It's still bitter cold here and they say more snow is one the way. The housesitter is settled in and learning Louie's routine, learning the list of who to call to shovel the driveway, etc.
Then we are off to st. John's to join up with the rest of the family for a warm Christmas holiday. This year John and I fly down with Riley, her mother will follow in a few days. Traveling with small children can be difficult but I've done it enough, over the years, to know what to bring along to keep everybody happy.
I'm really looking forward to spending some relaxed time with my family. I love the idea that we can all reside in one house without conflict and with lots of laughter.
I remember holiday visits with my extended family that seemed something to just "get through". The long drive up through the mountains to Shamokin, crowded into my grandparents house. We usually drove back home, both of my parents working overtime holiday shifts.
The first time we stayed over, perhaps because of the weather, I was told the kids would sleep in the attic. Now, I was probably seven or eight at the time and I remember looking at my mother in amazement. There's an attic?
I had never really been very far into my grandparents bedroom. There never was any reason for me to go in there. Apparently, the steps up to the attic were behind a skinny door in the corner of their room. The steps were narrow and curved around and up.
I remember carrying my clothes for the next day up the steps and arriving at the top only to stare in wonder. There was, what seemed to me a huge space up there and it wasn't messy or scary at all.
In fact, it was apparent that this whole area had been turned into some sort of playroom.
There was a big old double brass bed where the three of us would sleep. But, it seemed that Susan and Yvonne used this space. They showed me the large dollhouse on a table, the window seat with a nice fat cushion to sit on, in the eaves, and look out the window. I saw a toy box, doll carriages and pushed out of the way, stacks of old boxes.
This wasn't a new space. My cousins had been using it for years. I admit that they lived closer and visited more often but I never, ever saw that attic space before. I spent two long weeks with my Grandparents every summer. Two long weeks were the highlight of my day was after summer when we would either take a drive and look for deer or my Grandfather would sit out on the porch swing, with me and we would wait for the icecream truck to come.
I once asked my Grandmother, when I was older why I never got to play up in the attic and she told me that it was because those were my cousin's things.
I want it on the record, right here, right now, that I am GRATEFUL for some of the events that happened in my life. At the time, some of them may have been sad, hurtful, unpleasant or just nasty but they provided me with a very large CHOICE in life. They imprinted themselves in my brain and reminded me of what NOT TO BE, or what NOT TO DO for the rest of my life.
When I became a grandmother I would not use my own grandmother as a role model. Like I pledged to myself when I thought about being a mother someday, I knew I would not be anything like my own mother.
I looked instead to the people, the women around me that were loving, supportive, caring and creative women. I choose them as examples of what kind of mother and grandmother I would be.
This is a reminder to you, my grandchildren. YOU make the choices in your life as to who you wish to be. YOU create your life. You can let others make that choice but I guarantee you will be unhappy.
Not all families are wonderful. In fact, very few, if any are. And, often we need to remember that family doesn't have to be "blood relatives". It can be the people that surround you, in your daily life. The people that have your back, that care about you, truly care about you and not what they can get from you. Nurture those relationships they are precious.
So, this holiday season, all of you, surround yourselves with people who you love and who love you back. Don't put yourself in situations where you will be blindsided with negative energy, hurt by people that just because they are family feel they can say or do anything.
Create your life surrounding yourself with positive energy, lots of love and laughter and JOY. Let your soul shine through your eyes so that people feel they are seeing the child within you.
When you create on that scale your souls dances with joy. YOU dance with joy.
Have a joyous holiday season. Have a creative New Year. Remember to stop by the new blog, Writing-in-the-margins.blogspot.com
This blog will remain open but as of January 1st I will be dedicating it to work in the studio or musing about art and creating. If you want a cuppa and to just sit back and talk about this and that you need to pop over to the new blog.
So, MERRY CHRISTMAS my dear friends and family.
AND, A HAPPY NEW YEAR.