Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hark the Herald Hodgepodge

 It's been a busy week at our house. I had the little granddaughters here last week for a few days, and didn't make it to the Hodgepodge. I really don't know how those young mommy bloggers do it! I'm glad to be back this week, and have finally come to the realization that Christmas is just around the corner. How did that happen?
Please enjoy reading my answers, then click on over to visit Joyce and the others.
1.  So, when did you last take a walk in the woods? A stroll along the beach? A drive going nowhere in particular in the car? 
My last walk in the woods was this fall with my young geocacher.
My last walk on the beach was last month, in Haiti.
And my last drive going nowhere in particular in the car was probably... 1998? when the kids and I took off in the car for an overnight adventure with no destination in mind. I had little slips of paper they took turns drawing from a bag that said things like: 'stop at at church', 'stop and buy a pop from a machine', and 'stop in a college town', which we did along the way. We ended up just south of Chicago, where we spent the night, then drove into the city the next morning. It was fun and memorable.

2.  Are you sending Christmas cards this year?  About how many do you send?  Photo card or something more traditional?  How do you display the cards you receive?
I love Christmas cards. I love sending them, and I love receiving them. I guess I send around 50, and our card always includes a photo. I usually tape them up in the dining room so we can enjoy them all season.

3. What's a word you've heard too much of in the past week?
Sick. We have been. Husband. Son. Daughter-in-law. 2 granddaughters. 1 grandson. And a partridge in a pear tree me. No. Fun. At all.

4. December 13th is National Cocoa Day-are you a fan?  Plain or flavored?  Marshmallows or no marshmallows?
 I am a fan of cocoa, usually called hot chocolate around here. It's a great winter warm-up, especially since I don't drink coffee. My favorite? Peppermint, of course. With or without marshmallows. Mmmmmm.

 5. What is something you do to help alleviate the hectic pace of the Christmas season?
#1: Stay away from the mall. :) 
Enjoy the quiet of the Christmas tree in the evening or early morning. Focus on the reason for the season.
6. Besides jewelry, what's a favorite sparkly-glittery item in your home or closet?
Our little business is all about bling, and I spend a good deal of time 'stoning' clothing for our clients so that they will shine in the (horse) show ring. You can read the details here. 
There's not much bling in my own closet, but when we purchased jackets with our business logo, we thought it only fitting that we add just a little sparkle.

7. Share a favorite line or two from any Christmas carol.
I think I have shared this before, but I love this verse from In the Bleak Midwinter:
What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb,
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part,
Yet what can I give him, give him my heart.

And from Joy to the World:
He rules the world, with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of his righteousness,
And wonders of his love, and wonders of his love,
And wonders, wonders of his love.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Our little town is reeling from a plane crash that killed two young couples ten days ago. The crash happened just about a mile from our small airport in foggy conditions. The pilot, his wife, and the couple they were traveling with were all killed in the crash. One couple leaves four teenage daughters, the other leaves two teenage sons.

And we ask why, and what if, when we can't understand, and when the only answer is "I don't know."

What we do know is that a community has rallied around a hurting family, hurting children. Where most everyone in town was touched by those who are gone from us. We know there are hard days ahead, so many questions. We do know that those families, those children will be surrounded by love and we pray that they will keep memories close, drawing strength and comfort. And we know that the God of joyful days is the same as the God of dark days. The same. Yesterday, today, forever.

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  Jeremiah 29:10-12

"That gives thanks in the pitch and the thunder, the wind and Gethsemane black, that gives thanks even staring into the face of death because it sees His face in all things -- because it fiercely believes in relentless Grace and the Hound of Heaven who can't stop pursuing in Love." -Ann Voskamp

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