Butterfly Moment

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It’s hard to believe, but this adorable grandma looked like a crippled little old lady when she arrived on my doorstep Saturday, certainly in no shape to walk far, much less take a ride on my Throne. (Yes, I call my back seat my Throne! I’m a queen of the road back there!) But let me back it up a bit and help you understand the Butterfly analogy:

Due to the barrier of distance, finances, life circumstances and a stubborn Pollack I’ve not been able to get to know my Mother in Law (MIL) very well. The stubborn Pollack in this formula, my father in law, would go NO WHERE he could not smoke. Period. And he refused to smoke outside. As you can imagine, that not only limited their travel, but also limited visits. I have asthma, and I cannot tolerate smoke. I certainly didn’t want it in my house, and I had issues the one time we visited them. When a tragic, but silver-lining blessing occurred this last year, circumstances changed which freed her up to move closer to her daughters and their families this past week. It also freed her up to travel. So when my oldest graduated from college, she called to ask if she could come. I was thrilled with the opportunity to get to know her, and have my girls get to know her also. Of course I said yes!

So, on Saturday, in the midst of a pre-graduation party I threw for my graduate, hubby went to collect her. She walked in the door, with a cane, looking exhausted, drawn and happy but frail. Over the course of this week, with a good dose of activity, good food, some girly pampering, and lots of love and attention, I have watched this woman come out of her cocoon and blossom into a beautiful butterfly! She leaves tomorrow, and I’m content but a little sad. What a joy to be sending her home ready to start living again. She came to us stressed out and depressed from dealing with far too much, and she is leaving full of optimism and plans for her future. And isn’t that really the goal in life? Living each and every day as the gift it is?

I will kiss her Bon Voyage tomorrow, but I won’t be saying goodbye. Who knows? Maybe we have a girls weekend ahead in New Orleans…a city on her Bucket List.

I hope for everyone to have a beautiful moment like this.
A Transformation.
A Butterfly Moment.

A Season to Relish

My father flew the (formerly) friendly skies back south to the warmer climate this morning and so it’s back to life and reality.
This year, unlike former years, I made the concerted effort to tune out the worldly noise and demands over the Thanksgiving holiday, and I think I just might have to make this a tradition! I (painfully at times) sat and watched hours of football with him, we sat and chatted in the evening, did some daytime exploration of the cities and generally spent some real quality time as a family. Wow, what a novelty in this day and age.

I hope that everyone else had as tranquil a holiday as we did. I have never participated in that nightmare called ‘Black Friday’. I watched some of the reporting on it and it was appalling how people now behave in public. My lil’ bro and dad went off to the camera store (my brother is a photographer) but came home empty handed. So instead, we had great talks about life, culture, history, family and the future. It truly was a season to relish.

So now we enter the Christmas season. I love the holidays with their traditions, gatherings, and the decorations. But I LOVE Christmas and celebrating the reason for this season.  I love to bring up the tree. Yes, it’s a fake, but I like my tree up for the full month and I don’t want to have to worry about it burning the house down. It’s a lovely fake tree, one I have to put together and put the lights on. I love getting out the box of ornaments and reminiscing the years as I lovingly put each one up.
I love hanging the wreaths. I buy them plain and decorate them myself. I love putting out my nativity scenes. It may not be ‘correct’, but our baby Jesus is out all season long. I like being reminded why I am celebrating. I love burning my pine scented candles. I love baking, the heat of the oven warming me as I churn out baked goods. I love the excuse to gather together with people, like cookie exchanges. I love the things our little family doest to make the holiday special, such as driving around Christmas eve with a mug of steaming Hot Chocolate, while looking at Christmas light displays.

I love all these things, but after such a wonderful technology ‘time out’ over Thanksgiving, I am contemplating how I will balance peace and contemplation with the chaos that defines the Christmas season.

While I muddle on that, I’ll post a photo of my Gluten Free Gingerbread Trifle that was a major hit for Thanksgiving dessert. I’ll be figuring out gluten free alternatives for my traditional treats and meals this year. Cooking chaos or no cooking chaos, that is the dilemma!