It doesn't seem possible that today is December 1, 2011. It's been a very eventful year, and it's quickly coming to a close.
I have so much to be thankful for, and I am. My family and loved ones are all healthy, including Dennis and myself. We have the essentials of life, and then some. Some more than others, but we are still so very blessed.
We're getting ready to head back to Ohio for the Christmas holiday in just a few short days. That sure seems strange...it's been in the 80's here in Fort Myers, Florida since we've been here. How can it be December with the sun shining, the warm Gulf breezes blowing, and people Christmas shopping in shorts and tank tops? We've found ourselves laughing out loud more than once at the Santa's in their warm suits with everyone else in bathing suits on the beach. Singing "The weather outside is frightful" seems ridiculous when it most certainly is not!
Many of the people here at Cypress Woods Resort have golf carts they buzz around on, and so many of them are decorated to the nines with garland, Christmas lights, holly, bows and tinsel. Cracks me up. However, I like their spirit!
Last week I bought Christmas lights and hung them on a palm tree on our lot. First time for everything! If we weren't going home in 4 days, I'd get a Christmas tree to put in the fifth wheel, but that seems silly when we will have to do it all over again when we get to Ohio. Friends of ours down here, Art and Marie, have a motor home, and they have the inside all decorated for the holidays, Christmas tree included. It really put me in the Christmas spirit!
I'm anxious to get home to my kids, grandkids, sisters, nieces, nephews, and my Mother. That's what it's all about...FAMILY! Mine is an especially close family, and I really missed being with them for Thanksgiving. And the Saturday after Thanksgiving is our family's traditional Family Christmas Tree Party. We used to have it at my parents house, where I grew up. After Dad passed away, we still did it there for a few years, then Mom's health was such that it was just too much for her, so we moved it to my sister, Kathy's house.
Now this party is something very special to our family, and many friends also. From the time we moved into our house in Green, we went every year as a family and picked out a great big, beautiful, perfect, 10 foot Blue Spruce tree. We made a big deal out of setting it up, making sure the lights were perfect, the garland just so, and the ornaments hung with care. It was a wonderful time, and we made many, many wonderful memories each and every year. We put Christmas music on while we trimmed the tree, and sang at the top of our lungs to each and every song! After Dad got older, and hard of hearing, we would catch him at some point during the festivities turning down his hearing aids.
In December of 1995, my Mom and Dad's house caught fire, right before Christmas. The tree was already up, presents under it, and it was all gone in a moment. It was a tragic Christmas for us. Earlier that same year, we lost my nephew, Joey, so Christmas already held a dark cloud over us, being our first without our beloved Joey. Then the fire. I believe it was the beginning of the end for my Dad. He was never the same after that. But, life goes on, and we tried very hard to keep the memories coming for the next generation of our family.
So, now we have the party at Kathy and Mark's house, and they are so generous and hospitable to put up with the whole thing! And I missed it this year. I don't like that, and I don't think I'll let that happen anymore, if I can arrange it. Dennis wants to spend winters here where it's warm, but some things are way more important than others. Now my grandchildren are included in the Family Tree Party, and they love it as much as I did as a child, and still do as an adult. Four generations of family tradition. There's a lot to be said for traditions! Just watch Fiddler On The Roof if you don't believe me! They even wrote a song about it!
I guess a new tradition for me will be going home for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I can't wait!