December is near

The written word has always been magic to me.  Today I took inventory of what books I’m reading and where they are.  I love fiction, biographies, inspirational words and I also enjoy magazines and short stories.

Right now I’m reading on the Kindle, in the Den, by my bed and in the dining room.  I have no trouble keeping the stories separate and distinct.  I discovered Max Lucado shortly after Russell passed away.  What a blessing his writings are.  Dorothy Taguchi sent me a volume called Jesus is Calling.  I read from that every night.  Candy has loaned me several volumes from her reading.  Candy’s  only son was killed in 1995, in a auto accident.  She has read and shared some wonderful books with me.

One of the most effective volumes has been Time To Grieve by Janet Staudacher.  This is an old book but so very helpful.  I sent one to brother-in-law David when I discovered it.  Bonnie has been in Heaven 14 months now.  Time moves crazy fast for me.

While Mary, Andre, and Zach were here we went to the Los Angeles Auto Show.  We had a great time.  I am car shopping and I think I have narrowed my choice down to a Buick.   I really like the look and feel of sitting in it.  Now I need to drive it.  I’m hoping they have a good red color.

Zach had the best time of all of us looking at every car there.  Some concept cars were amazing.  I will buy American Made but enjoyed looking at the foreign models.  Honda has a new color call cinnamon and it was reddish and beautiful.

There were cars there no one was allowed to touch.  They were roped off and most started at nearly $300,000.  I require no such machine.  I want quality, gps on the console, Sirius Radio, some back up safety device and a steering wheel I can see over.  Don’t laugh!  Some driver’s seats will require a cushion.

Thanksgiving was bittersweet.  Zach and I made the cranberries, which has forever been Russell’s job.  Last year, Grandpa gave Zach lessons and he had learned them well.  They were delicious.

Andre did the turkey and dressing.  He also made dill potatoes and he made great gravy.  The bird was the best looking one ever.  His Dressing or stuffing was very different from mine but very good and very popular.

Lorraine made the pies and they were very good as usual.  At least that was the consensus.  I don’t eat pie, even cream pies.  I don’t know why , exactly.  It just doesn’t appeal to me.

We had Alma’s sweet potatoes made by Kary, green bean casserole, of course and really good rolls.  A wonderful ham was very popular and will provide good sandwiches for a few days before being frozen for split pea soup later.  We are so blessed with family and good times and good food. I think Mary has some good pics.  If she replies, I hope she will post the picture of the turkey.

I am usually the one who offers the blessing before the meal but I knew I would cry and be less than articulate.  We decided to hold hands, and say aloud what we were thankful for.  Some were funny and some were poignant and some were just as you would expect.

Andre’ was glad for family,  and that the turkey was done.  He was also thankful for Amanda who couldn’t be with us because she is doing her hospital clinicals in Georgia.  Mary was thankful for family and that we had last year with her Dad.  Some were thankful they didn’t have to go to work the next day.  Kary was thankful for family and all she had learned this past year.  Katy and Steven were thankful for family.  I was thankful that I had Russell for 52 years and that this wonderful family held me up at all times.  Chuck and Lorraine were thankful for  Mike and his family in Georgia.

We also followed some wonderful advice from Paulette in Colorado.  We each remembered and shared a memory of Russell with each other.  Some were so funny.  Kary and I noted that so many of our memories are still tangled in the last 13 months of Russell’s life.  We look forward to them expanding more and more.

There were tears anyway and Mary Camarillo said it was difficult to hold hands and cry.  We all agreed.  I am thankful that Lou and Alma live here now and not in Oregon.  That is too far away for us to feel comfortable.  Lou is 89 and Alma is 88.  Strong and independent people as they are, it’s better to have them near by.  Better for me, anyway.

Andre’ planned a good surprise for Mary on Friday.  We went to Farrell’s.  Remember that place?   It was near by in years past, disappeared from the scene and is now making a come back.

This Farrell’s was in Mission Viejo.  They served food as well as ice cream goodies.  There was a balloon artist there.  Katy’s giraffe was so cute.  Mary got a mermaid

The food was ok, not too fancy.  Mary and Kary shared a salad and Steven had a BLAT.  A BLT with avacado. Zach had shrimp alfredo, of course.  This is his favorite but he prefers chicken.  Katy and I had old-fashioned grilled 4 cheese sandwiches.  Don had a chicken sandwich.  Mary says she doesn’t remember Farrell’s being so noisy.  She must be getting old.  Time together was wonderful.

I hated to see the Georgia family leave, but Christmas is not far away.  I found Thanksgiving difficult in some moments and I fully expect Christmas to be so, as well.  I will still have family, the closeness of God and the support of friends near and far.

I need to start planning decor, my new Christmas tree and the dinner menu.  I am in charge.  That is a Christmas tradition, I can’t give up.  My cards are ready to address and my wishes are for a celebration of Christ’s birth.


Blessings on each of you.

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