Showing posts from December, 2011

Who Started All This New Year's Resolution Stuff?

With New Year's upon us, everyone is reflecting on things past, hoping for things to come, and making resolutions to improve the things they can. Why? Who started this tradition at the first of every year? Curious, I did a little research.

The first to celebrate the beginning of a new year was the Babylonians on the Vernal Equinox, March 20th (or 21st in some years), at around 2000 B.C.  Besides being the first day of spring, this date has astrological significance. At exactly 7:21 pm EDT the sun crosses over the Earth's equator. Both day and night are of equal length, thus the name, Equinox - equal night. 

It wasn't until the adoption of the solar based Julian Calendar by Rome in 46 B.C. that January 1 was designated as the first day of the new year. It remained until the Council of Taurs abolished the practice in the year 567. The counsel claimed the celebration was pagan and unchristian, and they set the new year on either December 25th, Christmas, March 1, the Annunc…

The Unexpected Christmas Gift

This Christmas my church offered only one Christmas Eve service, at eleven pm. I am not a night owl and any event, church or party, starting later than seven pm is a challenge for me.   With an abundance of churches in our area, I began an on line search for a Christmas morning service. I found a church offering a 10:30 am service only six miles from the house. Not a bad commute. I used to drive much further than that to attend church. However, there was one little flaw in this plan. Attending services at a church other than mine meant sitting in an unfamiliar church, with an unfamiliar congregation and minister, alone, on Christmas. 
My resolve to attend wavered. After a moment of prayer, I decided it was important I attend, regardless of how odd, or sad it would make me feel. I pulled on my coat of Courage and Trust, and went.

The church parking lot was almost empty. Was the web sight wrong and there wasn't a 10:30 service? Well, there were a few other cars..... I grabbed my purse…

The Pessimist and the Optimist

Yesterday an acquaintance received the anticipated announcement she was finally hired as a permanent employee. I was happy for her, yet felt depressed as my temp situation is unchanged, and even a little tenuous.
My husband, understanding my lack of holiday enthusiasm, encouraged me to watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, believing the silly antics of the characters would at least make me laugh. They did that, and surprisingly a little more. I also received a deeper message, not at that moment, but later.

I spent the rest of the evening mulling over my employment situation and other personal issues, sarcastically telling myself, "Well Merry Christmas -  not!"

Things changed this morning. With sleep, my first cup of coffee, and a beautiful dawn, the story of the Pessimist and the Optimist came to mind. Two boys were placed in separate rooms. One filled with every imaginable toy, the other with manure. After an hour observers went to each room to see the boys'…


Having lived over half of my expected life span, I find myself spending more time wondering about the purpose of my life. Have I discovered it?  Have I fulfilled it?  So many of my dreams and aspirations were never brought to fruition, partly due to the choices I made, partly due to circumstances beyond my control. 

I did not become the famous ballerina I aspired to be.  I had the necessary grace and talent, studied the art with private lessons from the age of five through twelve, but when I gained my full height my teacher informed me five foot five was too tall to be a ballerina.

My parents offered private art lessons as an alternative. It was love at first brush stroke.  I had talent and potential. I studied, practiced and actually dabbled with a few pieces of commissioned work, but the dream of an art career never materialized.

Before I could explore that option, osteoarthritis developed in the lower thumb joints on both of my hands from overuse. My job as an Optician had destro…

A Few of My Favorite Things

Last week's post touched on treasures and priorities. I have reflected a great deal about the things I treasure and came to realize there are treasures and there are favorites. Things should be favorites while God, faith, and family are treasures.

So, it is alright to have favorite things such as antiques, books, vases and mementos. The picture on the right shows a few of my favorite things.

The book is the one I've mentioned in previous posts, the one my sister gave me after my third husband died. It contains Maxfield Parrish prints with the words to the song Somewhere Over the Rainbow. It has brought much peace and comfort during the hard moments of my life, and so it is on my list of favorites.

The vase was given to me by my husband. He knows the story behind my affinity for lilies, particularly Calla Lilies, and that was the reason behind the gift. ( See post: Lilies). It is now among my favorite things as well.

The antique dolls are only two among a large collection, …

Treasures and Priorities

The crash, followed by silence meant trouble.  I rushed into the kitchen and immediately saw the shattered plate on the counter. My eyes then flew to my husband. He stood by the sink running water over the fingers on his right hand.

"Are you hurt?"

"Burned my hand pretty good."

"Oh, Honey. Are you alright?"

"I'll know in a minute."

"What happened?"

"I didn't realize I'd turned the burner on under the plate and when I touched the plate, it of course burned me. I pushed the plate off the burner, but it shattered when it touched the counter."

"Were you cut?"

"No. Just burned."

I looked at the shattered plate. It was a piece of Franciscan China given to me forty years ago as a wedding present. Although that wedding ended in divorce, it had been given to me by my family and I treasured it. Since marrying Bill, pieces, mostly dinner plates, had been gradually disappearing. The set was now down to on…