks for the boys to perform (cover the A/C units) before dinner was served and then four generations sat down (minus Tina and Bob who were in Maine) to a scrumptious meal of turkey, stuffing, cranberries, mashed potatoes, homemade bread, and a perfect gravy (made by sister #2).
We think about all our blessings but then when we returned home we had a plumbing leak to contend with. Well, at least we have a roof over our heads even if it is a bit damp inside.
We still count our blessings for we are truly blessed with health, happiness, and a family and friends.
- who do I invite?
- what will I wear to that party? Should I take something?
- when will I fit that into my schedule? Can I get it done in time?
- where can I get that gift? What color, what size?
- how will I get it all done?
- why can't I think of something for her/him?
There are so many decisions to be made each year and sometimes they become overwhelming.
- The tree - should we get a real one and should it be small or large or huge?
- Christmas Goodies - Should we cheat on our diets - dah, of course, but when can we start? What should we make and how much of each?
- What do we get everyone or are we giving gifts at all?
- Are we sending cards? Should we include a Christmas Letter?
- Decorations - Same old, same old, or something new and different?
- When will I see everyone? Do I travel to their house or invite them to mine?
And what about all my book challenges? Will I manage to squeeze in all the final books I need to finish?
The answers, for me, are pretty simple...
- Trees - 1 Small, 1 medium, 1 large all fake
- baking - list decided- all I have to do is schedule what when
- presents - gift certificates for the out of town kids (I know that's cheating but they love to go after Christmas for all the sales and get exactly what they want) the siblings have ceased to exchange except for nominal items, so that leaves one for Mom and 1 for hubbie
- Cards are scheduled for the 2nd week in December
- Parties are all scheduled, invitations have been sent and RSVPs done,
- and decorations are in progress! (should be finished this weekend)
So my advice, take an hour or two and plan it all out, print out your calendar and enjoy this special season...It won't be back again for another 365 days!
If anyone ever wanted to take a photo and make your own cards (christmas or otherwise), its so easy with the people at CrinkledNose.com The son of a friend of mine works there and they are so helpful if you have any problems, but the process is easy and fast. The hardest part, for me, was choosing a picture. I had them last year and they are sensational. Reasonably priced too!
We had a pleasant time throughout the week. Monday Tim golfed with Mary-ellen and John until the rain came and they quit. Tuesday Tim, Mary-ellen and I golfed and later, after the pool, went to mixology class where we created two mixed drinks - yummy, yummy. Wednesday Tim and Mary-ellen played golf and the afternoon was spent at the pool and wine tasting. Thursday John and Ellen returned from their jobs and the five of us went to the golf course. Ellen is just beginning but she's already better than I am. Afterward we all went to a Martini tasting and scaped(?) a visit via the Internet with Jackson, Christopher and Melanie.
Friday no golf! Since they couldn't get a Tee time early Mary-ellen, Tim and I went shopping, and returned for pool time just before Kathy and David arrived for Ribs on the BBQ.
There were only 4 of the six Derry children together at anyone time, we ate , we drank, we laughed, we cried, but all in all, I still think we managed to have a family gathering of which Bill and Pat would have been proud.
Tim and I returned from our week in Myrtle Beach (we had a great time) and thought we would slowly settle into our normal existence - WRONG!
As some of you know the dryer died and the washer was following it shortly, so Tim and I broke down and purchased a new washer and dryer. Because we got it stacked, the laundry room seems much more spacious and now all I have to do is a few decorative items and it will seem like new.
I thought that would be it, but when we came home from our week in Myrtle Beach on Saturday night, we found that the refrigerator was not doing its job and everything was spoiled. We had to throw everything out and clean it thoroughly. Luckily, we have another in the garage, so we figured we muddle through until we could get the repairman this week. Since I am getting older, I forgot that it wasn't working a few hours later and opened the door to get a drink and found that it was cold again. (Okay, I thought, what's going on here?) So we turned on the ice maker to see if it would stay cold, and at dinner we were rewarded with the sound of falling ice. So far, it's still cold. Tim seems to think that something was blocking the thermostat and that it should be fine. Bless the Lord!