Friday, January 7, 2011

sounds of comfort

There is a Christmas song that has a line "tidings of comfort and joy". This led me to thinking of some sounds of comfort. Sounds that soothe, sounds that bring joy, sounds that satisfy my heart.

- the tick tock of the 100 year-old school clock hanging in our home
- the chiming of the grandfather clock in the night when I wake up and don't feel like opening my eyes to check the time. Yes, we have many, many clocks in this home.
-the 'stomp stomp stomp' of the JD Salesman's feet as he arrives home each day. This one is beyond soothing. It brings such joy and a settled feeling of comfort.
- the furnace coming on in the morning as I turn up the thermostat. All my growing up years were in a home with a coal heater to keep the house warm. I appreciate a dependable gas furnace.
- the 'pad-pad' of little feet coming up the stairs in the early morning when family is visiting
- the 'Hi Mom' on the phone when one of the three or their spouses call or I call them
- the sound of the vehicle when I turn the key. When it doesn't happen for some reason I realize how much I have to be thankful the many, many times it does start. I take it for granted so often.
- the whistle of the kettle boiling in the morning. Coffee is coming ! and I like my coffee......
- the 'quiet' when the wind does NOT blow

Not exactly profound but I am choosing to see the good, to enjoy all that I have. We are so, so blessed in this country, in this part of the country. I sometime complain about stuff that doesn't matter, about weather ( how unproductive is that!) and all manner of other things. remind me of my list when you hear me complain......

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

January 2011

How can this be, another year passed! The Christmas season over again for another year. To me it seems fitting to celebrate together with family as a new year begins. Somehow making those family connections brings a stability before facing the rest of winter and new territory.

Christmas was different for the JD Salesman and me. We celebrated with my siblings and some of their adult children. Quiet with a small group of 'old people' together! I would apologize to my niece and nephew for calling them old but they are less than a decade younger than I am so they will be included in that category. On Boxing Day Mr. JD and I ventured to Cross Iron Mills to check out what this shopping experience was all about. I really doubt we will try that again any time soon. It was amusing and a little sad. I looked around and wondered how we could possibly consider that our country is experiencing economic problems. I wondered how we as a people could be so consumed with 'stuff'. Do we worship things? Do we really think all this will satisfy? Maybe that sounds judgmental but I don't mean it that way. I had to talk to myself as I wandered around and remind myself of what I was there for, clothes for a baby gift, for coming birthdays and not to buy just because it was on sale!

Back to a more pleasant topic..... family. They began to arrive on the evening of the 29th, driving over miles of ice and barren sanded roads. A record time for one family driving from south of Winnipeg but oh they looked weary! After a good night's sleep we were ready to enjoy the season. The last family came late the next night and tucked sleepy kids into the beds made up on the floor.

So many memories were made. We celebrated new years with gift giving or merry new year or just a late Christmas. Seven beautiful grandkids, excited and full of energy playing dress-up, cars, table games with the adults and outside in the cold and in the shop where Grandpa had put the trampoline along with other toys. Meals prepared together, each family taking a turn to make a meal. Santa came on New Years day this year and now we are down to 2 grandchildren who are still in awe and wondering who this Man might be! The memory of those two standing and looking up at him, waiting for their turn to get a gift will be one to make me smile for a long time!

I loved the early morning cuddles with the grandson who came upstairs before anyone else. He sat on my knee and whispered all kinds of things including his scary dream. Then two more little ones came to sit at the counter and eat their breakfast. Gradually the other sleepy faces would appear and the days would begin. It can get rather noisy with 15 people milling around the kitchen table. But it was happy noise as Grandma sugared up each one.

I could go on and on because there are so many happy things to think about and this is a good way for me to add them up and mull over all the goodness we enjoy.

Lest I give the impression that it was perfect I will be quite emphatic that it wasn't. The JD salesman spent a day in bed with a bad back. He was in tears with the pain at one point. One Mama spent New Years day in bed with a raging flu. She was such a brave soul sitting through all the opening of stockings and 'under the tree' gifts without letting anyone but the Papa know how crummy she felt! There were misunderstandings, hurt feelings and some time outs for small people. Grandma put herself into a timeout once or twice. She snarled a few times at the JD Salesman! But there were no out and out wars that destroyed the good time together. I am thankful that all chose to set these differences aside and see the good, make the best of what is good.

When the last vehicle left the yard in the dark yesterday morning we stood in the doorway and cried. I muttered 'why did we have kids?' a question that comes out of the sadness of separation. The paragraphs above tell a little of why.......

Last night as I lay in the darkness, in those very few minutes before I fell asleep I thanked God that each family had arrived safely at their destination. And I thank Him too for this family that we are blessed with, that we enjoy together.