Tuesday, December 23, 2008

And So This is Christmas.....

I've enjoyed this rushed, busy holiday season! I've had a very busy winter of baking, just this Sunday I baked 56 loaves of bread (in a rush to try and make sure the power didn't go out)! My hands feel like they always do this time of year, as if I were working in cement. Pretty dry on the hands, and no, I don't actually knead this bread by hand, I have my wonderful Bosch mixer.

This year, with all the business, I've made a real concerted effort to make sure to enjoy the days. There are a lot of people hurting, a lot of friends have people who have been sick or dying, people with lots less hours on their paychecks, or no paychecks at all. These are in some ways uncertain days; no one really knows what tomorrow will bring. But have we ever? I've made it a priority to try to enjoy the days we are in, to be thankful for what we have, to really experience all that it going on in our lives. There is not one thing that comes our way that God is surprised by, and He is the One who gives us all we have, and gives us strength to pass the tests that we have in our lives.

So many people celebrate Christmas in different ways, I know that. But for our family, I am always awed by the story of Christmas, the Virgin birth, the Messiah born to bring us life. It's kind of neat to me that we celebrate at the end of one year and the beginning of another, as a new beginning. I love that we celebrate his death and resurrection a few months later. We can't do without either. They hinge on each other.

The weather we are having here in Oregon is just crazy. I know across the nation we are all having some unusually cold weather. I can only remember one winter in my life here that we had so much snow. I love the snow; I think it slows life down a little. I didn't get everything done, as far as shopping goes, but who cares? I didn't get a lot of things done, barely got my Christmas cards out this year, the decorating didn't even get totally done the way I wanted. I laugh thinking that the snowman heads that Natalie told me how to make, and Ethan and I worked on, are stuck out in my car in a box. I have so much snow on the car I haven't made the effort to get them out of the car! Randy's had to drive me anywhere I've gone.

We went to finish some things up in Longview today. It was so crazy with people everywhere. I went into the entrance to Fred Meyer and as a man was coming out he said, "Good Luck!" I wondered what he meant, until I looked up and saw the lines of people at the checkstands. At first I thought, oh well, so I have to wait in line, then I thought, "What in the world is so importand that I have to be here doing this?" The day was at it's end and I knew the trip home was going to be dangerous. The Rainier hill was pretty scary coming up and Randy had taken off his chains earlier. I was glad to get back to our own home town of Clatskanie! I was very surprised to see how empty the store was. Not empty of people, but of food! No milk on the shelves, not a potatoe in the place. They haven't got their frieght in all week I guess. I had Randy call our little Quincy Story out in our little neighborhood, and see if they had milk. Sure enough, Debbie came through! Kinda fitting, since we seem to be having a very simple, old fashioned Christmas, just enjoying the holiday. Randy isn't even going to work this week, since the house he's finishing has 2 feet of snow on a very steep drive. So, this too, is adding to our "Christmas to Remember". It's all good. The snow's just an added gift, a very beautiful gift, too. I know it's treacherous, I know the kids are getting housebound away from all their friends. It will be memories for another time we're making, so let's make them good ones.

Keep safe and healthy and have a wonderful Christmas celebration. It's a Wonderful Life!


Cherry's Jubilee said...

Merry Christmas Karen!

Oakleaf Hollow Primitives said...

Karen, I enjoyed reading about all the snow and that it's ok to not get it all done! That's my philosophy this year too! It's SO much more fun that way! :)

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

julie/OakleafHollow & OFG team

Olde Dame Penniwig said...

Beautiful photos of the snow -- it looks so deep!!! -- and interesting ones, too, of the nearly empty store shelves! I remember Freddie's when I lived on Whidbey Island! I loved everything about Freddie's except the prices!!!

Your words about enjoying the holidays are wise indeed, and the "c'est la vie" musings are so very true -- life is perilous, times are hard, it has always been so, and we must just do our best and look to the bright side of things, and it doesn't really matter if our houses are not "just so" in terms of decorating, and if our meals are simple!

A Happy Christmas to Ye and Yours.