Starting a new tradition

I have been using my “spare” time, when I’m not working or tired and sore, writing Christmas cards, and some of you may already have received one from me.  If you have a change of address since last year, please send it to me before I get to your name.  So far, I’m into the “G’s”.  This has precluded what little writing time I’ve had for my blog, but today I have pictures that I wanted to share.

First of all, many of you have asked how I’ve been since I last wrote about my ER visit.  I’m fine.  It took me the better part of Thanksgiving week to find a doctor who would write me a letter releasing me to go back to work, but I’ve been working ever since the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  We’ve had a couple other super-loaded deliveries since that fateful day, and I’ve had no problems.

Mark is getting to know his job better and better at UPS.  Last week, with the threat of bad weather, he used the truck instead of his motorcycle to get to work, and several nights they sent him home a little earlier than usual, but he still had some overtime in.

While Mark was using the truck, my mother was having to take me to work and pick me up every day.  The only exception was the day it snowed.  My father lives only a couple miles from where I work, so that afternoon he picked me up and took me to his place to spend the night.  He and Elaine and I played Scrabble that evening.  It was the best visit I’ve had with them to date!

During the week, I have been staying with Mom.  Mark works from 11:30 am to 11:30 pm and he doesn’t get to bed until midnight or thereafter.  I get up early in the morning and I don’t want to disturb his sleep, so it’s just easier to stay at Mom’s house.  We both look forward to our weekends together, although Sunday is usually our only full day together with me working most Saturdays.

Today, Mark and I went to church at Clackamas Park Friends Church where a former pastor of mine is now preaching.  This church is just down the road from where my sister, Sherill, lives.  Sherill is fighting multiple myeloma (bone cancer) for the second time in her life, and she isn’t able to stand or walk for very long.  I was wanting to put our little tree up at Mom’s house, but her place is too small so I didn’t think I was going to be able to have a tree this year.  Then Sherill told me that she’d love to have a tree, but she really doesn’t have the energy to decorate one.  What a perfect situation!

So after church, Mark and I took our little artificial tree over to her house with all our lights and ornaments.  I had thought I remembered our tree being nearly as tall as me, but when we pulled it out of the box, it was only a table topper.  We do have a larger one in storage in Lynden and we’ll get it out later, but that wasn’t much help for this year.  Sherill looked at our little two foot tree and said, “We need to get a bigger tree!”  It just so happens that her stepson, Gordon, has a Christmas tree farm, so my brother-in-law, Fred, got into my truck and directed me how to get there.

Sherill had asked us to get a tree that was about four feet tall and not too wide.  Gordon greeted us as soon as we got out of the truck and Fred described to him the kind of tree Sherill wanted.  Gordon took us over to where there was a perfect noble tree sitting in a bucket of water.  It fit Sherill’s description to a tee!  Fred asked Gordon how much it cost, and Gordon said it was free.  It was one he was unable to sell for some reason.  As he was carrying it over to put in the back of my truck, I noticed a small rock on the ground shaped exactly like a heart.  I asked him if I could keep that too, and he said yes.  It was like God was saying, “Here, I’m giving you this tree because I love you.  Merry Christmas!”

We took the tree back and put it in water.  Sherill fixed lunch and Mom came over to watch the decorating, which I started on after dessert.  Mark helped put the lights on, and Sherill and Mom each put one or two ornaments on, but for the most part they were all happy to watch me decorate the tree, and I was loving it!  I have ornaments that Mark and I have picked up in our travels, and when I got all those up, Sherill pulled out her ornaments and I put many of those on as well.  Then she put Christmas music on, and when she played Perry Como’s “Ave Maria”, we turned the lights out except for the ones on the tree.  This is a tradition that I have tried to follow every year since it accidentally happened that way years ago when my sisters and I were decorating a tree together.  Try it sometime!

Mark took these pictures with his phone:

Right after I finished decorating the tree

Right after I finished decorating the tree

When we turned the other lights off and played "Ave Maria".

When we turned the other lights off and listened to “Ave Maria”.

We had such a good time!  Mark said we’ll have to make a tradition of going over to Sherill’s house to decorate a tree for her.  He says that next time we should have some eggnog or some sparkling cider while “we’re” decorating.  😉  I haven’t really been in the mood for Christmas yet this year because I’ve been so busy, but today was a start.  I like this new tradition!

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