Archive for Wednesday, December 26, 2001

Shouts and murmurs

Life’s blessings are all around us

December 26, 2001

The push to open my house for Christmas Day was on. November and December had been a busy month as I finished up a journalism class at Kansas University and weathered with my family a late-autumn cough and cold.

Finally the week before Christmas we were well, and there was one day to shop. Our 14-year-old son, Harold, and I headed to the mall, braving Saturday crowds. As I stood in line for purchases, Harold would take a piece of paper out of his pocket and mark the name off the list. By the end of a marathon day we had pretty much caught up.

This weekend we again headed to the city, this time to take pictures of our daughter, Carrie Barth, and her friend LeAnn Bond, featured on this week's sports page. Carrie and LeAnn are practicing for a Feb. 17 marathon they will run in New Orleans and we wanted to catch them in action. That done, we ran more errands in the Kansas City area, and arrived home in time for me to head to my office to work with Shawn and Caroline. With the holiday in line, we at The Mirror were facing a Monday, rather than the usual Tuesday, deadline. Several hours later we all headed home, by that time tired after a busy day.

I looked at my house that needed to be cleaned, the pile of laundry by the washer and the Christmas gifts still unwrapped. Besides that, we still needed to finish this week's edition of The Mirror. How in the world, I wondered, would there be time to get everything done.

It was just a start, but a start just the same. I put laundry in the washer and turned on the water. I began picking up things around the house. When the washer turned off I put on my parka and took the laundry outside to hang on the clothesline. Yes the dryer would have worked as well, but the clothes would lack that fresh-air scent. As I hung the clothes on the line, grumbling to myself that there wasn't enough time to get everything done, I realized how good the sunshine felt, and I inhaled deeply, taking in lungs full of clean country air. Then almost before I knew it, I was singing the song, "Silent Night." My mood lifted. Suddenly I realized that the magic of Christmas was indeed in the air, and I knew that by Christmas morning, The Mirror would be printed, my house would be cleaned, presents would be wrapped and a turkey would be roasting in the oven.

To my surprise, when I went back inside, my husband was dusting the furniture and our son was wrapping Christmas presents. Christmas carols were playing on the stereo. I realized how lucky I was and am, especially in a year when our nation has seen so much devastation, to have a happy home, to be surrounded, yes even on the busiest days of the most hectic time of the year, by wonderful, loving and caring people.

Sometimes, holidays and every other time of the year, all it takes is just a slight change in perspective, maybe a walk in the open air or even a trip to the clothesline, to realize how very truly magical life really is.

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