Category Archives: “Love Actually”

December Wonders

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Making your spirits bright and your home fires warm,

makes me think of our Winter’s blustery cold and the

upcoming holidays. There are several directions your

faiths and belief systems may go- Kwanzaa, Chanukah,

Christmas or other ways. You may not be living in a cold

climate, you may be in the exact opposite of my location,

being greeted daily with warm sunshine, gentle breezes.

Wherever you are, I try to write a monthly newsletter to

keep up with various customs, cultures and faiths.

Please feel free to add in the comments section, a special

family tradition to make this interactive and meaningful.

 

Thomas Kinkade’s ‘healthy habits’ message for December is:

“Take care of your body, keeping your

body running the way it is supposed to

can be effective in lifting your spirits.”

(12/2001)

In a December issue of Prevention Magazine,

there was a list of “7 Foods to Keep You Healthy.”

I took the list and added a few personal favorite

ways to use these in the Season of Peace:

1. Eating almonds over the holidays will add some

much needed Vitamin E.

2. Serving different peas or beans, not only add

extra fiber to our diets, fill you up more, but also

give you a great source of Zinc.

3. The special addition to carrots, sweetens your

salads or grated can be added to various casseroles

(even mac and cheese), along with Vitamin A.

4. Mushrooms, cooked or raw give you Selenium.

They can be used in dips, stuffed caps or in gravies.

5. Drinking tea, either black or green, boosts your

antioxidants. Over a warming cup of tea, sprinkle a

dash of cinnamon or nutmeg to create some festive

flavorings.

6. Tomatoes give you Vitamin C, which can be so great

at fighting off colds. I like to have them in salads, but

also enjoy the way you can stuff them with crushed

croutons and Italian flavorings. Nutritionists advise

heating tomatoes releases more of its healing power.

7. Yogurt, which you can include in desserts, sauces and

dips gives you those probiotics that we all need, especially

as we get older.

 

DECEMBER

Birthstone:  Turquoise or blue peridot gemstone

Flower: Narcissus

I think of Poinsettias, when I think of December.

 

There are so many new and old books of Christmas,

along with other December holidays. This is a book

which can bridge any personal choices: “Rabbit’s Gift,”

by George Shannon and Laura Dronzek

(Harcourt Children’s Books) Snowfall, blue skies with

the beautiful effect of snowflakes and a message of hope.

 

December 6-

Full Cold Moon.

Full Night’s Moon.

 

December 7-

Pearl Harbor Day

and

Remembrance Day:

Wherever you live, take some moments to

honor your heroes. Those who serve and

protect us and our freedoms deserve our

meditation and gratitude.

 

“Believe in a Higher Being.

Believe in others and yourself.

Believe in miracles and wonders.”

(Author Unknown)

 

December 14- Quarter Moon.

 

15- Bill of Rights Day.

 

December 16th (sundown)- 24th:

Happy Hanukkah!

 

18-

This is the 50th anniversary of the Pink Panther

theatrical short featuring Pink Panther harassing

his foil/enemy. These characters are the creations

of Fritz Freleng. This won the 64th Academy Award

presentations in the department of “Animated Shorts.”

 

Definitely, this is a reminder that December is the time

to enjoy, laugh and be playful. Pink Panther was so silly

and fun.

 

22- New Moon.

 

December 25th- Christmas Day.

Many religions celebrate Christ’s Birth,

Rejoice and Follow the Stars wherever your faith

takes you.

“December is a time

of celebration and joy.

A time of promises kept

and Love reborn.”

~ Flavia, 2003.

 

26th- First Day of Kwanzaa.

This is a festive celebration of African American

community, culture and faith. This continues

until January first.

Boxing Day- Canada, U.K., Australia and NZ.

 

Many people shop for the following holiday

season (2015), finding bargains and gifts for

the coming year.

 

28- First Quarter Moon.

 

December 31st-

New Year’s Eve.

“Another fresh new year is here. . .

Another year to live.

To banish worry, doubt and fear,

To love, laugh and give.”

~ William Arthur Ward

(American Writer, 1921-1994)

 

May you and your family enjoy many experiences of

happiness. This final month of the year arrived far

too quickly! I hope you find ways to make December

stretch, savoring these special moments. Include some

meditation to help you to relax and not get too stressed.

For me, nostalgia arrives as I take out the ornaments

and decorations of Christmas past.

May this lovely time of year fill your senses with joy and

wonder in the simple things.

Most of all, wishing all of you to experience feelings of

Hope and Peace.

 

 

 

Wedding Story Part 2

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I ended up wearing the first dress. It fit right in with the evening reception, along

with my youngest daughter’s insistence it was more ‘current’ than the other two!

I would love to share Nate and Holly’s love story with you, since it has been awhile

since I have shared a love story. If you have time, I have about 30 other ones in

my past writings! They cheer me up, as it is interesting to know how people met.

 

Nate and Holly knew each other since the fourth grade.   They say they  ‘went out’

or ‘were going together for about a minute!’ This was shared by the minister during

the ceremony. She said she was ‘charmed’ by how Nate told her that he ‘spent the

next eight years trying to win her back.’

 

About 6 years ago, they ran into each other in a local saloon, the Back Stretch, where

several of the Delaware High alums of 2004 were gathered. Nate really knew that this

might be one of his last chances to catch Holly. So while talking to her, he leaned over

and whispered, “That girl over there keeps hanging on me, could you pretend you are

my girlfriend and kiss me?” The minister chuckled, when she told the congregation

gathered, some like me, who did not know this fact. She even slyly added something

like what a great line and how wonderful that this worked.

When her sister was getting married, my daughter Felicia and Holly were bridesmaid

and Maid of Honor. Holly asked if she could bring Nate, even though he had only been

on a couple of dates with her. Megan said, “Sure, if he REALLY wants to get to know

us, this would be the perfect setting.”  Megan and Breck got married in a late summer

outdoor wedding, they had been high school sweethearts. They have a little one year

old boy who rode down the aisle after the flower girl with a boy who must have been

a three year old cousin, pulling him in a wagon.

Nate had mentioned to Megan at the wedding, something like, “What’s not to love

about your family? They like dancing and drinking and so do I. He fit right in, Megan

told us in her Matron of Honor speech.

Here are two of the beautiful speeches, almost poetic in their simple loving meaning.

The first was read by a good friend of Felicia, who was in her Confirmation class and

brought his very cordial wife.

Matt read:

His hello was the end of her endings,

Her laugh was their first step down the aisle,

His hand would be hers to hold forever,

His forever was as simple as her smile.

He said she was what he was missing,

She said instantly she knew,

She was a question to be answered,

And his answer was, “I do.”

(no author given)

 

This is the lovely passage at the end of the British cast  movie.  Felicia and I have

watched this for the past 13 years since 9/11/01. The meaning of love everywhere

entranced us, the Christmas Spirit is present throughout, and it has a little PG-13

action, so it isn’t one you would show anyone under that age. Colin Firth, Hugh

Grant, Liam Neeson and others are outstanding. As well as a sweet actress who is

played by Martine McCutcheon. She adds to the romantic tone of the movie, in

this international story, as the aide to the Prime Minister. Emma Thompson and

Alan Rickman have a different kind of love story in this movie, married with one

of them participating in a ‘dangerous’ flirtation. Their story has a really funny

element, where one of their children plays a ‘lobster’ in a feast. I love the song,

which creates a bittersweet tone in their stressful lives, sung by

Joni Mitchell, “Both Sides Now.” If you wish to listen to it, the 2000 version

shows an ‘older and wiser’ songstress singing about ‘not really knowing love

at all,’ with a grand orchestration. This newer version is more textured and

was chosen specifically for one of the scenes, where Emma’s character is

rather frustrated with her life. The Colin Firth story has a maid/housekeeper

who is not able to speak English, which creates comedic episodes, with clever

subtitles in it.

 

Felicia read:

“Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the gates at

Heathrow Airport. General opinion is starting to make out that we live in a

world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that.   It seems to me that love is

everywhere.   Often, it is not particularly dignified or newsworthy,  but it’s

always there- – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives,

boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the twin towers, as

far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages

of hate or revenge- – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a

sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.”

(Hugh Grant, playing the character of the Prime Minister, speaks these words

while you see people greeting, embracing and parting with hugs from all kinds

of international cultures, shown in their apparel.)

 

The reception was held in the second floor of the Clippers Stadium, so I do have

photos of Felicia and me, with the background behind us of the baseball diamond.

The place was cold, it is heated by radiant ceiling ‘pipe-like’ things. I got my popcorn

which the bag said, “It all started when he popped the question.   Holly and Nate,

October 4, 2014.” There is a dug-out café, also Tansky’s Grille and other interesting

parts of this location. When the sun went down and the lights of Columbus lit

up, it was simply the perfect, idyllic location for an Autumn wedding. The couples

came up the stairs from the first floor, while the DJ and announcer called out

first the couples where they were bridesmaids and groomsmen, then the Matron

of Honor, (sister of the bride, Megan) and the Best Man (brother of the groom.)

We had ‘ordered’ when we ‘R.S.V.P.’d’ our meal which mine was a grilled chicken

breast with a balsamic dressing, a tomato butter, freshly cooked green beans

and pasta in a garlic sauce.

 

I met some people I didn’t know at other tables, but knew the family of Doug

and Lisa, along with their children who are grown and out of college. They

each had a date, Lisa’s younger sister is planning a wedding next year and

her fiancé was encouraging her to ‘take notes,’ along with showing a little

excitement for the next wedding in their family.  I met and exchanged my

phone number with a woman in her fifties who likes country music, goes

to different activities and mentioned a reasonably priced concert coming

up in Columbus. I mentioned I love movies and going out locally, since I

tend to like to have one or two drinks and worry about sleepiness while

driving back from Columbus. Unless I could pre-arrange staying with my

youngest daughter in what is now called, “Olde Towne East.” We will see

if Pat calls me, since I was not as enthusiastic about a Thursday concert,

the one that is low cost.

I spent a lot of time with the bride’s grandmother, Ginny, who has been

a good friend for more years than the two children knew each other. She

and I met at a nursing home, where I was the activities director for over

four years. She was the home’s hairdresser, so we teamed up with her

bringing down people to the activities room, along with my assistant and

I, had coffee and donuts along with a weekly craft time. It made me feel

‘good’ for my own self, but not so much for the current residents, ones

who lived there after I was hired up at the preschool with the special

needs little ones. She told me that basically they didn’t collaborate or

work their schedules around her clients’ scheduled days (she works as

a part-time hairdresser, only twice a week.) Of course, it is a bittersweet

thought when she compliments me this way: “It never was the same

after you left! Lori, (my assistant) moved on to drive the disabilities van

and the city wide system bus.”

I got up and danced with the bridesmaids to a nice Chicago tune, then

pulled Ginny up to the dance floor for “Twist and Shout.” I ended up

leaving after ten o’clock, while the night was still ‘young’ and lively!

It had been a perfect day for a wedding, after all.

A little rain is supposed to bring you luck, along with the sun popping out,

when the couple came out of the church, bubbles floating around their heads.

The wedding party boarded a trolley car which whisked them somewhere

not divulged, to take photographs and begin their celebrating a marriage

I do believe will last.

It began at such an innocent age allowing time to grow, develop and

become true love.