Peace On Earth
Will you give thanks on Thanksgiving? Do you give thanks any other day of the year? What about Christmas? Is your spirit heightened? Do you lose it after the holiday when the tree comes down and reality is back with us once again?
I find it sadly amazing and yet I am smiling when I see the great kindness that is shared between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The elderly are suddenly thought of and a visit is made. A gift of home-made cookies or a beautiful card.
Shut-ins have more visitors in this time frame than an entire year put together. Friends contacting friends. Families who haven’t spoken suddenly appear and we are amazed at the changes we see.
So many programs are burst open and children who may never see a complete meal now have an opportunity to go to bed at night with a full tummy. The people living in boxes under the bridge are offered a warm room and a hot meal.
There are so many programs that are in full force that no child has to get up Christmas morning without one gift to open. Monies being collected to help put a coat on a shivering body, gloves on their hands.
Food shelters take in more food at this time of year than any other. We look at life different at the holidays than any other time. Those that participate get more joy from the gifts they give than receiving anything else.
Than you wander into the midst of the stores during the hype of the season and that calm demeanor is stripped from us but only temporarily. Finding gifts that are in the right price range that look like they are worthy of spending our hard-earned money is a challenge in itself.
I am always amazed at the prices that slowly start to rise and then go through the roof once the time comes for holiday lay-a-ways. It darn near makes it impossible to go shopping and keep that healthy smile on our face.
Shoving adults, kids running through the stores. Finding assistance through store employees is scarce. Christmas music bellowing in our ears trying to make us spend more money than we have. Easy open charge cards guaranteed to charge no interest until 90 days after the holidays.
I used to go to Black Friday but the madhouse took the fun out of it. It is like roller derby skaters without wheels. I have never seen adults act more like greedy children than on Black Friday.
Now I can’t sit here and say that if you want some fantastic U-tube videos or free entertainment, and, you don’t have anything special to purchase; going to view these midnight shoppers can be quite fun.
For me, I would rather go to the regular sales. For this year I don’t know for sure how I am going to get any shopping done. Maybe online, maybe less expensive gifts. The chances of me getting to go to the big mall is pretty much out of the question.
For this year I have two goals. I would like to take Al out on a drive to see Christmas lights, but it will depend on his health and the weather. For two I hope that Christmas in our house brings nothing less than good memories to think about in the cold days of January.
My prayer is that we take a few of those dollars and help keep the food pantries filled. We make the effort to smile at least five times per day, each day to strangers and friends. We buy one extra can of food and drop it in the food box. We stop in for a moment of a loved neighbor or make a call to a family member other than at holiday time.
That we try hard to take those clothes we don’t like anymore or have grown out of and put them in a Goodwill box, instead of the trash.
How much better would our world be if we kept a little bit of the holiday spirit all year-long? Think about it.
Today, was the second time I had time away from Parkinson’s, and Al had a chance to chat with someone besides me. I walked out of the door, not knowing where I was going, but knew I would end up somewhere. I had four glorious hours all for me! I started out at the local Goodwill store, and bought some miscellaneous items to decorate my chicken coop window panes. I think I have enough to do the one for fall, so I will probably start on that tomorrow. I will show it to you when I am finished. I also got a hairy hand for spooky looks that I attached to the outside railing. Boo! I also found a flying ghost that came without batteries, but I took a chance and bought it since it was dirt cheap, and when I placed new batteries in it at home, it scared me, because it wiggled and made eerie sounds. LOL. Can’t wait til the grandchildren see it!
After staying there in the silence of only my thoughts, I went to my favorite store. Here Al finds coca cola items sometimes, and I am still looking for the metal chairs that go with the red chrome 1950’s table. I decided to go in and look but not spend any money, unless I found the chairs.
I walked through the different rooms admiring and wishing. Each room is set up for different eras. They have a stars and stripes room, oldies but goodies room, a room with furniture, maybe for moving into a new home. There is an upstairs, that has a very long stairway. I can not go up there when Al is with me, as he could not make that trip up and down the stairs, so I take a sneak when I am alone and race up the stairs, two at a time, because the smell of candles that are so heavenly, draw me in, and then my mouth waters, and my lips are full of drool, as I wander through the magnificent aisles, admiring all the candles and tiny lights, and country decorations. I did purchase a metal star that hangs on a chain, and it holds one tea light, the ones that run by a battery? Yes, those. It is cute. I should have snapped a photo of it for you to see.
After being drugged by the candle scents, I made my way back down stairs and saw some antique pieces of furniture that had come in recently, but darn it, all of them were marked sold, only waiting to be delivered. I have always wanted an antique secretary, and there was an awesome one there, but it had the red tag with the big yellow smiley face, letting me know it was taken.
As I wandered farther through the store, I didn’t really see anything that I could not live without, and then I spotted it. An old platform rocker. I was drawn to it like a magnet, but forced myself to walk calmly, so as not to let others I may be interested. I looked it over, turning it over and over, inspecting each crack for breaks, and checked the two springs underneath to ensure they were still in good working order. The material for the seating was original, and even the tacks used to hold the material in place were still original.
The batting underneath was in tact, and original, and the burlap holding the batting was still good and firm. One side at the back, the gray lining hiding the burlap and padding, had come lose. I don’t have old tacks, but will find some brass dirty looking ones at Wal-Mart and tack that part back up.
I feel like I got the steal of the deal today. This rocker is from the 1800’s and is an Eastlake rocker. I got it for a very good price and it is worth many times more than what I paid for it. It will remain with me for ever, and some day you may see me sitting in it as I get to be an antique myself. I will pull it to the window, and watch the birds in the summer and kids riding their bikes, and in the winter, I will watch the squirrels eat the peanuts and corn I will toss to them.
I had a wonderful time. I came home a new woman. I felt younger and lively, and I smiled at people who interacted with me today. I loved eating my lunch all alone, and I loved using my camera, and when Al wakes up from his nap, I am sure or am hoping he will be smiling like last week when I came home, and of course, I love my new rocker, which isn’t new at all, but very old!
Well in less than one hour the new caregiver will be here to give Al his shower. Don’t you hate having to train a new person all over again? The other caregiver did everything right, and I am hoping this one will also, but I hate the training. Al is napping right now, so I thought I would tell you about our day. We did leave here and I was going to take him to the clothing store and get him new shorts, but after thinking about it, I decided to take him to Goodwill instead. All of his shorts he has in his drawers are very nice ones, that he can no longer wear with all of his weight loss, so I don’t want to spend top dollar in case he would lose more. We have to be careful when we buy shorts or long pants, as he can not use the snaps, buttons, or zippers. I would do it for him, but I want him to keep his independence, so we buy all pull up, elastic waists, so he can do it himself. There was no scooter in the store, so I got out his wheel chair and we sat him in it. The only help I had to give him was to raise his one leg. The one leg seems to be weaker than the other from the Parkinson’s. We went through all of the isles, and he came across someone who works at his old work place. The gentleman recognized Al also. Al’s eyes lit up like Christmas tree lights, he was so excited that he saw someone he knew, plus someone he could play catch up about his old work. They spent about ten minutes talking to each other. I was so glad that God planted that person in Al’s walk way at the very precise moment. We looked down through the junk aisle also. I like to look their and see if there are any trinkets I can buy and add to the house for extra personality. I love antiques, so I try to make everything look old in my house. We did find four pairs of shorts for Al, and it was his lucky day, because if you were older than fifty-five, you got fifty percent off of your total. We ended up with four pairs of shorts at less than one price for a brand new pair from a clothing store. I had tried to get Al to pick out more shorts since there was a big sale, but he just didn’t understand. All he knew is he needed four or five pairs, so that is what we got! After we left Goodwill, we went to the K-Mart store and picked out some very cute roller skates for my grandson’s birthday tomorrow. They will adjust for his shoe size up to three years. I think he is going to love these. He can play with them inside or outdoors. We picked up a new bird feeder for me and some birdseed, and some marshmallow sticks for the bonfires. I think people are getting tired of having to dig for a new stick! Now there are permanent ones that I can wash. I bought Al a new Bible, that is very large print, and thicker pages. I had him try it out at the store and he didn’t have to take his glasses off to read it. He has less than 20/20 vision from the damage of his heart attack, and I have been catching him taking his glasses off to read it. I took him back to the eye doctor for a recheck, but the doctor said this is as good as it is ever going to be. I think he was pleased with his new bible, and I can bet that he will be reading it before bed time tonight. Next we went to Wendy’s restaurant, and he ate his first french fry with a grilled chicken sandwich since his surgery. While we were eating, I had to use the lady’s room. When I came back he had finished his own fries and was eating mine. I just sort of looked at him and he told me, well you got up, losers weeper, finders keepers! I laughed at that, an old-time phrase we have always used. If you walk away from something and leave something behind, you lose it! He knew he had gotten one over on me. Oh well, he had his fun and he laughed, and I didn’t need the fattening fries anyways. Afterwards, we got groceries. That went pretty good, except his judgement is getting worse, and he ran into the shelves quite a bit, but over all, we had another nice day together. No tears, no arguing. I am so glad I had the minister come to see Alvin on Monday. God is truly working in his life and bringing him peace, plus all of the prayers that are being said for him from here are being answered. I wish it to last for ever and ever. When we got home, there was a box on the front steps. I was surprised! It was for me! My daughter had sent me a complete line of Sensual Black Current Vanilla from Bath and Body. It smells so good. It is a gift for Mother’s Day. She is so good to me. I wish we still lived near each other, but I am thankful I get to see her every other month. Well, this was my day so far. I was truly blessed with smiles and kindness today. Thank you Lord.