Last (Couple) Week’s Good Things

bookLast week came and went without me taking time to do a post. Sure it is a busy time of year, but I can’t really blame that. I just didn’t get it done. I prefer to think that I will not let that happen with any regularity, but with end of the year goings-on, I am not promising that I won’t again falter.

Here are some things that have brightened the shortened days of the last two weeks.

 

  1. Holiday time outings – Seasonal activities are fun! When the kids were little, we would do a monthly family calendar that we put together on a calendar program, printed it out on our dot-matrix printer, and hung it up on the wall. December was my favorite month to plan. A few times over the last few weeks, seasonal activities filled my Google calendar. One night, we met Jim and Micaela and Pierpont’s in Union Station for drinks and appetizers before going to the Extreme Screen showing of Christmas Vacation. It very much put me in the holiday mood. Union Station is glorious anyway, but when you decorate it up with lights and holly, it is stunning. Pierpont’s is as classic a cocktail experience that you can have. The bar is glorious and the atmosphere speaks Kansas City. The movie was kind of a hoot. I think I have seen bits and pieces of this over the years, but never the whole thing. Seeing Chevy Chase goofiness on a very large screen was funny.

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    My other holiday outing like this was going to the Quality Hill Playhouse with Barb to hear their annual “Christmas in Song” production. We both agreed that our husbands would not cotton to this kind of thing, so it was sans them. Again, it just was one of those experiences when you are with a group of people who clearly are enjoying themselves, listening to talented singers performing songs about the season, that you cannot help but feel the spirit of the season.

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2.  People Going out of their Way to be Friendly – You hear how so many people get grumpy during the holidays, but I really don’t see that. I really do see people going out of their way to be kind and friendly and generous during this time of year. There have been a few examples that really stick out for me. I went to the drive-thru bank to make a deposit. I was putting my papers in the tube and I glanced over at the tellers station. She gave me a smile and a wave and pointed at a sign that was up on her window: “I’m sorry. I have lost my voice, but have a wonderful holiday.  :-).” Because I procrastinated, I needed to send a package to Sam and Jean via two day shipping. I took it into the Fed Ex shop and I had an amusing conversation with the clerk about firearms – we were kind of sympatico in our beliefs. After he told me what it would cost to send the box, he made an attempt to get it into one of their boxes so it would be less. The DHL guy who came to the door to deliver a package was happy and friendly, even though I can only imagine what craziness his days are like. Maybe I am noticing it more, but it feels nicer out there.

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3. Putting Up our Christmas Tree – I had a little bit of trouble getting inspired to get the holiday decorations out and festooned. We didn’t get our tree until last weekend. There is something, however, about opening the box of ornaments and putting them on the tree that sparks happiness. There was the hat that they put on Sam’s head right after he was born. There was Ali’s little ballerina ornament. The Campbell Kids ornament that  could be Sam and Ali. We have Little Mermaid, Bernard and Bianca, Harry Potter. Recently, we buy ornaments when we travel: a Pinocchio from Venice, a bat from Cooperstown, a Danish doll from the funny Windmill in Iowa, a bourbon barrel from Louisville. It’s a beauty.

4. Kindle Daily Deals and Eleanor & Park – My preferred method of reading continues to be on paper. but Amazon’s power plays during this holiday has gotten me reading on my Ipad. Everyday, I receive an email with daily deals from their Kindle catalogue. Earlier this month, they offered several Young Adult books. Included was a book that I have been eager to read – Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park. a $2.99 One-click, and it was mine. One gray day, I hunkered down and finished up the book that I had been reading and I opened up Eleanor & Park. A few hours later I emerged a fan of this book and author. Rowell tells the story of two high school students who find in each other a loving relationship that one can only hope for during difficult teenage years. They accept each other for the people they are. Park learns how to work through the challenges of peer pressure. Eleanor learns how to trust and accept love. The book’s style is told in alternating Eleanor/Park chapters. This book also inspired a email exchange between Sam and me that I enjoyed. I have several more purchases waiting on my Ipad. Good way to spend a couple dollars.

5. Sick Days – I wrote before of some back problems that I was having. I ended up staying home one day to rest it. I don’t take many sick days, but really! How lucky are those of us who can stay home from work to heal and know that our job is safe.

I wish each of you reading a wonderful holiday season. Thanks for giving me the gift of your attention. While I like writing this, when someone tells me that they enjoy what I write, it makes my day! Thanks to all!

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