Thursday, December 12, 2013
Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868
December 18, 2012
When stormy days and nights are more frequent than not, it is somehow reassuring to see the bright holiday lights from the beautiful tree on the Western Oregon University campus as we're driving along Highway 99W.
No matter how busy the day or what tasks await us upon our return, M-I Town's Christmas tree is beckoning through the rain and the fog to say "welcome home" from wherever our travels have taken us.
Our home has been a virtual beehive of activity the last several weeks, with the guest room transformed into something resembling a third-world sewing factory. Boxes of wrapping paper and ribbons are everywhere. We've also been sorting through strings of indoor lights, making sure everything is safe for the Christmas tree, and outdoor lights as well.
Somehow, it will all come together and we can relax for a moment and take time to be thankful for all the blessings in our lives and be grateful to those who share them with us.
There won't be any brand-new sports cars decked out in bright ribbons parked in the driveway or diamonds in velvet boxes hanging on the tree as seen in far too many television commercials these days. Instead, there will be baskets of homemade jams and jellies, good books and special treats like grandpa's popcorn cake that are only shared at this very special time of year.
We'll celebrate with grown-up kids, grandkids, big dogs with wagging tails and Max, the cat who is in charge of everything. There will be Christmas carols to listen to and singalong with, games to play and ever so many good things to talk about as we enjoy cookies, candy and food that has far too many calories -- all those good things we are mostly far too practical and sensible to eat any other time of year.
We'll enjoy catching up with the news from grandchildren home for Christmas break from college and those who are already out in the world, working at their first jobs and facing the challenges of the adult world. We'll curl up by the fire and talk of Christmases past and our hopes and dreams for the future.
Our prayers are with all of you -- and especially to our men and women who are serving in the military half a world away. And especially for those whose lives have been touched by sadness or tragedy -- may the blessings of the season bring hope, renewed faith and courage to you.