Saturday, December 12, 2015

LITTLE SOMETHING EXTRA...FOR SOMEONE...



      
Sigh...looks like you're it, little tree. 
         Only tree left on the lot so...guess what?
                                I choose you!
 

 
Hey, I didn't mean you were ugly...you just looked
awful lonely out there by yourself. 
Here, take my blankie...
you'll like it. 
Now there, is that better?
 
 

 
 
                             
I knew it, I knew it...you just needed some love!
       You're the prettiest tree in the world!  Wow!

                                       
* These three pictures of Linus and the little tree are taken from Peanuts by Charles Schulz.  Some of the words are mine combined with some of Schulz's thoughts/words. 
Thanks to him for his genius!

This time of the year is wonderful, in ever so many ways.  I feel like Christmas is every day ~ for many reasons but mainly because of the great improvement in Michael's health.

Add to that the birth of our very first great grandchild, and a girl at that.  This part of the Beall clan has been loaded with males...now we've girls.  M said it would be amazing if our great-grands would all be girls...sure would.  Ellie is a week old and of course she is beautifully gorgeous.  Why not?

Another blessing is a healthy and contented family...on the whole! 

Looking around...reading, listening brings to mind others who, at this particular time, are not so fortunate.  Sickness pops up at very inopportune times...as it did with us last Christmas.  We had great plans to spend a few days with our family a couple of hours from here.

Didn't happen...Christmas Eve Michael was very ill and just couldn't make it out of bed.  So, we spent Christmas at home, medicating and meditating.  By Sunday he was hospitalized until New Year's Eve.  Hey, we had a wonderful series of late celebrations and everything ended well.

Stuff happens!  Right?  A few years ago one of our sons was given the unpleasant task of terminating an employee just before Christmas.  He shared with us his feelings that day...said he drove around the block several times before he could go in to break the news of someone's termination.  How sad is that?  And yet, it happens quite often.  Bleak news to cast a pall on a beautiful holiday!

For some, it's a Christmas...
their first Christmas...without a loved one that passed on.  
For some, it's a Christmas...
one of many...w/out their loved one who is serving our country.
For some, it's a Christmas...
of being homeless.
For some, it's a Christmas...
of being in Rehab.
For some, it's a Christmas...
of being a Scrooge.
For some, it's a Christmas...
of sharing and caring.
For you, it's a Christmas...of...?

I have everything I can think of...I want nothing.  Others may have nothing and I'd never know it.  I try to keep my eyes wide open, searching the faces and actions of others ~ who knows what's going on inside...behind those eyes?

It doesn't need to be some big deal...it doesn't.  Think of people you know who might be going through some difficult times...think of those who might want or need a little happy thought, a touch, smile, card...opportunities are endless, right? 

I'm often the recipient of little things.  Like what?  I encounter the nicest people while grocery shopping...I actually enjoy the grocery experience.  This week there was a elderly gentleman behind me in the check-out line and before I could begin he totally unloaded my cart...very meticulously! 

Same day, a tiny little lady couldn't find gingerbread mix...no wonder; she was so short she just couldn't see that high up!  We had a fun time selecting it; she was charming and appreciative.  Also met another one of those big, policemen and was able to tell him how proud/happy I was of how the police protect us...he was so nice.

Sometimes people simply want to share very personal feelings; it does us good to share and express how those things affect us...you never know! 

I am reminded that Christmas isn't a date, it's a state of mind...24/7. 
Something I am trying to practice...God, please help me do this.

In closing, since these pictures are from Peanuts and Charles Schulz, here's a quote from the talented gentleman:
Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone." 

Merry Christmas...A little something from my heart, to yours! 
 

Vasca





Thursday, December 10, 2015

THE LIST...



"Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate."
 
November along with Thanksgiving is gone...my goodness, time has flown and Christmas is sweeping in.  Hard to believe we're almost into 2016!

Hopefully politics will play it low-key for a few weeks; unlikely but one can hope!  Someone said it would be wonderful if we could bottle the holiday spirit and have it year-round...wouldn't that be something?
 
I really love the time of year from Thanksgiving thru' New Year's Day.  There's just some magic in the air; the music (brings tears to my eyes...love it), smiles, decorations...more love, lots of love and happiness.  Stores are filled with shoppers...families shopping together...guys shopping w/o a female advisor...females flocked together...comparison shoppers!  You name it...they're out there. 

I don't have a Christmas list...so I'll have fun being surprised on Christmas morning and I love surprises.  If you have a 'Bucket List' for Christmas...you might get it, how 'bout that?

Along that line, here's a bucket list from Facebook this week...gave me some things to think about!  
 
 
BE PRESENT:
Most of us try our best to be with our families;
 but there are times when it isn't possible.

I've guilty feelings around holidays
because I know there are so many
who have no loved ones around
to spend time with...or maybe they have no family period.
 
What do they do during holidays?                                        
Many people issue a blanket invitation
to anyone who has no plans for Christmas...
come and join them.  Times seem a bit               
dangerous these days and we're all a bit
skittish around opening ourselves to
those we haven't a clue about.   Must be a way!

 
WRAP IN HUGS: Hugs are a 'dime-a-dozen'...in other words they're always available and right handy!  I'm a hugger...now I know there are those who do not hug and that's okay.  They are safe!  Actually I don't usually hug strangers but on occasions I've encountered groups who were out and about 'mass hugging' to make everyone's day.  It was fun and heart-warming at the same time.  Don't be afraid to give hugs! 

SEND LOVE: 
How would you...how do you send love?                                          
Not specifically by mail...
there are other ways! 
It is nice to receive a note by snail mail, e-mail,
messaging by cell or land line. 
But, how about body language? 
Well, let's not get too personal...
don't want to be offensive, do we? 
I sort of send love with my eyes...
think it transmits pretty well. 
We say much w/our physical actions!  Yep!




DONATE FOOD:
Wow...there's lots and lots of food
around during the holiday season.
Sweets galore, everything in
abundance and plenty to share!
Opportunities abound to help
see that it gets around to others
who maybe don't have enough.
Sharing is a thing this country
does well...thankfully!


 
MAKE MEMORIES:  
Michael and I have no traditional
things for holiday times.                                                  

Don't ask why, we just don't.  I  remember my dad always brought
home bags of oranges,
apples and lot of nuts. 
We each had one gift under the tree...
oh my, such happy memories. 
Michael's family was always dressed
to the hilt by his mother and grandmother...
for formal pictures. 
Those ladies were very proper! 
And for Christmas dinner out came the special dishes;
china, crystal and sterling silver!

 
 

BE THE LIGHT: 
Have you ever been panic stricken and prayed for light...any light?  I have and I was immobile and terrified.  Then there are times when I simply needed someone to look at me with light in their eyes...giving me a quiet, reassuring message...you ever been there? 

Christmas time can be especially stressful for people...think about it.  Just this week I read of a mother and her son walking home and he was begging her to buy a Christmas tree; she told him over and over they simply couldn't afford one.  Another 'walker' was listening, watching...stopped the woman and got them a tree.  'Walker' was a light. 



Thank you, God...for lighting my life and giving us the reason for this season...your Son.  That's what it's all about.

P.S. I agree with you, Charlie Brown...right on target...thanks!

From my happy heart...to yours, Vasca

*Pictures by Charles Schulz 'Peanuts'



 
 
 

 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

NO LIMITS...

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
"By 20, you should be smart.  By 30, you should be strong.
By 40, you should be rich.  By 50, you should be wise.                                   
But...If you are smart, strong, rich and wise, you don't need any age limits."
Santosh Kalwar
 
Thanksgiving Day is 'bout here...two more days!  Families are already gathering, someone is doing lots of baking...turkey, pies...all kinds of delicious goodies and the scales are put away for awhile. Gracious...might better hide 'em until after New Year's...you think?
 
I really like this time of year...love the fall temperatures...crispness...sleeping in a warm bed...in a cozy home...with someone I so love!  Aah, life is good and I'm most thankful.
 
The quote above caught my eye; I was already thinking about how 'every day should be ‘Thanksgiving' and really there's no limit to our thankfulness, whatever our age or stage in life.
 
Well, we actually can't eat like 'the day' every day...or should we?  Wow, we couldn't get through the door!  But, for that day with all the leftovers, it sure is good...isn't it?
Here’s my take on the quote:
By 20, I should be smart:
At 20...M and I were not yet married but we were 'thinking about it'...I was thinkin’ more than M.  Since it takes two I practiced patience; at 22 we were there!  Yay! 
 
By 23 we had Steven...by 25 we had Jeffrey...by 26 we had Patrick...by 28 we had Scott.  Whew...so much for smart by 20...I was a slow learner! By 29, I was smart (enough).
 
By 30, I should be strong:
At 30 M and I had moved 6 times...yikes!  At 32 we had a huge career change and 'joined the army'...yay!  In the interim 'tween 30 and 40 we had moved to Greece, seen M off to Viet Nam then off to Africa, Virginia and Oklahoma.  Life was busy and I had three major emergency surgeries w/o Michael around.  
By 30, believe me I was strong!
 
By 40, I should be rich:
Turning into the 40th year of my life brought changes...monetarily speaking the cash flow turned into a drought as in college for four sons!  We were blest being able  to live in Norman those years...whew, the boys could live at home! Monetary riches are not what's important, right?  We had always been rich in love with all the trimmings!  We just didn't worry about finances...we never had leftover or savings but God always saw that we had enough at just the right time...HE's good about that, always!
 
While there, Michael served as an Elder for the first time...richness in many forms came with that as in growing in Him.  We also worked with the Univ. of Oklahoma student ministry in Norman...talk about rich?  Wow! That experience is ongoing...we're Facebook friends with many of those 'kids'...now they're 'grown-ups'. 
 
At 49 M had retired from the military and become a hospital/school administrator…another career! Our sons finished their college work, married and established families... careers...more riches for us!  Grandchildren...well now, how rich is that? By the end of my forties, I was covered in riches!
 
By 50, I should be wise:
I was not the smartest on the block, ever...but I was and still am curious!  Sometimes I think I mouth off too much and that's not good...my bad.  Some people are just slower than others and that's probably me!  But, along the way I've gleaned perhaps a little wisdom. 
 
The gain is due to such a patient God and my loving companion Michael...he's very wise!
 
After M’s second retirement we moved to help His work in Wisconsin...M also served as an Elder there and we matured some more...as in wisdom!  Step by step I've learned a few things...from 50 on God was completely in charge and age just had no limits. 
 
 
How could it?  Who would consider moving to China in their 70's?  Well, we aren't the Lone Ranger's in that department but there aren't a flood of 'em...it took a lot of all of the above stages/experiences for us to make a go of it...God was there every step of the way!
 
We've had Thanksgiving Days all over the world; taught our Greek, German, Dutch, Ethiopian and Chinese friends about Thanksgiving Day...they seemed to like it…very interested in learning about turkeys!
 
Winding down...I just put my hand on my heart and let it stay there for a bit...to get the beat...the feel of it. You see, it's a different heart than I used to have...I have His heart, I am His child.  And trust me, with Him there is no age limit...and it's awesome!   
 
Thanksgiving Day and every day, I thank you Father...for caring so for me...
I love you!
From my heart...to yours, Vasca