The fascination of the holiday season is that Christmas is a time to treasure all the magical events of the past and hope for the joy of the future.
For my family, the most favorable memories that relate with the holiday are childhood memories. We also share the memories of our loved ones no longer with us.
There was great uncle Mount, who would come for Christmas dinner and then give each of the children a two dollar bill. My Aunt Edith would always stop by soon after we had finished our meal. She would say she didn’t come to eat but she filled the plate that my mother would get her. She would then tell of how many other houses she had visited that day.
Remembering the holiday season of past years, we clearly shared happy times. Our family gathered around the dinner table. A snowman stood outside the living room window. Giggles coming from the back room as the young children were busy playing games. Happy voices filled each room. The scent of the fresh evergreen tree blended in with the kitchen smell of freshly baked pecan pie.
I will always have the memory of the holidays with my parents. They knew the spirit of love and goodwill. There was the Christmas morning I ran to see my easy bake oven on which there was a typed note. It said simply: “Have your daddy finish putting this together … Santa is in a hurry.”
In our house, we will make this holiday season another joyous year–one to join the memories of holidays past.
Greenwood Indiana residents have capitalized on the mild weather this past weekend. There was a lady out sun bathing. Although it was nice weather I wondered if she would get more of a wind burn than a sun burn. There were children out playing and riding bikes. Residents opted to wash automobiles or go for a walk. Sunday, you could hear the lawn mowers throughout the different neighborhoods.
All this and I opted to stay home for I have a visit from the flu bug.
The flu bug–you know what illness I speak of. The traditional flu symptoms: loss of appetite, fever, achiness. Then there is the terrible fatigue.
I have no desire to work or play and want to nap repeatedly. I’ve looked at every magazine in the house. The television volume hurts my head and now my eyes hurt so I can’t read the newspaper. Going outside is out of the question. Any near future of energy is impossible. I simply remain under the afghan in a prone position on the couch.
The hubby being healthy around me is irritating. How can he have escaped this dreaded bug? His smile makes me aggravated. He suggests a visit to the clinic. I snarl. It takes no medical degree to know that I should get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids. He smiles, leaves the room with a bounce that I find a tad annoying. He could at least fake a slight cough.
Any amount of effort leaves me exhausted. No hot tea or sports drink have any effect. I feel more sapped than before.
Tomorrow I will set forth to work. Not so much because of dedication but rather I’m tired of simply being with myself.
Halloween is a uniquely magical time of the year. Children turn into adults. Adults turn into children.
Halloween past was spent with my three nephews. With only a flashlight the three kids dressed as ghosts were shuffled from one house and on to the next. By the end of the evening each bag was filled to capacity. What other time of year could a kid load up on a mountain of candy and other teeth rotting goodies?
“Whatcha gonna be for Halloween this year,” is a dilemma for children this time of year.
Little girls opt for costumes like an angel, or a princess. Cheerleaders and Cinderella are popular as well as the Ice Queen Elsa or perhaps a teeny bopper (complete with a poodle skirt).
Young boys want a costume that makes a statement. A zombie maybe a vampire. Costumes like a Count Dracula, or Sorcerer Harry Potter are typical. Perhaps dressed as Batman, or Pokémon, even a pro football player (complete only with an agent)
All the little skeletons, ghosts and goblins will come out of the closet this Halloween. So, get ready to have a spooky good time October 31st.
When the neighborhood kids come to say “Trick or Treat” be prepared to see a variety of costumes. This is the best part about Halloween–a kid can be whatever he wants to be.
As friends relived old times during the course of last evening the subject of nicknames arose. So, I started scribbling them down — which is basically what I intended to build this column around.
I went to school with Carla whose nickname was Hurricane. While in grade school, there was an actual Hurricane that made the headlines in Texas called Hurricane Carla. She brought the newspaper to school and everyone called her Hurricane from then on.
Moose got his nickname while playing high school football. A nickname the coach gave him. What if the coach hadn’t liked his players? What other animals would he have used? A weasel perhaps?
Tiny, was a kid in high school who stood over six feet five inches. Yes he was the tallest kid in school and played center on the basketball team.
One friend has the least original nickname ever. He has natural red hair and his nickname is “Red”. My friend Charlotte goes by the nickname Char. Simple idea really, like we don’t have to use both syllables when we call her name.
At times, nicknames make perfect sense and sometimes they do not.
My cousin’s name is William and he goes by the name Will.
Yet another cousin, Michael, answers to the nickname Ronnie.
The power of 4-H. For those who fall in the category of thinking 4-H is just about agriculture and raising animals, you do not know the whole story. In Indiana, only about thirty percent of the total enrollment comes from farms, the rest from urban areas.
4-H is a chance for youth to handle responsibility, learn new things and work hard to achieve goals. The primary benefits of 4-H are leadership, citizenship and the opportunity for youth to learn things of interest at their own ability level.
Last year’s most popular projects were: Crafts, Foods, Photography, and Clothing. There are over fifty projects ranging from Aerospace to Creative Writing. All projects include hands-on activities and the manuals are being continuously updated.
My nephew opted to take The Horseless Horse Project. This allows him to learn all aspects of the animal, without the tremendous cost that comes with owning and caring for a horse. He attended the Horse Club meetings, did posters and filled out his workbooks. It was an especially great project for him as he couldn’t at this time own a horse. He wants to be a horse racing jockey.
A few years ago—more years than I would like to admit—I was in 4-H and have a few blue ribbons in the closet to prove it. I remember the Action Demonstration Project. It allowed members to compete in a certain category without having to be judged against other entries. I stood and gave my demonstration on the steps required to make a pie, but never actually put the finished pie product in competition. I was judged for the demonstration and not for the pie. Maybe that was a good thing. I doubt if I would have won any ribbons on my pie.
The 4-H program provides a learning environment for the youth of the community. They can test their skills with various projects and animals. Like this year’s motto proclaims, you must experience “The Power of 4-H” for yourself to truly understand.
My friend Charlotte works for the Indiana Department of Tourism. She told me she was going to Samaria for dinner. No, it does not border Galilee but is located down south in Johnson County.
Last week she went to Paris for lunch. Now who would have thought Paris was a simple trip down to Jennings County. Made me wonder if anyone actually owns any wooden Dutch clogs in the city of Holland, Indiana.
My niece just returned from Girl Scout camp at Poland, Indiana. While Moscow is a town up in Rush County – Warsaw, Indiana is located in Kosciusko County.
My friend, Katrina was quick to mention the city of Hardscrabble, Indiana in Madison County. Did the city get its name from the board game scrabble?
I did know that Cincinnati was down in Greene County and next door in Daviess County is Scotland. My husband swears Bethlehem is south of Greenwood on I-65.
The city Santa Claus, Indiana is located in Spencer County, while the town of Spencer is located in Owen County. The city of Franklin is in Johnson County not Franklin County. Go figure.
I did know that Peru was home to the circus life but did not know that you could actually visit Siberia in January without putting snow chains on your car.
You can spend St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland, Indiana or go to Jericho on any Sunday. A trip to Canaan or, if you like salsa, a trip up north to Mexico might be fun. Visit Cuba and tell your friends you forgot to bring them back a Cuban cigar.
As the Indiana license plates once read: Wander Indiana.
My biggest concern now is on our wedding anniversary next month; my husband mentioned since we both have an Italian heritage we might pack a bag for Rome. I can’t help but think we’ll end up in southern Indiana.