Tuesday, December 27, 2011

christmas (now) past

Phew, long time no blog! The world of work has been largely prohibitive when it comes to time for blogging, and by the time I get home there are other things to be done. The fact that I hadn't even noticed that the photo in the banner was way past time for an update was an indication to me that neglect had set in! At least that is corrected. I have missed these moments of reflection to share what is happening in our world here and to "muse" about the larger picture in which many of us live. That said--I am off from work this week and am stealing this morning time while it is still dark outside to share this and that.

A brief review of recent undertakings at work: two major events that fall under my direction are well in the works. The first is a two-day adult learning conference in February.  Publicity for that got held up for various technical reasons (translate that as government bureaucracy), but went out a couple of weeks ago. Yay! My wee committee is now tackling the bits and pieces related to presenters, but it is all coming together nicely. 

My major coup is that I was finally able to secure funding to put in a contract for Marlee Matlin to come to campus in March as our keynote speaker for National Women's History Month. I am very excited about that! You'll be hearing more, I'm sure, as the weeks go by leading up to both events.

Christmas has come and gone! The weekend prior to the Big Day we enjoyed an early celebration with Ashley, Travis and the boys when they came to Tennessee for a long weekend. The highlight of our time together was simply being together, but tucked into our activity was a trip down to the Opryland Hotel and seeing the Rockettes Christmas show. As many years as I've lived in Tennessee I have never seen the show, so it was time!

Christmas Eve Ken and I spent several hours helping prepare a meal to be delivered Christmas morning to seniors in Madison, TN. Apparently there are more poor seniors in Madison than any other town in the state, so an effort has been put forth by one woman in particular to be sure they get a nice meal at Thanksgiving and Christmas. The next morning we returned to help assemble the meals and ended up delivering some since our car was bigger than the intended vehicle to transport 60+ meals! And let me tell you, this was a feast: turkey, dressing, gravy, sweet potatoes, wild rice salad, vegetable medley, cranberry sauce, roll and applesauce cake! The containers were heavy and near to bursting with all that food! In all about 550 meals were put together and delivered, and it was nice to be part of that effort. Back home we made a simple lunch and then had our own quiet Christmas.

I have discovered this Christmas that I was very  much off my game when it came to being prepared for this favorite of holidays. I calculated that it has been about 20 years since I was last confined to a corporate-type schedule of "9 to 5," and it hindered me greatly. By the time I realized the fix I was in it was too late to regroup, but I am now attuned to be prepared for this next year.  

One casualty of running to catch up all through December was my in intention to document in a personal way the meaning of this time for me. I had made my holiday photo checklist, for instance, and managed to stage one photo from that list. Pathetic! I did accomplish a handful of things, however, so I have gathered them into the collage below to share. The stack of Christmas cards became something of a running joke for me. I wanted a substantial stack for the photograph, so hoarded them over a period of days without opening them. Over the course of those days putting aside the incoming cards became a habit, and it wasn't long before we had a very full stack of unopened cards to go through! No matter. In a way it was fun to open so many at one time and then put them up around the doorways, which has become our way to display what we have received. 

A brief note about the ornament. I have been in the habit of giving ornaments each year to the kids in my life so that when they have their own first tree they have their very own collection of memories to hang on the branches. I have bought ornaments in previous years, but have decided that the gift would be more meaningful coming from my own hand. Some beautiful glass ornaments on Pinterest caught my imagination, so I attempted to recreate the look. Though the result looks nothing like what I had hoped, it's not a bad effort, so I'm sharing the one I made for Cross here.
It is clear that time away from blogging also means that I have too much to squeeze into a single post for ease of reading. For that I apologize! In the meantime, I hope the holiday has been a blessing to all, and that there is time for some relaxation and fun between now and the close of the year. I will be spending much of my time working on a jigsaw puzzle that was under our tree. Ah, the leisure of it!

Merry, merry, this third day of Christmas!


Janet M said...

It sounds like the holiday was really nice for you this year. Spending time with the grandchildren I'm sure was the best part.
I got your card and the photo with everyone it is just wonderful, the children are adorable.

The Bug said...

Every year I plan to be more intentional about Advent & Christmas - & every year the craziness of my schedule defeats me (well and inertia - man I wish they hadn't invented that - ha!).

I love getting caught up with you - & I think the ornament looks great!

Kip said...

That was so wonderful what you and Ken did for Christmas, helping others Anne. On making an ornament- I got the cutest one this year from Elle. She took a clear bulb, put cooking oil inside of it and then poured glitter inside! Of course, it stuck to the whole inside and then she put a bit of fluff on the top of it and my name on letters on the outside of it. It came out darling so maybe you can try something like that next year!


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