Shouts and murmurs: A wonderful holiday season
As Christmas drew nearer and my list of things to do grew longer, I hoped for a cloudy Christmas Day.
For you see, our windows were dirty.
When the weatherman predicted sunshine, I knew I was in trouble. I realized that not a single one of our guests would care about the much-less-than-sparkly windows. But I would. I wanted everything to be picture perfect for Christmas Day.
As I scrubbed a couple of spots out of the living room carpet on Christmas Eve day, my husband, who was helping around the house, disappeared. When I saw the gallon jug of vinegar on the kitchen counter and heard the squeak of a Squigee on glass, I knew where he was.
It's times like that, along with many others, that I realize how lucky I am. I told Fred that he's one in a million.
Of course being my jovial Fred, he replied, "But there's six billion people on earth."
OK, so I admitted gleefully, you're one of six billion.
Christmas Day at our house was one of the best ever. It was a conglomeration of the relatives with whom we've spent holidays all our lives, and friends who are as close as family, about 30 people in all.
Perhaps brightening the day the most -- not withstanding the clean windows -- was the newest addition to our family, our granddaughter, Ella, who turns 6 months old today.
It's truly amazing how much fun dear little Ella, who held up admirably and cheerfully throughout the busy holiday week, brightens our lives. We exclaim over each and every smile as if Ella invented smiling herself. And then there's something so infinitely comforting about holding a baby -- Grandpa and I practically stand in line to be next. We are grateful that her parents, Carrie Jo and David, so willingly share her with us.
At this time of year, it must be natural to reflect on who and what it is that makes our lives meaningful.
Of course for me, a big part of that is my work and those with whom I work, as well as my family.
In working at a newspaper -- interviewing people and taking pictures -- one moves in a community in a different way -- not as a part of the action itself, but as a recorder of the action. There is a vast difference.
At times, reporting is one of the loneliest jobs in the world -- as so much of it is solo.
But at the same time, you're surrounded by people, by action, and sure to meet a host of new friends each year. That in itself makes this position all the better, especially in Tonganoxie where there are so many people doing so many interesting things.
As the year draws to a close, in our work, in our families and in our communities, we ponder what adventures lie ahead, and we can only hope that in some small way, we're able to somehow make our world a better place.
Think about it. If a smile can brighten someone's day, a kind word can do more. And better yet, a kind deed.
As well, if we work to improve ourselves, an example may be set for someone else to follow.
It is an odd game, this game of life. After all these years, generations and lifetimes, you'd think we'd have figured it out a long time long ago.
For now, on this cusp of a new year, the journey continues. To you and all of yours, I hope it will be a good one.