Saturday, December 21, 2013


Especially for you, Leanne, a green-robed Father Christmas
Two people in the past week have commented here to wonder where I am. I think they meant, "Are you still alive?"
I am still here. My surgery went very well and my recovery went smoothly. My surgeon was able to do everything laparoscopically. I can now bend over and kneel down without pain and nausea. I can even sneeze without pain again!
My deck is built, my roof has new shingles and gutters were finally installed. These (including the surgery) were my big projects for the year and they are all accomplished. Of course, now I'm planning projects for next year, mostly for the yard.
This may end up being my one and only Christmas post. A few months ago I had thought about not having Christmas at all. With Dan being gone, I know it will not be the same. He loved Christmas!
Kristen had even invited me out to stay with her in Virginia, thinking we would be less sad, but I told her that it will be sad anywhere we are, and I didn't want to board Gracie.
I finally decided to observe the holidays in the full-blown way I always have. I decided that to not celebrate this most wonderful time of the year would not be fair to Kristen or to my sister's family.
I did break down and buy an artificial tree after 40 years of buying real trees with Dan. Although I miss the evergreen scent, I don't have to deal with a dried-out tree and needles everywhere. The tree is pre-lit with tiny white lights, which is good, because the bubble lights Dan and I always used - as a tribute to our 1950s childhoods - were becoming harder and harder to find, and the ones we had mostly quit bubbling.
I also did not want to drag out the 30 years of ornaments we had accumulated since our house fire in 1982, so I bought ornaments reflecting my love of nature - birds, butterflies and dragonflies.
Thing have not all been hunky dory in the past few weeks. We had an ice storm two weeks ago and I fell and sprained my hand. At least I was not one of the many, many Bismarck residents who ended up in the emergency room with broken bones.
I have also had terrible trouble with my car not starting in this awful cold. But finally - after many dollars spent,  with new battery, engine heater fixed, new plugs and points, it is ready to withstand those -20 mornings we've already experienced this season.
Even after this horrible, horrible year of 2013, life is full of blessings, the main one right now being the fact that Kristen flies in Monday morning! I am warm and fed and loved and gainfully employed, and will soon be celebrating Christmas with my family.
So Best Solstice, Yule and Christmas Wishes to all of you and hopes for 2014 to be the best ever.


Kath said...

Dear Julie, that's the weirdest thing, as I was wondering how you were doing, just yesterday. I was so happy to see your post pop up on my goggle list. I understand how tough it is for you, as
I remember how hard Christmas was for Mum and myself after my Dad died, he loved Christmas so much. I wish you are peaceful and blessed time, please know that your friend many miles away is sending you love.

Mary said...

Lovely to find a post up from you dear Julie - I too have been thinking of you a lot as the holidays rolled around. I do recall you and Dan shopping for your tree and enjoying the decorating, then Kristen coming home to join in the celebrations. I'm thankful she is coming home this year especially - the two of you will enjoy spending this time of year together - sad moments I'm sure, but good memories to share also.

Glad things are going well dear friends - looking forward to more from you in the New Year. Take care on the ice - sorry about your injury - but glad your surgery is in the past now and that you can move in comfort again.

Happy Christmas - Dan would want that for you and Kristen - and blessings for a healthy and happy New Year too.

Much love, Mary (and Bob)

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

I was thinking about you - and the time of the year. I'm glad you are embracing the holidays - and your new decorations sound fabulous. Enjoy when you can, and keep your wonderful memories close. Merry Merry Christmas - and many hugs.

Leanne said...

Thank you for the picture at the top Julie, he's fab! I am glad my card got to you in time! you never know with international post!

Its lovely to see a post, this has been a difficult year for you, and youre coming through it Julie, with strength and grace (and gracie!)I hope you have a wonderful holidays, Dan would have wanted that. I will send an email in the next day, but in the meantime, send love, light and blesings to you

Leanne x

WOL said...

I hope you have some quiet time to rest, reflect and comb out your memories of your dear Dan, pick out the beautiful ones and plait them round your heart. I hope you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy in the bitter cold weather.

We have passed through the longest night.
Now is the returning of the light.

Kim Campbell said...

Have a wonderful Christmas Julie!!!