. . .a very full week of preparing for Christmas: most of the shopping for gifts; final details of decorations; food preparation; still sending receiving letters and cards; and the internet abuzz with greetings from around the globe. All this required intentional focus and very steady plodding. And thus didn't feel rushed. We were even able to do several extras.
For some years now Michael is invited to share a pottery lesson in the first grade Sunday School around this time of year. I joined in toward the end and helped a little with the final steps of the project they did this year. The four boys enjoyed the lesson and the hands-on activity. One especially hung around afterwards and showed appreciation. He then turned to me and asked, "Do you live with that guy?" Yes, I thought, I'm very fortunate indeed! And said, "Yes, we've been married almost 48 years."
That evening we ventured out with our tandem and joined the tail end of the crowd of riders taking off from Broad Ripple in Indianapolis. The 20-mile Luminary ride was well attended this year, some 50-70 bicycles all lit up and decorated, one of them even playing Christmas music the whole way. Weather in the lower 40s was good for most. However, three hours of it was a bit much for me.
Michael asked, "Are you sorry?" "No," I said, "but I'm smarter." It was the kind of experience that is more enjoyable in retrospect!
A couple days later as I was having lunch with Mother and telling her about the ride, her table mate spoke up and said, "My husband and I rode bicycles all the time." And went on to tell of riding regularly, and longer on weekends, and doing 300 mile treks carrying their things in panniers like we have done. At 96, a widow for some time now, Geraldine says, "I never imagined I'd be an invalid."
I had gone up that morning to attend Mother's rehab conference. Everyone in charge of her care says she is doing well, but will she with time make the necessary progress to move back to her Assisted Living apartment? We want what is best for her.
One of my shopping trips took me to Muncie. I stopped in to deliver some things and visit with Kristie and the boys. Elijah wanted to play the Christmas songs he was practicing for our family get together.
Notice, Kristie is wearing her work "uniform"--jeans and t-shirt with logo of the ABA clinic where she works.
I promised a view of our Christmas tree. By Saturday the gifts were wrapped and waiting, in record time, the earliest ever, because my craft room/gift center had to be ready for Diane's arrival that afternoon.
Last year's family Christmas included this portrayal of the shepherds and angels praising God, and a little lamb unsure of what's going on.
I used that photo for our 2017 Christmas card.
If this blog post weren't so late, I'd say, "Merry Christmas!" But at this late date, it is more appropriate to wish you all a Happy New Year!