coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Friday, December 27, 2019

When (xxxxx) ruins Christmas

Growing up, I had many wonderful Christmases. Unfortunately, the one I remember the most is when my father ruined Christmas by getting drunk and mean. All the glorious anticipation, preparation, money spent, cooking and baking was for naught that year. Daddy ruined Christmas. 

It was a horrible holiday, absolutely traumatic. I was in 5th grade. I have long since forgiven him, but unfortunately it isn't the sort of thing one forgets. Human beings being what they are, trauma sticks. 

So, if you ruined your children or grandchildren's Christmas this year, please get help. You can't change what happened, or wipe it from their memories.  However, you still have time to redeem yourself by getting help with whatever your problem is. Make it your problem to resolve, not their problem to endure.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Christmas Eve Memories

Christmas Eve was the high point in my youth. My large family exchanged presents from siblings on the night before Christmas. We would have a casual but special meal and all the cookies would come out of hiding. We walked in the dark to our parish church for midnight mass. There would be flowers, incense, and angels singing Latin from the choir. Christmas Eve was a celebration of the senses. 

My paternal grandmother came to our house early in the evening with her profound love, mystical kindness, homemade divinity candy, and peanut butter fudge (for crying out loud!). It was exciting to have her in our house. I can still hear her sweet, Tennessee drawl. I continue to feel her steadfast love. I'm not sure a better person ever walked this earth.

Grandpa wouldn't always come with her. Sadly, as he got older he became a cranky old misery guts. Oh well. Somebody's gotta play Scrooge.

She had just walked in.  I didn't even let her take off her coat before I took her picture.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Our first great grandchild

Our new (and first!) great-grandbaby was born a few days ago. All went well, and she is home now. She lives far from us, in the frozen northlands. However, her mother and grandmother keep us posted with photos and videos. I don't think she could be more beautiful, by the way. We fell in love with her long before she was born.

I'm happy to live in the modern world, where photos and videos are quick and easy to share. This beautiful child is in my husband's genealogical line, so I've been busy the last few days going through old photos of his family as far back as I can find. Most roads lead back to Ireland, the UK, and Germany in my husband's family.

I have to wonder about the ancestors who endured their children moving to the U.S. How hard it must have been to wonder and wait long months for a letter informing one that new grandchildren and great grandchildren arrived. 

Here is an article about her 5th great grandmother,     Teresa (Solomon) Enders.  She was born in Deggendorf, Germany in 1825. Although she died in 1910, this article using her photo was published in 1927. 

Saturday, December 7, 2019

That lovely boy!

Grandson N (7) is crazy about Monopoly, so we play it often. He wheels and deals with abandon. I fear he’s a natural capitalist, although he is somewhat of a bleeding heart liberal when it comes to his old Grandma. He insists on being the banker, and he WILL slip me money when I start to run out. On the down low, of course. I try VERY hard not to accept his largesse. 

When he and I play alone together, we go by N's rules. He brilliantly proposed that we each start out with a monopoly over one neighborhood on the board so we can immediately start buying houses. It speeds the game up considerably.

We can’t let Grandpa know, because he would disapprove of altering the rules. N refers to Grandpa as “Mr. Play-By-The-Rules Pants.”  N and Grandma disdain “the rules.”

We play on a 40 year-old board.  The same one we played on with his mother.