Christmas Memories

My Christmas tree is an eclectic mix of ornaments. All different. All unique. Seeing this little Santa on the tree every year brings back a special memory. Some years my husband and I exchanged gifts and some years we didn’t. One year we celebrated with our kids early, so on Christmas eve we went to a local gift shop to get a little something for each other to wrap and put under the tree. This is what he got for me. Every time I look at it, I remember that day and the time we spent together.

A starry, starry night

One of the things my family loves to do on a crisp fall evening is to head out to the fire pit. Sweaters, blankets and quilts are rounded up, fire wood gathered, coffee brewed or hot chocolate made. Someone usually digs through the pantry in the hopes of finding ingredients for s’mores or make a mad dash to the store if necessary.

When everything is ready, we circle the chairs around a blazing fire, sit and talk. No television and no electronics. We actually spend time communicating with one another. Even the kids.

It’s always a good opportunity for story telling. I love to share the stories my grandparents and parents passed down to me while spending an evening on the front porch swing or one of those old metal gliders that squeaked. I liked to stretch across the cool concrete and listen to them talk about things that happened long before I was born.

We have lots of family stories to revisit, whether it’s camping trips that flirted with disaster or one of the unplanned road trips taken through the years. Someone might even bring up the one about the year two cats got into a fight…in the branches of the Christmas Tree. And we laugh no matter how many times we hear the same story.

A few years ago I was fortunate enough to make a very special memory, one I find myself revisiting often. It happened on a cool, clear night in October when the ground fog crept across the fields beyond the house. The moon was yellow and full. My grandson, Caleb, was seven at the time and full of energy. He was twirling around in circles beside the fire, dancing freestyle. And he kept insisting that I join him.

“Oh, honey,” I said. “It’s really dark out here, and I can’t see what I’m doing. I might fall down and break my ankle.”

“Take my hand, Granny,” he said, reaching out for me. “I won’t let you fall.”

How could I refuse? That’s how I ended up, dancing with my grandson under the stars on a beautiful fall night. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

The Old House

My sister and I had lunch at a local winery a few weeks ago. To get there, we had to travel for a few miles down a narrow, windy country road. On the way, we passed an old, abandoned house almost hidden behind a huge magnolia tree. On our way home we pulled over to take pictures.

Places like this have always fascinated me. How long has the house been there? Who built it? And why? Maybe some young man bought this house for his bride. And carried her across the threshold. A farmer and his wife moved here with plans to fill the fields with crops and the yard with children. Or it could have been a place of refuge for someone who wanted to be left alone.

There’s no telling. If only the old place could talk. What stories would it tell?

Labor Day

This is what Wikipedia has to say about Labor Day. In the US, it is celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American Labor movement and contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country. It is a federal holiday and is considered the unofficial end of summer in the United States.

To me, it means farewell to road trips, weekends at the lake, trips to the beach, camping. By now, we’ve all gotten sunburned at least once, fought off mosquitoes, stayed in the water until our skin was wrinkly and eaten dozens of hot dogs.

Now it’s time to shift gears, and get ready for cooler weather, football games, and sitting out under the stars enjoying s’mores. I’m ready. How about you?

Purple Sage

I have purple sage growing on the east side of my front porch. I planted it several years ago for a little variety, hoping it would be as hardy as the nonflowering shrubs along the front. June and July can be mighty hot and dry in Texas. But sage blooms gorgeous purple flowers when we do get rain.

A few months ago I trimmed it back because it had gotten a little spindly. Don’t know if that had anything to do with it but when I went outside after a shower, I noticed it had bloomed more than ever before. Isn’t it pretty?

August has arrived

Can you believe it? Just yesterday I was putting out the flag for Memorial Day. Making plans for my grandson’s second birthday. Looking forward to plans for the 4th. Counting the days until vacation. And now it’s August 1st. Where does the time go?

Like it or not, it’s time to start thinking about shopping for school supplies and clothes. Spend a weekend at the lake while there’s still time and the weather’s still good. Go swimming, cook out, make homemade ice cream!

Enjoy it while you can before it’s gone!