There are so many stories and tidbits I want to share on this final day of 2018. My head is rather like a log-jam with thoughts blocking one another. I'm thinking more in terms of a letter than a post. Perhaps a list would be the best way to proceed:
- We managed to see both of our parents over this holiday season. We were with Mom Hawley in November. The entire family gathered for our niece's wedding. Our Thanksgiving dinner was held at a local restaurant where the service was slow and our laughter was loud. It was great being together! Thanks to our adopted children (Hoggards) who opened their home to us the three days we were in NC.
- We traveled to N FL to visit my dad and his wife, Christeen on December 26th.. After many years, my sister and I were finally able to co-ordinate visits. It was great fun sharing another Christmas with that part of our family.
- The Hawley Clan celebrated Christmas the Saturday before. It was a resplendent day that started with all the children and grands showing up on our doorstep an hour early. Frank and I were scurrying to finish breakfast preparations when he stopped and said, "Someone is singing!" They were all loudly wishing us a merry Christmas to announce their arrival. Such Fun!
- This was the first Christmas for Parker Franklin McGhee and for Grayson Oliver Smith. Of course, Papa and I had to see to it that their Christmas pj's included "First Christmas" on the shirt. The picture of all eight grands was great fun as the girls' pj's had little tutus and the big boys' said, "Never Naughty. Always Nice." Parents rolled their eyes at us when those were unwrapped.
- One dark spot was the day last week when Abby came down a slide head first. She landed squarely on her delicate wrist and fractured the bone. Their trip to the ER left them wondering if surgery would be needed and if they would have to cancel their trip to NY. Fortunately, the orthopedic specialist assured them only a cast was required. Off they went the next day for a 20-hour drive with four small children. Brave Parents!
- We were able to attend Christmas programs for Spencer, Abby and Noah. They all did such great jobs. They stood straight, sang loudly and smiled broadly! What more could grandparents ask? This was Noah's first performance as he is in K-4. You can never miss with little ones sharing the Christmas story!
- Frank and I spent yesterday reminiscing as it was the 39th anniversary of our wedding day. It was all the more special to me because we were married on December 30, 1979 which happened to fall on a Sunday. We made plans to have dinner at the place we ate our first meal as husband and wife, Church's Fried Chicken! (Receptions in our day consisted of cake and punch. We added mixed nuts to take it up a notch. But I was Hungry when we left so the local drive-thru worked just fine.)
- Right now, we're dog-sitting our new grand dog. Some of you may remember that John and Joy's dog, JJ, died unexpectedly this fall. The entire family was heart-broken as JJ had been part of their family over 10 years. A new dog was soon located. Please bear in mind, John and Joy are both tall people. They have four growing children and a small backyard. So they bought the most practical dog you could imagine. . . a Great Dane. Yes, you read that correctly. And they named her, "Kitty!" She will blend right in with their full-tilt family.
- Another sad spot in our holiday season was the marking of 10 years since my mom's passing. It seems surreal still. There are still days that I think to call her and share some bit of good news. I miss her hugs and her laughter. My sister and I went to a florist together and selected a new arrangement to place on her grave. The flowers gave us joy and we both know she would have loved the polka dot bow the florist chose for the lavender arrangement.
- Today, I get to have lunch with my dear friend, Becky Smith. It's always a bonus when they come to FL to visit Meagan and Nathan. Nathan hasn't had much vacation time as they had to use it all for Grayson's arrival in July. I feel a little selfish but always thankful when we get time with our co-grandparents, the Smiths.
Well, speaking of which, I need to start getting ready. But I do pray the Lord's blessings on each of you as we move into the new year. May you sense Him especially near and may we all move to obey His whispered instructions for 2019.
Blessings, Dear Readers!