Sunday, December 28, 2008

Arctic Memories

I look about our town now.Our apartment grounds.The view is not the same as it was a mere few days ago.Just before Christmas our town was blanketed in white.A real winter wonderland that very much resembled the picture above.My first white Christmas at 47 years old.Growing up in California,as a child,I dreamed often of a white Christmas.But,alas,Sacramento does not get snow.And so I continued to dream of this picturesque world swathed in white.And it came to fruition at 47.40 years of waiting for this childhood wish to come to pass.My first white Christmas.A gift from God to me.The dream's realization had it's moments of pristine beauty.The way lights twinkled and danced off the crystalline world of white.Sheer beauty.The way the flakes shimmered when captured by the rare sun's rays that fought their way through the leaden,frozen skies.The sheer perfection of icicles that hung from every roof top when the ice storm hit.Beautiful.The amusing snow people that showed up all over town,in front yards and even on tops of vehicles that had been out of doors for too long.We laughed with sheer delight as we drove about town.Each snow person seemed to reflect the personality and ,lifestyle and the creativity of it's creator.For all it's beauty and laughter this soft white world also had it's share of hazards and pitfalls.Huge ruts in the roads created by falling ice and snow made a trip to the store feel more like off roading somewhere in the mountains.Slick patches everywhere made walking treacherous at best.We all held hands as we traversed an icy parking lot on the way to dinner out with family before Christmas.Sticking together helped us reach our destination safely.We were blessed with this most awesome of gifts and we relished it's icy presence while we had it.It's gone now,replaced by a more typical and warmer rain.But we have our memories and eventually some photos to remind us that it really did snow here.I really did have a white Christmas.And that when things get dangerous it's best to stick together.And to hold hands too if needed.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Let It Snow!

We made it back safely from our one week trip to the mountains!We've been back since last Friday but this is the soonest I was able to post anything at all here.Since returning from our trip we have watched our granddaughter quite a bit.Those of you with kids know how your time is not your own when they're home.We've had several unexpected"snow days"this week in Salem.This seldom happens but we've been hit by an arctic blast all week that has left us snow covered,icy,windy and with wind chills in the single digits at times.Schools here have been closed all week.We've had to do our shopping between storm systems.Makes for exciting times for these former Californians.We even had to get pushed around a corner earlier this week as our rear wheel drive van does not like ice at all.Some kind strangers gave us the push we needed to gain some traction and off we went to my mother in law's apartment.I have been walking extra carefully as the ground here in town has been at times nothing but ice.My husband grew up in snow country as a child and learned how to drive on snow and ice as a teen.For that I am grateful as I had lived in Sacramento my whole life until I moved to Oregon in 1991 at age 30.Steve knows how to handle snow and ice covered roads.Whew...that brings me great comfort and relief.We are mostly done with Christmas shopping.Tomorrow we have to go out to the food bank we go to monthly to help us get by each month.I am hoping that we can get there and back home without incident.It is to get nasty again tonight.Possible freezing rain and such.We've had snow showers all day here off and on.Thankfully we are warm and dry in this small apartment we call home.It helps being on the bottom of a 3 story building with apartments on either side and an enclosed walkway out front that also accommodates our neighbors"across the way."There is not much in the way of decorations here in the building we live in.But we have enjoyed the lights from the neighbors across the driveway in another building.We do not decorate and have not since 2005.That's when we had to sell off much of our stuff to come up with deposit money for a downsize into an apartment.We were determined to not borrow the money so we sold off all but the necessities we needed to live on.That included all our Christmas decorations and artificial tree.We have not been able to replace any of it yet and now live in a place so small we have no room for a tree or decorating!But we can always go see our daughter's tree.And I am ever hopeful that things will not always be this way and that maybe we will be able to replace that which had to be sold to live.It is now dinner time here so I must go and reheat some leftovers and feed my hungry husband.Grin.I wish each of you a most blessed Christmas wherever you are and whatever situation you may find yourself in.Jesus is truly the reason for the season.The reason for this season of beauty and joy and celebration.And that is not at all dependent on pleasant circumstances!Much love to each of you my readers!
Blessings all~Sharon

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Surprises of Grace

A very Merry Christmas to each of you!I hope you well into your preparations for the upcoming celebration of Christmas.Last Sunday I turned 47 years old.It was a quiet affair for we had to babysit our granddaughter that day so her mom could work.But God blessed me in another way that has simply blown me away.Two dear Canadian friends who are believers in Jesus too have given me and my husband a week away at a resort here in Oregon!Can you believe this birthday gift?I have never,in my life,been given such a gift!And to be given such an extravagant gift after years of no vacations and few if any gifts is simply amazing.When Steve,my husband,had to go on disability a few years back life really changed on all levels for us.Vacations of any kind ceased.Gifts even for birthdays were almost non existent for the most part.Life for us became about mere survival.To say we have felt stressed at times would be an understatement.Chronic illness and financial issues due to it will do that to even a Christian person.God knew what we needed and He graciously provided it through these dear friends of nearly 20 years.I cannot seem to stop thanking Him or them!*Big grin.*So we leave tomorrow for a week long stay at a condo resort.In the mountains.With a gas fireplace and cold weather predicted I am going to be one happy women.Deliriously so I think.I just heard a loud"Woo Hoo"from my husband who is out in the living room and was telling me how we should load the van!LOL I kept waiting for him to get excited and now he has!!Our daughter and granddaughter and onsite management will care for our cat and keep an eye on our little apartment here.It's a sunny,windy and cold day here and is perfect for traveling.If it is not snowy(how I long for some snow which we seldom get here) then this for me is perfect winter like weather.Brisk.Invigorating.It clears away the mental cobwebs and invokes loads of energy in this woman.God has surprised us with this gift of His grace and we are humbled and blessed.I pray that if you too are in need of a surprise of grace this Christmas season that He will be just as gracious and kind to each of you.A Merry Christmas to each of you and we'll see you upon our return.
Much Love~Sharon