I hope you are all doing well. As this holiday season is approaching quickly, I am filled with sadness, hopefulness, and fond memories. Sad because Wo will never be here physically with us to enjoy the time of the year she loved so much. I know she will be with us in spirit though. It's funny that my kids and Mark are so into traditions. I love them too, but I am always suggesting that we might change some of these and I am ALWAYS answered back with a loud NO!! I thought it would be fun to let you know the traditions we have every year and how I have tried to change some of them.
The live Christmas Tree... I am the only one in the family that would like an artificial tree. Reason being, I can put it up early and enjoy it longer. It also would not drop needles. We did find a remedy for the needle dropping in the past few years. Frasier firs. These trees have nice, soft needles, but they come at a hefty price. So this year we will probably have to go back to the dreaded scotch pine. Prickly needles that drop and lots of sap that doesn't come off your skin or clothes! We all get bundled up and trapse through an endless field searching for the perfect tree. After many years of Mark cutting it down, the saw has been passed down to Ryan and he does a fine job. After it has been cut, Mark or Ryan drags ito the shaking machine that shakes out all the loose needles and varmints that might be living on the tree. Then we have it bundled and Mark ties it to the roof of the car. So tight that an F-4 tornado would not budge it. So tight that one year Mark forgot the tree was on top of our full size van we had at the time and pulled in the garage. It tore half the luggage rack off the roof of the van, but the tree was secure and unscathed!! Haha. Every year I remind him that the tree is on the roof of the vehicle. We usually go out to eat after our difficult trapsing in the wildnerness or get popcorn and hot chocolate or hot cider at the tree farm. Let me tell you, we are the farthest thing from fashionable in our snow pants, hats and boots!! We have learned a few things after 30 years of this tradition. Don't take dogs with you. It looks so cute when people bring their dogs and let them romp in the snow. Of course, the first time I took my little, chihuahua, Peanut, he found some kind of wild animal poop to roll in when I wasn't looking and we had to deal with him stinking to high heaven on the car ride home. The second thing we have learned is that trees appear way smaller in the field than in the living room. There has been many a time when the tree took up half the room and you almost had to turn sideways to go past it! I try to stress to look for a "skinny tree" every year but sometimes "fat" prevails. I don't know why, but I usually end up putting the lights, garland, and ornaments on the tree by myself ( Wo did help sometimes and so did Sis, but she hasn't lived at home since 2001) because as Mark says "You're so good at it". And I get to take it down too!! But, you know what, I wouldn't trade any of this for the world. We all had the best time picking out our trees over the years and I know Wo would be so sad if we ever went to a fake tree. So, I guess they win this one. A real tree every year.
|This is us a few years ago. Notice our lovely ensembles.|
|One of my absolute, favorite pics. They look so happy.|
|The last year Wo would help us find our tree in person. She will always be with us in our hearts and in spirit.|
I can see where this would end up being a book instead of a blog post, so I will talk about some of our other traditions in later posts. This will give me something to think about.
Marks starts his new job tomorrow! He works so hard and is great at what he does. This whole business of losing his last job has really hurt him because he put his heart and soul into it. I have seen him in action at work and he is such a bundle of energy. I had an interview yesterday and things look promising for me. It is only part time though and I am looking for full time. Hey, it's better than nothing. It was nice having Mark home with me. Oh, to win the lottery! He has turned into a work out machine!! Running on the treadmill most days and lifting weights. I wish I had his energy.
I put a video on Facebook already, but Mark and I got some decorations for Wo's grave this week. A pretty, sparkly wreath because Wo loved bling and a cute Santa. We also put two candy cane solar lights there. When we drive into the entrance at the cemetery, we can see her lights way at the back. I don't know why, but seeing those lights in the dark makes me cry every time. I got an e-mail from the place that is doing Lauren's stone and it said it should hopefully be done by Thanksgiving. We can't wait to see it.
|This was taken in the dark with my phone. I'm not sure what the lines in the picture are. It looks really pretty in the dark.|
Ok, time to dig through my pics for a nice one of Wo. Take care, everyone!! I love you all. Until next time...
|Sweet, little Wo always loved the water.|