Growing up, the day after Christmas was reserved for UN-decorating. The tree came down, and all the tinsel, ornaments and special holiday trinkets were carried in boxes up the attic stairs by my Dad. At the end of the day my Mom would look around the now uncluttered den and declare, “Back to normal!”
On Thursday, our two little “Scrooge” trees (as I dubbed them when they went up during my “poor me” pre-Christmas sadness) settled once again into the attic space provided by Ted’s organizational skills. The Christmas villages (only a few came out this year) were packed into their original boxes. The little knick-knacks placed in every room of the house – to at least give the appearance we were decorating – were picked up and packed into labeled boxes (so next year I remember what went where). The wreaths were hung outside in our storage shed, where door decorations are swapped out with each turn of the season. The furniture we moved into our bedroom to accommodate Christmas trees and gifts was returned to the den. And on Thursday evening, I walked through the rooms and said, “Back to normal!” Just like Mama.
Making Joyce’s Day
A couple of weeks ago, Bear and I and several other Pet Partner teams worked at both Morningside and Evergreen Assisted Living facilities. At Evergreen, we are usually met in the day room by several residents who love animals, and we spend about an hour chatting and letting our four-legged partners work their magic. On that particular day, there was a lady I hadn’t met before who had the most charming personality and happiest spirit. She spoke English, but with a strong French accent I sometimes had trouble following. It was crystal clear though that she loved our fur babies! We asked for and received permission to photograph her and post the pics here.
After visiting that afternoon, we all met at Austin’s Steak House for a “Flash Mob”. No, we didn’t jump up and sing to everyone – it’s just the name we’ve given to our at-least-once-a-month-get-togethers. Austin’s allows us to bring our dogs (as long as we sit outside :))!
Seriously, my dear readers, if you have a pet who you know could do this, and you have the time, you should really try to get hooked up with a Pet Partners group near you. It is one of the most fulfilling things I have ever done, and you get to make friends with wonderful people who are true animal lovers. You won’t be sorry!
What I Missed
Home for Christmas
Having Jason and Blake home over the holidays certainly cheered me up. We opened gifts, ate lots of good food, and enjoyed just hanging out together.
Well, Open/Shut My Mouth!
You know that little device I was complaining about . . . the one that cost $1575 and was supposed to allow me to once more open my mouth open wide enough to eat a hamburger with no pain?
My sweet hubbie, the kids and the grandkids all pooled their Christmas money and gave me the coolest camera! I now am the proud owner of a Canon Rebel T3, with an extra zoom lens. Can’t tell you how excited I am! Here are a few of my first shots . . .
I’m sure all of you know how happy I am to have the new camera. Thanks to my wonderful family for making it happen!
Chris Ann Update
I’ve talked with Chris Ann a couple of times in the last week, and we’ve also chatted online. She’s had family in and out all through the holidays. On Sunday, Dec. 30, one of her best friends, Mary, is going up to stay with Chris Ann and Burton until Friday when two of her daughters arrive. I’m flying up on Wednesday, Jan. 2, and will visit with Chris Ann, Burton and Mary on Thursday and Friday. My plan right now is to also try to get over to the Island on Saturday. I’ve been trying to make the decision to do this for nearly three weeks now, but what it comes down to is I need to see my friend again. So I’m going.
Sue and Terry Conlon, Patrick’s parents, have graciously invited me to stay with them at Black Lake near Cheboygan, and they are coming to pick me up Wednesday at the Flint, MI airport and will take me back to Flint on Sunday. Sue met Chris Ann for the first time on the night the Shepler folks went to sing carols (Patrick is Shepler’s dock master and the young man I’ve tried to adopt away from Sue and Terry – for some reason they won’t let me). Sue immediately saw the spirit and unquenchable love Chris Ann has for everyone she meets – something I’ve written about for some time now. Without Sue and Terry, it would have been much harder for me to make the trip. Thanking them in advance!
Because of this trip, I won’t post again to this blog until the first of next week (the week of Jan. 7). I’ll try to get one post in to share with you about the trip, before leaving again on Jan. 10 to fly to Colorado to see Blake. It’s going to be a busy, busy beginning to 2013!
Ted and I will be ringing in the New Year at a party here on the ri’vah. Let me go ahead now and wish all of you the most wonderful of years in 2013. I pray that we all spend the next 365 days giving to others unselfishly, loving each other unconditionally, and praising God unceasingly. Love and hugs from the Hortons! God bless.
P.S. Thanks to Ted for his beautiful sunrise shot, from a few mornings ago, in the header tonight. We are almost back to full pool on the ri’vah!