Tuesday, December 27, 2011

After Christmas Thoughts

Of course I'd pick and ocean picture :)

Since I didn't get to post before Christmas as I wanted to ...I will do some Christmas posts this week. I thought I'd get away without obsessing over lights this yr - looked like I would ...but then it happened. I also had a most favorite Christmas toy I could not stop playing with, still want to play with and may ask Wrenna to bring it over tomorrow. I want one! But for tonight ...I will share some other things.

I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas. We did. It was great being together. I wish d-i-l's family could've been here too like they were for Thanksgiving. I LOVED having them here. The food was delicious. My m-i-l makes the best ham and fudge. Not together of course ...mmmmm ham covered with fudge casserole... would cover the sweet - salt cravings so many people get. Not. She really does make a good ham. ham is not my favorite ...but I love hers. Every year I think I will make fudge and then never do. I used to. One of these years I will. My d-i-l made the best cookies and they are gone. So is the fudge. And lucky for me ...my m-i-l made the second layer of fudge with coconut. I hate coconut. I even tried eating it from the bottom. Coconut just finds it's way onto the food even when you think it's not there. ..so that didn't work. And Aunt Margie brought some good pies. The pumpkin was yummy ...but I have never warmed up to mincemeat pies. In theory ..I should like it because I like the ingredients ...except one thing seems a little weird and reminds me of fruit cake ...something else I am not fond of. Ha ha! For the longest time (even as an adult) ...I actually thought mince meat pie was hamburger meat somehow sweetened all weird or something and wouldn't even go near it. :) She bought that pie because it was labeled cherry and thought she was bringing a cherry pie. Surprise! I kept it simple this year and only made lasagna, broccoli casserole and some other things. Mr SeaSpray made sandwiches. Way too much food ...but all so good. :)

And watching the kids enjoy Christmas through their eyes was the best. 10 yr old Devan was beside herself with joy with the fabulous presents she got. A kindle, a much wanted game and other things. 2 yr old Wrenna ...was just so excited and filled with wonder and joy and that little voice of hers ..sooo sweet. Oh and one of her big things was a set of drums. i can't wait to see her play them Friday. And Myles ...who will be a yr old in a few days ...well he seemed to like the bows and paper the most and seemed very interested in our Christmas tree ...often staring at it. (Lot of lights, ornaments, and tinsel and 9 1/2 feet tall.) We will have the kids all day tomorrow and I can't wait to see them. I love Christmas week!

And speaking of the tree - I didn't even get to tell people that Immaculate Conception was again selling the most amazingly near perfect and very fresh cut trees ..proceeds going to the school. This yer they changed locations and sold them behind Hooters in their parking lot because the property across the street sold. The Immaculate Conception guys weren't all dressed in little Hooter's shorts tho. ;) Ha ha! I think it's so funny that a Catholic church/school was selling Christmas trees at Hooters. Actually - they're closed down. The men volunteering for the school are all so nice and it is a pleasure and delight buying their trees. Plus they did something really nice for me that I greatly appreciated. The price was excellent (between 40 and 65 and that is cheap for large trees - considering other local places wanted over 100.00 a few years ago. Also, they are fresh cut from a farm in PA within days of delivery. Our tree is still fresh and we put it up the first Sunday in December. And I only looked at 3 and any of them would've been great. I went with what Devan chose. She said, "I think you should take this one because it's greener and has detail." Devan's choice it was and it was a good one. We didn't even dance the tree around like I always have Mr SeaSpray do ...you know ..twirl it looking for the best side ..they were all good. Oh and since dealing with the Immaculate Conception volunteers and trees ...I no longer have to ply Mr SeaSpray with a pot roast or some other carnivorous treat ...thus sedating him like an opiate so he doesn't get all testy during the whole tree shopping/setting up process. So, buying trees there is a win/win/win for him, me and the Immaculate Conception school. :)

I have to say that our awesome sons and daughter- in-love greatly surprised Mr SeaSpray and me with the best present ...an HD TV - WOW!!! Which explains why older was pushing for us to get Directv and even set up the appointment ...even tho I protested initially. That is because I am a loyal type of customer and we always had cable and our local cable company has always given us excellent service, etc. That being said ...we will save between 30 and 40 a month for first year plus the additional 13.86 I paid for Tivo and I LOVE the storage for things recorded and all the things that come with the package. Sons were right. Thank you so very much! :)

I have been watching movies and recording what I can't. I'm looking forward to watching "Run Away Jury" later tonight. Looks like and excellent movie. Oh and I caught the last 3rd of "Good Morning Vietnam", which I really liked when it came out and appreciated it even more now. I picked up on things I missed back then.

I have been remiss in doing Christmas posts this year and just did not get my usual things done like I normally do and I admit it bothered me ...and okay ...maybe still just a little bit. But, I also know that those things are not the real meaning of Christmas ...which is the Christmas blessing of God coming to earth because he loved us so much and all that that has meant for mankind ...past ...present ...and future. And also important ...being together ..having good relationships and creating good memories and having your health.

I was annoyed at myself for being disappointed or annoyed that I did not get to do all I wanted to. So ...I am working on next Christmas now. No - I am not. Thought crossed my mind tho. :)

And this was an unusual fall and Christmas season. My friend dying ...well that definitely hit me more now than the whole time since. And I have just felt *off* during this Christmas season and fall and I suppose being so involved with my friend the last months of her life since spring ..really the main one getting her everywhere and other things, seeing all she went through ...well it had it's effects on me. I am so very glad I did tho. There was no other option and we did have fun amidst some of it ...even during chemo, but, there were stresses too ..of course. There has been a lot of loss these last few- 5 years ...and I wonder how other people feel after these things. I kind of feel like I have to recreate my life. So much has changed - key people important to me no longer here ..I feel disconnected in a way. It is NOT a good feeling. Fortunately it is fleeting ...but when it comes in ...it is disconcerting and sad.

Yesterday ...I searched for an old message on my voice mail ...long buried by other ones and found one from at least 2 years ago and I just needed to hear her voice and she sounded so ..like the Iris I remember. I could even see her expressions in my mind's eye as she spoke. I have been wanting to talk with her more than usual and is the first Christmas that we cannot. It is so FRUSTRATING and we should be able to talk about our Christmas with families ..sharing all the joys of what we did. I also very much missed my Mom ..later Christmas night ...after company left and things settled down.

And yet ...there is so much in my present and dreams for the future and so I mostly focus there. I am so grateful for every single person in my life that is important to me. It is just hard when the other really special people are no longer here. We all go through it in some way and death is part of life. And this is supposed to be a happy Christmas post ...but if I am being honest ...these may be some reasons ...things were different for me this fall/Christmas season. Why it all felt so off to me. except for special moments here and there. And then there were some health concerns that proved to be a non concern at all ...thank God.

I really did love this Christmas and being with everyone ...just a different year for me... and trying to redirect my thoughts and life ...going forward without the special people. And we all know that the holidays exacerbate the sense of loss when sad or difficult things have happened. For some it could be the loss of a job or a home or health ...or other challenges. And then I come back to ...for those that believe in the true meaning of Christmas ...that focusing on the birth of Christ ...helps to center us, bring peace and a renewed hope for the future. Even during years of no loss ...if I get too focused on the secular side and don't include faith ...it can feel hollow. Faith enriches the experience and gives it real meaning.

I am most grateful for the gift of faith and eternal life.

I guess this is a bittersweet Christmas post, but true to this year's experience ...now recorded in my on line diary.

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