Pleasures


Saturday morning. Ahh. There is definitely something special about a Saturday morning.

Our nest is empty (has always been empty, really), and work is a fluid, flexible thing. But Saturday morning still brings a special feeling about it.

It represents the end of a productive week. It seldom has appointments or specific time slots on the calendar. It gives us plenty of breathing room.

If I could construct a perfect Saturday morning, it would look something like this…

Sunrise

First of all, it would be in the summer, because it would include waking up early, with the sun. The first cup of coffee would be down by the pool, breathing in the fragrance of the roses outlining the deck.

This lovely prelude to the day would last as long as our Corgi dear could postpone his morning walk. But the walk itself would be refreshing, and we would return to another cup of coffee and some breakfast on the deck. The view of our garden and pool would be rivaled only by the horses in the neighboring yard.

Dylan by the Pool

There would be some reading involved. Some magazines, newspapers, emails, etc. But mostly, it would be the time that the three of us would hang out before going about our day – however that played out for each of us.

Grasses against the clouds

The best thing about this perfect Saturday morning? It is very close to my every morning. Whether it be summer of winter, the relaxed feel of morning routine is quite a luxury!

Advertisements

It would not be Christmas for me, if I didn’t revisit Erma Bombeck’s much read Christmas post.

Where did Christmas go?

There is nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.

Not to feel the cold on your bare feet as you rush to the Christmas tree in the living room. Not to have your eyes sparkle at the wonderment of discovery. Not to rip the ribbons off the shiny boxes with such abandon.

What happened?

When did the cold, bare feet give way to reason and a pair of sensible bedroom slippers? When did the sparkle and the wonderment give way to depression of a long day? When did a box with a shiny ribbon mean an item on the “charge?”  

A child of Christmas doesn’t have to be a toddler or a teen.  A child of Christmas is anyone who believes that Kings have birthdays.

The Christmases you loved so well are gone. What happened?

Maybe they diminished the year you decided to have your Christmas cards printed to send to 1,500 of your “closest friends and dearest obligations.” You got too busy to sign your own name.

Maybe it was the year you discovered the traditional Christmas tree was a fire hazard and the needles had to be vacuumed every three hours and you traded its holiday aroma for a silver one that revolved, changed colors, played “Silent Night” and snowed on itself.

Or the year it got to be too much trouble to sit around the table and put popcorn and cranberries on a string. Possibly you lost your childhood the year you solved your gift problems neatly and coldly with a checkbook.

Think about it. It might have been the year you were too rushed to bake and resorted to slice-and-bake with no nonsense. Who needs a bowl to clean — or lick?

Most likely it was the year you were so efficient in paying back all your party obligations. A wonderful little caterer did it for you for $3 per person.

Children of Christmas are givers. That’s what the day is for. They give thanks, love, gratitude, joy and themselves to one another.

It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have children around a tree. It’s rather like lighting a candle you’ve been saving, caroling when your feet are cold, building a fire in a clean grate, grinding tinsel deep into the rug, licking frosting off a beater, giving something you made yourself.

It’s laughter, being with people you like, and at some time falling to your knees and saying, “Thank You for coming to my birthday party.”

How sad indeed to awake on Christmas and not be a child.

Time, self-pity, apathy, bitterness and exhaustion can take the Christmas out of the child, but you cannot take the child out of Christmas.

_________________________________________________________

Erma Bombeck died in 1996.  I would venture to say that she achieved what she hoped for as she stood before God.  What a wonderful talent she had.  A true gift for making people smile.  And for challenging us to embrace what really matters in life.

200621358370016506_EpPIq0KD_c

Photo via Dalycia Phipps, Pinterest

One last day of gorgeous weather before our extraordinary luck of a warm fall runs out.  It didn’t take much for us to drop everything and head to the hills.  The colorful rolling hills of the Ozarks.  This is one of the benefits of having a very fluid schedule.

 

We grabbed one more opportunity for a beautiful picnic, on the creek and surrounded by trees that were nearly bare.  Only a few lone leaves clung to otherwise empty branches.  The bright leaves at our feet decorated the setting.

Fall is my favorite season.  The rural spaces of West Chester were spectacular in the fall.  Our country drives became very special during that time.  I had the fleeting thought that if I were approaching the end of my life, I would want to bundle up and head out in the convertible to drive hours and hours around that stunning landscape. I can think of nothing better.

My Dad’s favorite season was Spring.  I never knew that.  He passed away in 2000 and my Mom told me that he was glad that he would die in Spring.  She said that he used to get invigorated every spring and start thinking about buying some land.  Itching to get closer to his farming roots, I suppose.   Of course he never did.  Just one of the things I wish I had known when he was living.

Note to self:  ask Mom what her favorite season is…

 

A beautiful 70 degree today, and one can really appreciate the flowering trees and greening grass.

I forget how relaxing a ‘rock’ in the rocking chair on a beautiful evening can be. Guess I will be a really good old person!

Cherry tomatoes in our omlette for breakfast. Amazingly fresh French bread with a thick tomato slide on our picnic for lunch. Grilled shrimp and tomatoes for dinner.

Yum. It must be August!

Remember May day? I do.

There were many things I liked about May day. I supposed it was a sign that summer would soon be here and school would be out. But mostly I remember making paper cones in school and filling them will lilacs to take home to our mothers and neighbors.

I don’t suppose anyone makes flower baskets in school any longer. Next year, maybe I will…

After a snow-filled winter, we have been favored with a beautiful spring so far.  Who would have guessed when there was still snow on the ground just one month ago, that we would have already had several picnics in balmy weather by now?

The place setting for our Easter picnic was not really a profound recognition of birth and rebirth, although I wish I’d thought of that at the time.  Chalk it up to having run out of all other disposable plates.  But appropriate none the less.

We are enjoying trees bursting with color.  The grass greening up to create those soothing rolling hills.  And we are eager to see new lambs on neighboring farms.

But we don’t even have to leave home for one of our simple pleasures… the smell of spring, the birds playing in the trees, new herbs poking up in the beds and the view of our still dormant vineyard from our relaxing rocking chairs on the deck.  What a setting…

Next Page »