Today I’m not only talking about Christmas as I declare “It’s almost here!” I’m also thinking of the end of 2020. Thinking of it as the “year that was” should feel good.
And with those thoughts, we can move ahead into 2021 with hope and anticipation of better days ahead.
This Christmas season will be different for many of us. Traditions set aside for safer gatherings. Perhaps one less in that family photo or at the table. Inability to visit and cheer those housed in nursing facilities or in the hospital. And likely many more.
If we love as Christ taught us to love, we are willing to accept these inconveniences.
Looking ahead, we hope for the light at the end of this seemingly endless dark tunnel to lead to better times. The vaccine is here, injections are being given, and plans established for each of us to receive it. With gratitude in our hearts, a new year is beginning with the hope of healing and diminishing numbers of victims.
Live into that Light. The Light and Love that came down at Christmas of old is still with us. We need only to live it and share it with others.
With family coming for a visit this past weekend, we decided it was time to work on catching up on a bit of housekeeping. This would be my first serious effort at helping Husband Bob do household chores. I’m happy to report my catching up on housework exercise worked out A-OK for a newbie (that’s what they call you after a four-year hiatus from your duties!).
Early Friday evening our niece and her husband arrived for the weekend. Our niece was attending the Rose City Comic Con. Her publisher provided a booth for authors to sell and sign books. With a new book out,* she wanted to take part. Their visit provided us with time to catch up on family and memories. Lovely house guests create a feeling of successful hospitality. We hope they’ll return for another visit when we can take in a few wineries in the area.
On Saturday night, we were happy to hear the sound of rain hitting the roof. Our summer had been so dry we desperately needed the rain. It spent Sunday catching up with the rainfall deficit. Despite a dark day, it felt good to know that this rainfall might actually be enough to make a difference. A few candles lit brightened things up.
Catching up is always a good thing as long as you’re not the object of a hunter like the tiny mouse in the photo above.
I knew immediately who was calling—the dinner hour, traveling for work, alone, no one else to talk to. It had to be our older son, Craig. At 48, he still called home when he needed to talk or ask a question. Your kids may grow up but in some instances, they never grow away.
At the dinner table, I put the phone on speaker so Bob could hear.
Hey Craig! What’s up?
He began by reminding me he was in Eastern Oregon on business and happened to be in Pendleton. A town with which we have a little travel history from our trip moving to Portland. We drove cross-country with two dogs and a cat. Our itinerary had planned stops in interesting places. At age 12, Craig had much he could learn by traveling 2200 miles from Tennessee to Oregon. One stop brought us to Pendleton, a rodeo town full of cowboys and interesting places and people.
Mom, can you remember the name of the hotel we stayed in?
I couldn’t and neither could Bob so Craig continued with his description of the place in question.
It’s the place we stayed and when we went down to the restaurant for dinner, we sat by the window. There was a sidewalk there, and I looked out the window and saw this guy walk into a lampost. Then he turned around and walking in the opposite direction, he stopped and peed on the post! Remember how hard we laughed?
No doubt we remembered the story Craig was sharing. We had to work hard to calm ourselves down to stop drawing the attention of other diners.
Amazing as it seemed, Craig remembered that night. His recollections were detailed and as funny as the time it happened.
As a family, we have many memories from that cross-country trip in 1983. And it was gratifying to have your son call to share one with you. Maybe it’s one of those forever memories I talked about in a post several days ago. A memory you’ll never forget and have ready to tell your kids or grandkids someday.
Sunday started the cruise-in season for car guys. Last year was our first year to take part. We had purchased a 1964 Studebaker Commander (see above image) in May of 2018, and we wanted to show her off. Cars have interested Bob since he was a young boy. As his wife, I came along carrying my dad’s interest in cars and built on that history to enjoy Bob’s interests.
Studie is the child of one previous owner. The gentleman who owned her took meticulous care of her outside and inside. Not much, if any, restoration occurred during that initial ownership. Car records note a new paint job (in the original color) and new upholstery (close to the original).
We never fail to receive a thumbs up along the highway, and then at the cruise-in a lot of “she’s a beauty.” Who knew you could feel as proud of a vintage vehicle as you do your three children? Well, it isn’t quite the same but similar.
Dad also had a love of Studebakers. So when Bob mentioned he’d found one for sale nearby, there was no question that we’d go take a look and kick some tires. I loved Dad’s Studebaker. It was where I got some of my best alone time with him.
Dad’s Studebaker was also a Commander but a few years older than ours. It was born in 1949.
The pictures below are of Dad at the wheel of his blue Studebaker. The other is of me on the first day of school (either first or second grade) waiting for my ride to school with Dad.
I find it amazing how threads of passion weave themselves through your life. Who knew as a young girl in first or second grade I’d be the wife of a man who, like my dad, had a special love of cars? Who knew I’d have fun going to cruise-ins?
Gratitude fills my heart for a lot of things shared in this story. My car guys are men so similar. A father like my Father in Heaven with plenty of unconditional love. And a husband, also a good, hardworking man who loves and cares for his family. I stand in awe of the connections found across two generations in our family.