To Followers and New Guests...

To Followers and New Guests...

Monday, December 26, 2011

Tidings of Great Joy

‘Tis the season for “tidings of great joy…” and we have already received a goodly number of greetings. I have marveled at this.
Last year, the opportunity to send out Christmas cards flashed by faster than I could grasp. I vowed not to even open the ones we received until I got our own sent out. I never did, and I imagined many may have wondered if I’d given up on this quaint tradition.
I kept the unopened envelopes in view for all of 2011. I wanted to remind myself to never let this happen again. To quote Scrooge, “The spirits shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.”
Time has almost gotten the better of me anyway this season. Still, as fast as the days have scurried by, the envelopes have come again. How wonderful it is to be remembered despite my 2010 tardiness. How delightful it is that this tradition continues, and that you have included us in yours.
You may think I am taking sentiment overboard, but I assure you little things DO count. That new Hallmark slogan is true, ‘Life IS a special occasion.’
This past year my daughter, Shannon Joy, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Anyone whose life has been touched by cancer knows what a struggle it is. Being Shannon’s “Chemo-Buddy”, I‘ve witnessed her battle first hand. It has taught me a lot. I’ve been inspired by her courage and strength.
In early December her doctor gave us the results of her last PET scan. His words were “complete response to treatment” meaning there were no cancer cells to be found. She still has to finish her prescribed chemo treatment, but no extra rounds or radiation will be necessary.
Which brings us back to “‘tis the season” and “tidings of great JOY” I’d also have to add “It’s a wonderful life” and not one of these phrases is a cliché.
This Christmas, we wish every one of you all the blessings and joy you can hold.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Bella Buon Natale

There was a knock at the door around sunset. That made the young lady standing there harder to see. I opened the storm door and a small voice said "Merry Christmas!" brightly. She was holding a large tray of assorted Christmas cookies and candy canes, all carefully covered with plastic wrap. I was unsure of what I should do, so I replied "Merry Christmas!"
She lifted the festive tray higher and repeated her greeting. In stunned confusion and curiosity I muttered "Are you bringing me cookies?" She lifted the tray a bit higher. "Yes! Merry Christmas!" I took the tray from her outstretched arms. I did not recognize the young lady but her confectionery gift seemed to be wrapped in sincerity as well as plastic.  "Why?!" I asked. "Because my Mom said so...Merry Christmas!", she replied.
My guess was that this was a first for both of us. Her first delivery to a stranger, my first from a stranger. We were both unsure offer our roles. So I opted for impromptu FUN.
"Are you an ELF?" She giggled at the concept. "NoO0!"
"Then who ARE you?!"
"I am Bella ...from across the street. "
She waved her arm in a flourish as if the distance WAS to the North Pole.
I told Bella that I thought her name was beautiful. I told Bella I thought her name MEANT 'beautiful' in Italian. (She beamed at the recognition) I also told Bella that she had really made my day. I thanked Bella profusely ~ and then realized we still hadn't been introduced. I put out my hand and said, "Merry Christmas Bella, my name is Süsy."
She extended her arm and offered a warm handshake.
"Merry Christmas Süsy, I am Bella."
Yes you are Bella, yes you are.

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