Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Christmas Season Is On Its Way

Tuesday was a special day since Union County Writers Group met at the new Country Cupboard (previously called The Potato Barn) and shared our writings with one another: poetry, short stories, excerpts from books, and one beautiful hand-made book that somehow never was passed to me. I know it was beautiful because the original poetry read from the book was beautiful, and anything that Kathy Cotton creates will be beautiful.

Lois Barrett, Pat Evans, and I went together, so we had extra time to visit with one another. Acquiring copies of Pat's new children's poetry book for Christmas gifts for grandkids was a bonus. Violet Toler has just started Wayside Publishing and Pat's book was one of her first efforts. It is a truly well-designed good looking book. Check out Violet's Wayside Publishing website.

Carole Kinder Watkins had just written last week from California about how good the salads and desserts were at Country Cupboard and this week she wrote about how lovely all the gifts, accessories, and consignment antiques were. I saw one large trunk that really caught my eye. I want to go back soon.

I haven't had time to really enjoy Pat's poems yet. In fact, the books are still in the car. Yesterday afternoon I helped Shirley Butler decorate a bit in our church auditorium. Our work was greatly reduced by Butch putting up the tree and some of the most difficult greenery for us. (I think Shirley's story of our struggling to figure out how to put together that old-fashioned artificial tree last year must have touched Butch's heart strings. We certainly appreciated his efforts.) We are also busy encouraging anyone who wants their children in the Christmas program to bring them to Sunday morning services where Kim Barger and our youth group will incorporate the kids into our program for parents and the public.

Since I did not get the persimmon pudding made for Thanksgiving, I made one today; and I just now put it in the downstairs freezer to await Christmas day. I also cooked the pumpkin from off the front porch today, and I intend to get pies baked and frozen for Christmas before too long.

Gerald gave me two really neat serving trays for my birthday last Thursday. They hold photographs under glass. He had one of them all ready and left the other one for me to choose which photos to place in it. So I have had fun looking at photos of grandkids and special places and seeing what would fit where in the tray.

On top of that, I have been going through addresses of our family and friends and getting them corrected so that Gerald can print them on the envelopes for Christmas greetings. I did this myself a couple of years, but then that computer crashed and I never learned how to do it again. He had figured that all out last summer when he sent out letters about our reunion for Baptist Student Union members at SIUC during the 40s, 50s, and 60s.

Mary Ellen called early this morning from Lake Saint Louis. She was driving in ice and couldn't even get up their steep driveway. She was going to have to go get her kids from school even though she had just delivered them to school not too long before. I really thought the ice would be here by now, but so far it hasn't reached us.

We managed to get to Geri Ann's basketball game at Washington School on Monday night but haven't made the last two games. As our dear late friend Rhoda Cline used to say, "It's a busy world."

And we all know it will soon be even busier with Christmas just around the corner. We want to do for one another and make the season bright for our loved ones. We may need to think about the O'Henry story and how overdoing backfired. We may need to do less and give ourselves and our loved ones more leisure time.

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