I am a white girl, who grew up in a poor family. My dad worked construction, and of course we had to move where the work was. There were many times that my dad decided he would go to another state to work and send money back to us, just so we would not have to change schools. There was a time when we lived in a tent, but my dad did not allow us to go to school in dirty clothes. I remember the heartbreak of being in junior high and not wanting to make friends because, I did not want them to know I did not have a home. I would actually go eat in the bathroom to avoid being made fun of. It was a devastatingly difficult time. As I grew up, I rejected religion, yet was oddly fascinated by it. I tried it all, new age, Buddhism, Hinduism, Spiritualism etc. It was not until I turned 19 that I decided Christianity was the path for me. Jesus was the main reason for my decision. He did not judge, he preached love of all and he came for everyone! He accepted all! All.
As I have continued my journey, I have come to realize that everyone has their path, and I love listening to their stories. I love sitting a talking with those who believe differently from me, so that I can better understand where they are coming from. What they have been through. How they overcame whatever it was they went through in their lives. You see, America is pretty cool that way. We have come from different places around the world. We celebrate culture and diversity. We celebrate being different. At least, that is what I thought until lately. But maybe it has not changed. If I and all of us, have been shaped by our past, that means that we can learn from our mistakes as a nation. This means, that instead of becoming more divisive, we can come together in peace, love, and unity despite our political agendas or religious preferences. It means that we can find common ground.
It seems to me that we as believers in Higher Power or those who believe in humanity, have all been taught something similar: to welcome the stranger. To practice a hospitality so radical that it means to extend our hand and hearts to those who are in need. This does not change in any religious belief. It is common ground.
I implore everyone to seek facts and not fake news. To meet others different from you, and to extend your hand to ALL. We do not know everyone’s stories, but we can learn to listen.
I have been reminded lately of childhood and when I was sick. Truly sick. Not just a cold, but one of those flus that knock you out. That keep you bedridden for days. I remember feeling that it would never end, or that all I wanted to do was go outside and see the sunlight! I wanted to see my friends, and actually go back to school!
But what I really remember is how all I wanted was my mommy to tell me it was going to be alright. Her to bring me a bowl of hot soup and stroke my hair and tell me its okay to stay in bed all day long. Do you remember someone doing this for you? It does not have to be your mom, but someone who just showed you love when you felt like complete and total crap.
Whatever you are going through right now, whether it be depression, sickness, recovery from surgery, recovery from drugs or alcohol. Whatever you are going through, know that it is completely okay to stay in bed some days and have someone show you love. It is completely okay to just cry. This to shall pass, sooner or later.
I remember the first year my husband and I celebrated Christmas with our first born. It was really nothing big, but the first thing I did was make a huge breakfast. I tried to combine tradition we both shared: egg casserole for my husband and cinnamon rolls for my family. My Grandmother was known for her cinnamon rolls. Every year starting after Thanksgiving, she would get to work making her famous rolls. People would pay her to make some for their families! The egg casserole my husband was used to had such a rich flavorful, fifties feel. Easy, yet so very delicious. I thought a great deal about that first “family” Christmas this year, as we celebrated our 16th year together. Our baby is now almost 15, and we have added two kids since then. I was wondering what traditions I have created for my own family, when my oldest said how excited he was for Christmas Eve. “Mom! When are you making the cinnamon rolls and egg casserole! Also, the cookies should be made by now so we can decorate them between church services and watch National Lampoons Christmas Vacation before midnight mass!” I was excited to know that we as a family have created traditions without even realizing it! And isn’t that the point of traditions? Things you do without even realizing it! I was worried that I was not trying hard enough to create fond memories for my kids, yet it was already happening without even realizing it. No effort on my part, just warm loving memories that my kids are now appreciating. My grandmother and husbands mom probably did not even realize that cinnamon rolls and egg casserole were tradition worthy, but they were so meaningful to us. Truly it is the little things that make the most difference to us all. No stress, just natural family oriented events that are filled with love.
From my family to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas Season and the most Happy and Healthy 2017 filled with fun memories and traditions created from love!
When I was growing up, my family had a Jeep Wagoneer. This car was what got us from Las Vegas to Oklahoma over the holidays. My memories of it are fond, yet funny. The Wagoneer had no heat or air conditioning, so traveling in the winter was an adventure. I remember one holiday, having to take our black lab “Pepper” with us. Early on in the trip, I spilled ketchup down the front of my shirt and had no napkins to clean it off. By the end of the trip, it was hardened with dog hair to it. That trip was cold, tiring and filthy. But memorable.
Now that we are getting closer to completing the skeleton of Betty, we have been thinking of cars to pull the trailer. For some odd reason, the first car that came to mind is the Wagoneer. My husband jumped on board immediately. Besides pulling the trailer, it would be a perfect car for our oldest to learn to drive. Another story for another time.
We found a Wagoneer for sale 3 hours south of us, and jumped on the opportunity. We drove down, and I must admit, I was dreading the drive back up. My husband and the boys decided that they would drive back together in the Wagoneer, while my daughter and I followed. I was not looking forward to following 65-70 mph up mountain passes. Many memories were rushing back! In true Wagoneer form, memories have already been created for my kids. Going up one of the passes, the jeep began to struggle, and finally died. My husband pulled off on an exit with nothing around, and as we trouble shot the issues, it came to me that he was low on gas, and it could be that the gas was not getting to the engine up the hill. An exit with a gas station was less than 10 miles away, so we piled in and got some gas to bring back. After putting gas in the car, we realized that it was parked up hill and probably need to be facing downhill in order to start. So my kids got their first lesson in pushing a vehicle! While we were pushing, my husband started the Wagoneer, but it was moving downhill, and I yelled for the kids to run!!! Jump in the car!!!!! Off they went to the gas station to finish filling up!
Wagoneer’s are made for adventures, and this one has been fun for us all. I have loved remembering my childhood, and the kids have loved creating memories of their own.
Here’s to memories!
My grandmother had these Christmas trees sitting in her china cabinet for many, many years. When she passed away, I decided to take them home with me, and place them on my hutch in the winter. They bring so many great memories of her and I talking together. She would sit in a chair directly in front of her china cabinet, and I would see the trees shining and twinkling in the sunlight.
They are stunning, and I have no intention of selling them. They will set on my hutch every January to bring the sunshine in, and help all the crystals create rainbows on my walls.
There are many for sale on the internet, and depending on if they are glass or crystal effects their price. If glass, they run between $20 to $50 depending on the size and pattern. If you happen to have a crystal the tree can be $50 and up usually in the $100 price range. If you are uncertain how to tell the difference between glass and crystal, please go here.
Mine are here to stay!
It has been a while since we cold actually work on Betty, my 1964 Jet trailer, but we are making the time now. We have just stared at it for too long, and can no longer sit and watch it need some love.
My kids are even getting into the action, especially my oldest. He helped us build half of the frame on one side this past weekend.
I will be showing more details in the upcoming weeks, but several things are under way.
The frame work is being built, the windows are being cleaned and the stove is being degreased!
We are super excited, but I just wanted to let you know how energetic we have become!
Oh Betty, you have waited long enough, so this is your year! For real this time!