Posts Tagged ‘family’

The girls are home, I have one day of work left (today), and it’s almost Christmas.  That means it’s time to take a blogging break and enjoy the season.  I’m going to share a few of our Christmas decorations and wish each of you and yours the most merry and blessed Christmas you’ve ever had.  Count your blessings, hold your loved ones close, and take time to enjoy the season.  Thanks for being part of the blessings of my blogging life!  I greatly appreciate all of you.

© janet m. webb

Our nature tree

© janet m. webb

Part of the nature tree experience

© janet m. webb

Time for glitz and glitter

And of course, the real Reason for the season.

© janet m. webb

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

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I know many of us love Christmas.  It’s my favorite holiday, for both religious and family reasons.  But. Just. STOP!!!  You’re missing the holiday chance of a lifetime, a chance to both enjoy family a/o friends, food, and an opportunity to count your blessings.

Before you dive into the appetizers, the drinks, the turkey, the mashed potatoes, or whatever food you prefer (my family tends to like my homemade ravioli for every holiday), take a minute to think about what you’re thankful for.  You might go around the table and do this, make your own lists, take a moment of silence to think about it, but PLEASE, make that list! And put aside thoughts of Christmas just for the day.  By rushing Christmas, you miss the chance to take a just to be thankful.  I think that’s something that in this day and age of negativity, we dearly need!

We have so much for which to be thankful.  Having an “attitude of gratitude” every day and not just on Thanksgiving (which, if you live in the US, is today) makes all the difference.  If you blog, you have a computer and internet access, a blessing in itself. But if you start listing your blessings, you’ll find you won’t have time to dwell as much on the less positive things in your life.

Our family won’t be together until Christmas.  Today it’s just my husband and me,  recovering either from a cold (me) or sinus infection (him.)  But to be able to simply take a day to relax and recover, sleep, read, watch TV, take a walk, or whatever else, together, is blessing enough.  And of course, I’m thankful for each and every one of you who reads and comments on my blog, a daily source of joy.  Thanks to each of you and may God richly bless you, today and every day!

© janet m. webb

© janet m. webb

Our challenge this week is to show one thing without which our holiday seasons could never be complete.  Whether Thanksgiving or Christmas, as a Christian, my holidays depend on God.  But I don’t have a really good shot of Him, so I have to go with something else.  I thought of food, snow (for Christmas), decorations (also for Christmas), presents, and a variety of other possibilities.  I tried to come up with something “different.”  But the truth is, any holiday without my family wouldn’t be the same.  This is a photo of a photo, from “back in the day” before digital photography, before our girls were women, and when we were all much younger.  It may not be unique, but it speaks to my heart.

© janet m. webb

Recipe for a Friday Fictioneers story:

Take one photo.
Add some thought. (Amount is optional.)
Shake (or stir, James) to make 100 words.
Enjoy immoderately.

Serves one or more. No calories.

This week’s photo is from a Friday Fictioneers stalwart, Jennifer (ElmoWrites) Pendergast.  I’m sure it has a much happier memory than the story I derived from it.

Missing

I miss my dad.

He took us on hikes where we found green frogs and slithering snakes, taught us to swim and always splashed us, gave us piggyback rides, told us stories.

That was before he and Mom started fighting.
Before her bruises.
Before she fell down the steps and broke her arm.
Before he was gone.

Mom made a pile of stones, one for every year he’s been gone. That’s where I go over the good times so I don’t forget them. Or him.

Mom said it’s a place I can remember Dad.

They remind me of a headstone.

One of Bill’s favorite sayings is, “Hunger is the best sauce” and riding 50+ miles makes for hunger.   After a shower, for Bill, and the Belmost and subsequent excitement at seeing the first Triple Crown in 37 years, we headed to downtown Custer (only about three minutes away), to look for Black Hills Burger and Bun.  This place had achieved the highest rating on Trip Advisor, which also warned that a) they were only open from 11-2 and from 5-7:30, and b) there would be a line.  I’m normally not much of a burger person, burgers always sounding better to me than they ever taste, but after last night’s deliciousness, I was ready for more.

(more…)

As soon as I get home from work on Thursday, we load the car and point it in the direction of Iowa. It’s time for a mini-adventure, mini to me being something that takes less than a week. My husband is an avid biker…as in bicycling, so this mini is going to be a two-day, 109-mile bike trip in SW South Dakota…for my husband. I’ll be driving the support vehicle, support in both the sense of emotional support but also for food, water, and so on.  It’s not the Tour de France, but it’s not a flat ride on the prairie, either. I plan on taking lots of photos and generally having fun and relaxing.

Relaxing will have to wait until after we get through Iowa! We lose between 1 ½ and 2 hours in two huge delays: the first caused by a detour for construction, the second for an accident that leaves the shell of a semi hauling fish shredded. When we choose a place along the highway to eat, the service is quite a lot below stellar, the food only average. Our motel is clean and adequate, but although I’m exhausted, I don’t sleep well.

Up until we’re almost at Council Bluffs, named for the Lewis and Clark confab with Indian chiefs, we are, outside of the huge delays, flying along on interstates, two lanes going each direction. But we elect this time to take the road less traveled by ditching the fast lanes for the two-lane, old-time road of Route 20 once we hit Sioux City, Iowa. Our GPS almost has a heart attack, continually trying to get us to turn around. “Recalculating” plays over and over as she strives to determine why we aren’t following her directions.  Bill finally shuts her off, leaving only the map.  I think that because most people travel on the interstates, there’s not much traffic on our chosen path.  When I was growing up, we went on vacation every year, driving all over the US on two-lane roads.  But at that time, that’s all what there was, so there were lots of vehicles and whoever was driving spent a lot of time trying to pass slower-moving vehicles.  I imagine it wasn’t nearly as much fun then as these mostly empty roads are today.

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Although I grew up in Nebraska, I’ve never been in this part of the state, a place that gives lie to the idea that Nebraska is flat and boring. Rollercoaster-like hills go on for green mile after green mile. We reach Plainview, Nebraska and are arrested by the sight of a gigantic clown outside the Klown Museum. Our younger daughter finds clowns creepy, so of course we have to stop for a photo. The owners are working outside and the museum isn’t open, but they insist that we come in, showing us the museum’s over 7,000 clowns, which vary from vintage Ronald McDonalds to porcelain clowns, a clown carved from Mt. St. Helen’s ash, and one made from coal. All the clowns were donated, with many of the owners coming personally prior to donation to see if the museum was suitable.

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No drought here. Everything is vivid green with water lying in many low spots. Then we see a sign for Ashfall Fossil Beds.  Bill becomes animated, insisting that we stop.  So, to the chagrin of our much-tried GPS (yes, she got turned off again), we turn north for the seven-mile drive to the fossil beds.

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To be continued…