Christmas is Love

Well, we finally got the tree up Friday night....we would have preferred sitting down with our latest Netflix movie, but reluctantly Gentz dragged the tree out of the attic while I cleaned up the kitchen. I figured he was just going to set up the tree and we would decorate later, but he brought down the ornaments too, so slowly, I started looking through hooks of course! What happens to those danged hooks from one season to the next?  Kind of like the lights..they work when you are putting them away, but get them out and forget about it! Slowly, we got it done and Gentz put the angel on top that we have had for over 20 years..she is looking a little worse for wear...her beaded halo is hanging down in her face and for some reason she is blinking this year, but it makes us laugh, so we are letting her blink away!!

I was thinking of the kids and what a bad mom I am that I don't have all their little handmade or bought ornaments through the years and what is wrong with me anyway??!! Then I got out our ancient Manger scene and as I was unwrapping tenderly Mary, Joseph, a cow, a wise man, baby Jesus, Silent Night started playing on Pandora is the magic of Christmas, I thought. God loved us, so He sent His Son...Hark the Herald Angels Sing..Glory to the Newborn King...Silent Night, holy night.  That it was and it still is. Whether I am excited about decorating the tree or not, whether I saved the kids' ornaments or not, whether our angel is blinking or not, Christmas is about love. The greatest gift there is.

As I thought about that, I thought of how my heart and mind is filled with Christmases past when the living room was full of excitement from the kids as we decorated the tree.  Then, we would sit down with cups of hot chocolate and just look at the lights. Where did those years go? Straight into my heart, that is where. Love...Christmas is about love. Life changes, children grow up, grandchildren enter your life and your heart, things happen....good things, bad things, tough things, but still there is love..the greatest gift.

Slowing Down

Well, the stomach flu has forced me to slow down! It hit me yesterday while I was shopping with my daughter and 3 year old very active and verbal as you can imagine, it wasn't real leisurely Max, get in the clothes and hide....just a few more minutes Max..don't run with your sucker...why does he have a sucker in here with all this stuff anyway? One more chicken nugget Max before you drink any more get the picture.

I did or my daughter did find some really good buys for me...great wool jacket for $50 and 100% Merino wool sweater for $20, so much for Christmas was all for me...meanwhile my stomach is bumbling and grumbling and I'm pretty sure I better get home asap. Arrived home at 3 and didin't move again until this morning and I only moved to go to the bathroom...but I think this will be short lived....feeling ready for breakfast and that is a good sign.

So, today I slow down....I won't do much...I'll read, I'll write, I'll  contemplate the beauty of this season as I listen to my Christmas music on my laptop and what I want to celebrate about it. I don't want to have loooong to do lists...I want to be able to celebrate family, the great love our Father in Heaven had for us, sending us His son to heal us, walk with us, live for us and die for us.

My darling daughter in law who lives two hours away called me last night and would love to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas morning at their house instead of stressing over staying at two sets of grandparents' homes and dragging all the presents over here.  They have a lovely little home, three darling children,  and I don't blame her one I think about nice for us, to just have a quiet, spiritual Christmas morning, thinking of the many gifts I have that aren't necessarily under a tree.  The afternoon will see all the presents being opened and food eaten...Christmas day goes way too fast anyway...I'm all for dragging it out.  I'll never forget my little daughter so many years ago looking up at me in the bathroom and saying: "Christmas is ovah"! It goes so fast....I want to slow down and enjoy the music, the excited looks on my grandchildrens' faces as they decorate the tree, wrapping presents, and the lights, ahhh the lights, if it took the stomach flu to slow me down and have me think about these things and even FINALLY write another post on my blog, so be it. How do YOU slow down and enjoy the Christmas season?  I'd love to hear your comments.


I've been pondering about heroes this morning...who are my heroes? They aren't the sports figures, the movie stars, those who have conquered mountains or flown around the world. They are the men and women who go about their daily tasks with courage, humility and gratitude.  They are the nurses, taking care of mother who have spoken so kindly and gone to any length to make sure she is comfortable. They are my friend and her husband who have cared for their deaf son with cerebral palsy for almost fifty years..never able to leave for very long...and never a word of complaint, just steady loving actions day after day.  They are my mother who though she has been stripped of her wonderful independence still maintains her sweetness, her postive attitude, her will to live.  They are people like my husband who is always there to serve, to comfort, to listen, to love.  In spite of difficulties at work he is always willing to jump with the grandchildren on the trampoline, spend his evening with them or with his widowed mother.  Happy birthday, my hero, my husband, my love.  You are such an example to me of humility and gratitude.  "Humility and gratitude are truly the twin characteristics of happiness." I am grataeful for the every day heroes in my life.They are truly happy and isn't that one of the reasons we are have joy and to bring joy to others?


Taking a break from putting in a great Scentsy party trying to take my mind off of my dear mother who I just left in the nursing home. She was excited for the move today...getting out of the hosptial! Yay! Going to the nursing home...oops, sorry center...I'm not sure what she expected, but she got more of the same. Could she sit up? Nope..too weak...lots of therapy? Nope, not today..they'll be back on go get that....and the last request...a commode.....why won't they get me up to go to the commode..they are mean to me...I guess I'm going to have to buy my own commode.  So, today was all about commodes and televisions....all of this is very hard to hear as she still isn't speaking plainly and the oxygen machine is extremely loud right next to her head.  Then, the final sentence before she fell off to sleep and I gratefully left for her little apartment to take refuge in the place she would give just about anything to return to

"They are taking away my freedom and my independence." Oh, that she valued....that she bragged about...that she almost worshiped...she was around so many who  needed to be helped, but nobody ever needed to help her..she could drive, she could walk fast, she could hear, she could see, she could exercise, she could lead Bible study, she could travel to grandchildren's weddings..which she did this year...flew actually to one in  Utah, drove with her daughter to the other 12 hrs. away.

So, if I'm trying to make "Scents" of life...what is the deal?  What is the lesson here?  What we worship, what we hold on to, what we "brag" about....we may lose? "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also? I'm not sure of the answer...I believe in a power greater than myself...I believe life continues on after this life...I also believe one of life's biggest lessons is to learn to let that what Mother is having to learn in these last months/years of her life? Let go....I'm not sure..what do you all think? Not sure if I am onto something here or if I'm just tired....tired and sad...sad to see a woman who one month ago was walking faster than me, now confined to a bed and her only wish? To go to the commode...not the store, not church, not the movies, not to a wedding...just to the commode. Such a simple request...and she is powerless...aren't we all? How I wish I could grant her request, but I'm powerless too....all I can do is rub her brow and try to be of some comfort. "Live life to the fullest" she said to me did Mom, you did.

Sorry, Mom

I sat in the hospital room watching as my 93 year old mother was guided through physical therapy on her hospital bed....her head drooped forward, they had to hold her up..."Reach your arm up and touch this glass"..."comb your hair"...."kick your right foot forward"...and the worst one..."Look in the mirror." What was mother's response to the mirror request..."I don't look very good"...and she didn't. This mother of mine who always looked good..took pride in her appearance....was very proud of how old she was and what great shape she was in was now reduced to sitting on the side of a bed and trying to perfrom menial tasks that she used to do without thinking.... as we all do take for granted.

It's hard seeing her like this...what must it be like for her? Her mind is sharp, but she can't make things work anymore...she is at the mercy of her nurses or her daughters for everything she wants...this morning when I came in, she said: "Where have you been? I needed mouth is dry."

Life's a Bitch! When I told my mom today I was starting this blog and it was titled "Making Scents of Life" she said: "That's a tall order" How well you know Mom.

Her wish was to get back to her apartment. Thanks to darling Becki and her two sweet grandchildren Brekke and Peter, that wish was granted Christmas Day, 2010. She died a week later.

Minnesota Calls....Once Again

I am in beautiful Minnesota, home of my that is not where I live presently, although it calls to me as well as my husband, so this is probably where we will retire. But, I am not here because the lakes or the woods were calling me, but my Amazingly Perfect Husband and I made a flying trip up here five days ago because my wonderful dear 93 year old mother suffered a severe stroke. She is doing much better now, and I even had time to start a blog, with the help of my writer sister, so stay tuned..more to come!
Always healthy energetic mother at Gramma's Pantry. 93 years old (young)