Happy Endings

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Keep waiting patiently, she heard
Love, whispering to her broken heart
Desperation, has never lived here
You’re okay just as you are, believe
Envisioning, a fairytale happy ending

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Yuan-fen 缘分

For my friend, Randall, the Oregon Cowboy, one man in pursuit of his 缘分 (yuan-fen). My hope is that I have a small piece of you, Randall, figured out. My prayer will be safe travels for you always in China. May you find all that your heart and hard work are leading you towards. Take this poem and make it yours.
~ Audrey

Craving emotion found in poetry
You found me
You’ve seen my soul
Now, let me see yours
I’d love to know
What joy is found in yuan-fen 缘分
Small town boy

You’ve caught my attention, my passion
Yuan-fen links destiny and action
Devine thoughts, Oregon cowboy
Your mind awaits fate’s reaction
Could these two dance, forever after
I understand, pre-ordained
The life we have been given

I too, seek reaction
A constant flow
You say destiny waits on me
The answers, humanity holds
You’re reaction waits on you, too
Humanity needs a push
How about you

What are we left to conclude
Choose to take
Offer to forgo
The path defined by yuan-fen 缘分
Yuan 缘 pulls two souls together
Fen 分 the depths of hard work
A journey of enlightenment

A cowboy with a camera
Traveler, who are you
Mysterious
Kindred
Moving towards self discovery
Mighty diligence of pursuits
A heart similar to mine

The great unknown
Powerful
Alive, yet hidden in mystery
Trust without fear
Bravery, you inspire me
Are you comfortable with your soul
Leading through such amazing photos

A fated life worth the work
Deeper than simplicities
Choices never ending
Our object of selection
Must be proven by our path
Says your ancient Chinese, yuan-fen symbols
We must relax

You have it all figured out, Photographer
Philosopher, owner of an extraordinary mind
Own it
Believe it
Sell it to me straight
Impressive expression, solo rider

Your art, like mine,
Quite a solitary life
Single soulful being,
In the pursuit of a dream
Yuan-fen your motivator
Karma, your powerful stream
Photographer, you help me to believe

Curable

I saw you standing there
Knocking
Let me in
Address Eden
Come sit beside me
Blackened heart of yesterday’s evils
Much to learn from hearts that beat
Red in color pulsing deep
Rest in comfort
In all that is green
Let me tell you
About a boy
Heaven’s Majesty
My eyes see
Black is curable
Love is all you need

Passenger Train

Passenger train take me with you
The steep mountains won’t hinder
Raised with a will to prevail
Witnessing the hills you’ll race
Up then down
Clear with abundance
Ease
Eyes wide open
Longing for uncharted territory
Isn’t that all part of the thrill
Passenger train I hear the noise
Louder and louder it arrives
Your sounds fill my mind
Your power
Stirs my soul
Leaving me
Reminded
Grasping at solid foundations
Powerful work
Exhausting
Distance needed to travel
Shan’t be my concern
Fearing a loss pushes my imperfections
The beginning and end start with breath
Passenger train keep seeking
Allow me one more ride

Reality

Get back here!
Right now!

Where have you gone?
Did I, your sister, say you could go?

Sadness sets in, but I refuse to let it take me.
It wasn’t my intension to let you get away so easily.

Back to life you and I must journey.
This vacation is killing me.

Puffy eyes, have I.
I’m acting pitifully.

Get over it, Aud!
This, my dear, reality.

You

Happy New Year!! Thanks for an awesome ending to 2013. I can’t even begin to describe my feelings towards 2014.

This next year is going to rock. I feel it deep down. I hope you feel it for yourselves, too.

I’ll be here just doing what I do, but the beat will be a lot louder from here on out. Can you handle it? Hold on, it’s about to get crazy up in here!!

Happy New Year!

You.

You did it.

Without knowing, you did it.

What I feel, without knowing, you did it.

You.

You made it.

My heart beating fast, you made it.

What I hear, my heart beating fast, you made it.

You.

You created it.

My mind racing, you created it.

What I think, my mind racing, you created it.

You.

You sense it.

Without admittance, you sense it.

What I am, without admittance, you sense it, too.

One Snowy Night

Did you know that driving from the south end of Texas to the northern part of Texas can be a full days travel? It can and that was Friday’s adventure, we’re moving on.

After waking up in northern Texas, to icy conditions in all of Oklahoma on Saturday, we decided to hang a left and travel across the state. We did this thinking we could possibly drive around the weather. Yea, great idea, save it. I wanted to keep moving so we could still make it to Nebraska by Saturday night.

No such luck!!

It’s amazing how truly large Texas is – it goes on for miles. Miles people, I mean miles. Are you with me here?

The plan was to travel east to Amarillo, TX and then head north. That was the plan. Well, Amarillo was getting snow by Saturday afternoon and we were headed right for it. We opted to turn blindly (Well kinda, I had my GPS.) north at that point since we’d only experienced rain. Actually a light rain really, and more of a mist if anything.

A decision to make a be-line for the Oklahoma / Kansas boarder just north of us sounded like a better plan. It seemed that we had gone west far enough to miss, or out run, the ice.

We had. Well until we hit 5pm on the day of Winter Solstice. (I have lots of pictures to share.)

By then we had driven into snowy conditions with no plow truck in sight, apparently. To me, it appeared that the Oklahoma snow removal budget didn’t allow for much wiggle room, so a shockingly quick snow storm would just have to wait for the sun. The State had called it a day, I guess, or twas the weekend and someone was having a Christmas party.

The roads were a mess. Nothing like driving on a snow covered ice cube to get you reacclamated to driving up North. Nebraska is north when you’re coming from south Texas. Just so we’re clear all you naysayers.

By the time we had driven over Black Kettle National Grassland’s long bridge–nerves were shot. Time to find a hotel, yeah, good luck with that, Aud.

After another 40 minutes or so we came upon Home-Sweet-Home…or the Holiday Hotel…is this some sort of sick twisted joke?

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Yes, I know, but the heat worked and it meant we were off the roads. Bring it on!
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How did they know to have my favorite bird on the wall? Go Cardinals!! #STL

Once inside the room and everything was unpacked from the truck we realized that food was of a necessity, or it was going to be a long night. Not far from the hotel was a restaurant, which felt compelled to confuse me:

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After we’d eaten, and I showed off my totally rad farm girl driving abilities so we could make it up the hills and back to our hotel, we settled down for some rest.

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One thing is for sure, I didn’t sleep as sound as little Kendra seemed to be here. Her mommy made sure she had the best of everything, as she roughed it somewhere in Oklahoma last night.

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Is it possible to be jealous of a little red headed doll?

(Save travels this Christmas! We made it to our destination yeaterday afternoon after a slow slow slow start!!!!!)

Adrenaline

A fast car driving me over rolling hills, closing in on out of control
Roller coasters holding and dipping me quick
Deep sounds of a guitar soothing my soul
Dark windows containing shadows to haunt me
Scary rooms with eerie noises to chase me
My anticipating a peaceful world, dispite of it all

None of it seems to fit in with what you just gifted me. Born; a new adrenaline.

Can’t That Hashbrown Casserole Take A Hint?

I Don’t Care Whether Hashbrown Casserole Goes With Leftover Chicken Noodle Soup or Lasgna

Written by, Audrey Dawn

Preparing meals for my family has always been a priority in my life. I started learning how to cook for my father and three siblings during my sixth grade year of elementary school. As each day passed, I got a little bit better at cooking what everyone loved. I finally feel like I’ve gotten a bunch of my Midwestern culinary staples perfected after years of practice. There are often times I crave eating them, so off to make them I’ll happily go minding my own business. Why can it never be that easy?

There has been a comic on the side of our refrigerator for a few years now:

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Continue reading

Keeping Pace

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This is a photo I took while wandering near the boardwalk. These boats are all making an effort to get in to the marina, as their days have come to an end. It was a beautiful day out at sea, finally a bit warmer, even for south Texas.

These three boats in particular had me thinking. The two prodigious ones have such a presence out in the water, truly no fear. The other a cocky little sailboat who’s grin seems to be illuminating against the water. I am pulling for the sleek sailboat on the left. Its choosing to be near the others is symbolic for me. I can relate with its need to keep up. I identify with how straight and strong his mast is standing. The sailboat has a strange confidence about it and there is nothing more captivating than pure confidence.

Like the sailboat, I also need to continue to be straight, strong and confident in order to reach my goals.

I’m pulling for the sailboat. Aren’t you? I hope it kicks the colossal boats’ butts. In the last few minutes of its journey, I want the cocky sailboat to show its speed and push right past them all. Not in mean way, but more of a he couldn’t help it sort of way, the boat is what the boat is, respectfully.

Today, I’m beginning to see myself as this sailboat, the one with more assurance than it knows what to do with.

I feel it in my soul.

Yesterday, I felt like the small yellow kayak on the right, the one just getting past the stronger unknown in the nick of time. Wafting over the water and then using my oars to paddle to more merciful channels.

I’m over paddling away.

Winter’s Gift – Part 3

“Well, honestly? You’re an Angel. You’re sitting here with me right now. I didn’t even know Angels could do that, Necia. Your presence shocks me, your light silences me and your…your, well I don’t know. I mean, since you’ve arrived I’m not the same,” he shared as openly as he could.

Joe noticed the dirt on his dry, cold and chapped hands. He reached into his right pocket and pulled out his goat skin gloves. He put them on, instantly comforted in knowing he had hidden his soiled hands.

“Joe, I didn’t come to you because I had to, I came to you in spite of my calling. Would you want to be defined by what you do for a living? Aren’t you more than that? I know you are, I’ve watched you. It isn’t just what I am, but it’s also who I am, I agree. I’m also, Necia. I’ve come to you as Necia, I didn’t come to you with my badge first. You understand, right?”

“I don’t even know what to say to that.”

“Try, I need to hear that you’ll try.”

“I can’t even look at you, Necia. How do I speak from such an unfamiliar place?” he asked as he focused on their tree.

“There’s time, I have time for your words, Joe.”

“Speaking isn’t what I know well, you see? I can’t say anyone has pushed back at me in such a way. I work, I maintain these grounds. I’m just a caretaker of sorts, this place is all I know. People confuse me, I haven’t taken the time to invest in this world. You must understand that speaking to you, in this way, is asking a lot of me.”

“Joe, you need to try and trust me. Please know that you are safe with me. Remember the first day…?” she offered to him as she followed his gaze to the tree.

He noticed how just looking at the tree softened her face. He wondered how it was even possible, she was made of such untroubled symmetry. The idea of her beauty going one step further seemed divinely generated.

Going back to their first encounter seemed much safer for Joe. He recalled what she had already told him, but there were still parts he couldn’t get past. In her narration of the first moment, she explained to him that she had seen him working. He had been cleaning stones like a father would tend to his child. Those were her words, not his. He was simply doing his job.

It took him back a few steps to learn that she had first seen him in early August, here at the cemetery and after work. He’d discovered a stone, something the ground had nearly over taken. A bush had been hiding the grave marker, but they’d lost the bush in the freeze last winter. It was August before he’d gotten around to digging it up.

The maps to the cemetery were long gone. Joe had memorized the newer graves and their markers long ago, it came easily to him. He’d figured that most of the really old stones were in obvious places, since there was no way of knowing how to locate each one. It had been some time since anyone had needed his services on that side. The space was left unattended to some degree. He did what he could, but he was only one man.

Grave Stone

He was clearing the rubbish away when he saw the corner piece of the stone peeking through the ground. He started pulling at the overgrowth of grass, which surrounded the quarry, and it revealed a stone.

The piece had engravings on it and his interest was sparked. Joe ran to his truck and grabbed his bag. There was a time when all Joe wanted out of life was to be an archeologist, the idea of uncovering lost treasures, bones and identification from long ago thrilled him. It was probably simple of him to get so excited over something so meager in comparison, pathetic really. After work, he often times found himself with his paper and lead. There was nothing better than being lost in a story he’d created, while being cautious of not abrading the limestone slab.

“You saw me at the Davis stone that evening,” he said watching her settle herself on to the tree trunk. “I wasn’t aware I was being watched and especially not by you.” Joe took his left glove off and slapped the side of his leg. He rubbed his hand down his worn out blue jeans. He allowed for a bit of friction between his hand and the jeans, unaware that this nervous tic of his was noticed by Necia.

“It was the first time I’d allowed you to notice me watching you.” she admitted.

“I don’t know what made me look up and over towards the brush. I’d heard a rustle in the leaves. I thought it was a deer looking for food. I was curious, I guess.”

“You were so busy. I enjoyed watching your face, as your thoughts had you transported somewhere else. I wanted to know where you were, and if by chance it was somewhere we could go together.” Necia admitted easily.

He was envious of her calm assurance when speaking to him. He couldn’t make his eyes meet hers. “Necia, you let me look at you. I couldn’t turn away. I worried that the slightest move would make you disappear.” Joe was well aware that she knew he’d be caught off guard, he didn’t need to remind her.

“I waited a few minutes, so you could relax in hopes that you’d remember me when I returned another day.”

“I may never forget that moment, Necia. When I saw you it was like seeing a ghost.” Joe mentioned while watching a feather being caressed by the wind, as it floated to the ground. He fought the urge to grab it, the sudden start and stop of bending down he hoped went unnoticed, as he tried to focus on her.

“I knew the first time would be the hardest to comprehend, so I came to you venerable, Joe.” Necia said as if understanding where his mind was then. She bent down and lightly picked up the feather and placed it into his left hand.

“I appreciate that. Resplendently venerable, I’d say,” he whispered remembering the sight of her wings. He was taken off guard by his hands, they were shaking. Joe looked up quickly just sure that she’d vanished.

(Winter’s Gift Parts One and Two)

Grave Stone (Photo credit: patrick.ward04)

Mental Canvas

Doesn’t a long excursion to the country sound extravagant during the Christmas season? Who has time for that, right? I want one anyway and I aim to get it. I do some of my best thinking on an empty road. Today, I prefer an open road, one without much traffic and very few trees to block my view. I want to see for miles.

Do you ever feel like the city walls are closing in on you? I’m thankful that in the surrounding areas of Houston we have nature reserves, lakes, bayous, and plenty of lifestyle nature parks for a quick retreat. Unfortunately, parks aren’t what I’m looking for this morning.

I recall having a conversation with my Grandma K while driving near Superior, Wisconsin years ago. I was up in the northern part Wisconsin visiting her and the neighboring areas. We had decided to rise early, drive to Lake Superior, then board a ferry all in an effort to experience Madeline Island for the day. I made a mental note to acknowledge how important this time with my grandmother would be and I’d chosen not to let it slip away once my visit was over. Time with our beloved grandparents will slip away from us, we all know it will.

Our wilderness drive was producing a lot of laughter. We’d successfully updated everyone in the car on how life was going and even pulled off at a road side store to purchase cheese curds. Stopping for cheese is a welcomed event. An experience you don’t put off for another time just because you have a scheduled day ahead of you. We were relishing our time together. We’ve never had enough time together.

Stop. Back to the cheese. I can’t focus until we talk for a second about Wisconsin cheese.

Northern Wisconsin is an adventure in of itself, but they also have great cheese. When driving in this part of our country, buy cheese when the cheese curd opportunity beckons you from the side of the road. You pull over and you purchase more than you think you need. You must eat cheese when you see cheese, and you’ll do it happily. Trust me. There is no other way, not if you’re going to pay homage to the cheese respectfully.

Okay, back to Grandma and my need for a lucid drive.

Anyway, we were on the road and I think every story she or I shared had been interpreted. This delay was by me saying something similar or even exactly to, “Just look at the trees, Grandma. They’re everywhere and so beautiful, you must never get tired of looking at them.”

To that she replied with an absolute reaction. “I can’t stand them.”

Yea, that’s Grandma K, she doesn’t mince her words.

She grew up in Wisconsin, raised her family in Kansas, and moved back north when I was a child. She went on to tell me that she didn’t appreciate the tall oaks, cedars and pine trees blocking her view every day, usually all day long. She explained they inhibited her ability to see everything around her. She simplified it by comparing northern Wisconsin to Kansas. She noted that moving to the grasslands of Kansas had been startling, because she could see across the great plains for miles.

What she helped me realize is that none of the topography she encountered in Kansas blocked her mental canvas. Apparently, she preferred a clear view, and now I’m beginning to understand why. The open road of life provides a beautiful picture of this miraculous world we’ve been given. It’s satisfying to get out and experience it.

This story remains in my mind fifteen years later. At the time I remember thinking that she had a point. I can’t tell what’s beyond  the next curve, either. And yeah, it does feel a bit like the trees are closing in on me. Yet, I still found myself lost in the idea of what could happen inside those trees. I still look at groups of trees and create stories. I enjoy being surrounded by them.

What’s really funny about the whole day is that this conversation, out of all the important conversations a granddaughter should remember having with her aging grandmother, is the one that resonates with me. Our discussion still comes to mind when I go for a drive. She nailed it. She and I are similar in this need to fight our way out of the junk, which can smother our view. My mental canvas also needs an open road, if only for a short drive.

Today, our conversation weighs on my mind. Grandma’s right, being able to see the sky from left to right and witness the horizon in front of me, is what I routinely crave, as well. My drive needs to be where I can see this abundance of life that God created. I feel this gravitational pull to remember that there is a bounty of life we miss out on when we don’t get out for a drive . I owe it myself to go looking for an open road. I owe it to my mental canvas.

Great Grandma Elsie

At the end of the day a brown mending basket and sewing kit sit next to the bed,

Buttons to sew and seams to stitch all in a neat pile, please fix this, they said.

When did Grandma Elsie’s patching duties submit themselves to Audrey?

Choosing to blink, now dreaming of ingredients to couple with yeast.

 Yes, its possible, a modern woman working the flour, is it only me?

Will recipes materialize, should be better than the garbage we eat.

Slow progression to Great Grandma Elsie’s bakery, it seems.

I look in the mirror at this red curly, crazy hair.

I can’t help but see her familiar stare.

Who the heck is this person I see,

 When did I

become

Elsie?

Wednesday’s Window: Show and Tell

It pains me to consider what I’d do if my bookshelf went up in flames today.

I find this little show and tell situation a bit daunting. Who could choose just five books? Well, I know I couldn’t, let’s start there. I decided that in order to make this a bit easier on myself, I’d simply choose one from each shelf on my bookcase.

No, I didn’t go and rearrange my favorites in order to save them. I think that limiting myself to a shelf at a time helped to increase the atmosphere. You know it fed into that philosophical way of thinking that we all share:

RULES IS RULES, PAL!

I’m quoting Spanky from the Little Rascals, incase you need a reference. He’s President of the He-Man Wuman Hater’s Club, if you want his credentials before agreeing to my strict guidelines. 😉

1. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness – I choose this novel based on the way the author writes her men. My heart starts beating faster just thinking of Harkness’ Matthew. This one is an extreme guilty pleasure because it’s about vampires and witches. Two photos come to mind when I think of this book:

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2. The Bible. No other explanation needed if you’ve been reading my blog for any time at all. I relate to Moses. Kindred souls, are we. Well, not the killing, the breaking of the Commandment tablets or 40 day walk, but more like,

Exodus 4:10 Moses said to the Lord, “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” 11 The Lord said to him, ” Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

Yeah, more like that measure of Moses, the burning bush version.

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3. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Have you ever needed to go so far deep into yourself to find courage that continuing on down the black hole of your soul frightens you? And then were you shocked that you found peace there? You, too? We should talk.

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4. Fall of Giants by Ken Follett

I’m choosing this one, because I started it thinking my friend, Wendie, was crazy for recommending a book this size. I didn’t have time to read this beast of a book.  The book was humongous, extremely historical and most of all…bloody fantastic. I never thought this genre would sweep me off my feet, but it has a way of going about it. Sneaky, it is!

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5. As You Like It by William Shakespeare

*** “All the world’s a stage

And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,

And one man in his time plays many parts …” ***

We must remember to play each of our given roles, am I right? Oh, I think we need coffee for this one. Nothing like a good story about reconciliation and forgiveness, the countryside, forests of France and a chance to read about every aspect of love in one place. What am I doing? I can’t even begin to find the words for how much I enjoy this one.

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That’s it, I’m done!! Play along or don’t play. It really doesn’t bother me either way. That rhymes… 😉

( I hope there is never a fire, because this little “get to know me game” stressed me out. Hope my books forgive me.)

Tuesday Teachings: Writers Are Affected

*Definition of  – *

sus·cep·ti·ble [suh-sep-tuh-buh l] 

3. capable of being affected emotionally; impressionable.

** So that means **

non·sus·cep·ti·ble [non-suh-sep-tuh-buh l]

3. incapable of being affected emotionally; nonimpressionable.

*** Either way, we’re affected ***

Affected to stay the same or affected to change, I’d say.

******************************************************************************

Writers Are Affected

In spite of everything, remember, when life’s dead-end is staring you in the face:

What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.
-Richard Bach

Your moment is coming, in spite of everything…

Nonetheless, if nothing else, please know that you are more than allowed to:

Risk more than others think is safe.
Care more than others think is wise.
Dream more than others think is practical.
Expect more than others think is possible.
-Claude Bissell

You are allowed to be you, if nothing else.

At any rate, frankly, when the easy choice is to walk away:

When you feel like giving up,
remember why you held on for so long in the first place.
-unknown

A Community is here to help you, if you chose to stay, when the easy choice is to walk away.

You teach best (Photo credit: Thalita Carvalho)

Monday’s eMotional Oldest Daugher: December Rituals

When we put our family Christmas tree up we assume our specific tree trimming roles graciously. It amazes me every year. Boy, we are a trained bunch. Whose fault is that? Yeah, probably mine. My husband gets everything out of storage and assembles the tree. Bless him, he even fixes the lights when our tree’s lights get unruly.

Pre-Lit Christmas trees can have some of the most unruly lights. I’d throw the tree through the window, but not my husband. Cool as a cucumber, he’s over there deciding on his plan of attack. He’s the cool blonde type. I’m the temper flaring red head type. It’s obvious that this is the role for him. He’d prefer to handle the lights, as replacing windows isn’t his idea of fun.

With everyone sick over Thanksgiving Break, we had plenty of time on our hands for a slow tree decorating event. Why is everyone always sick during the holidays? Can’t a girl get a break?? Anyway, here’s how our Christmas tree turned out:

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My role is to unpack all the ornaments, because I’m pretty obsessive about how they are to be unpacked. Original packaging is a must, so steady hands on deck only. Let me be honest, I take my job very serious. I look forward to the oohs’ and the awwwws’, as I reminisce over years past. I enjoy looking at how the kids have grown. My face reacts pleasingly as I reveal that the ornaments from my childhood survived another year:

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Have I mentioned how much I enjoy card playing? I’m looking forward to a lot of that in a few weeks while visiting Nebraska and Kansas for the Christmas holiday. Our group favorite is Pitch, but if the three sisters have their way we talk Big Brother, or at least one other person, into playing Pinochle. It’s just the best card game ever. The Card Playing Bear ornament was given to me close to 18 years ago. It reminds me of my cut throat card playing family.

I even added part of a snowflake to the picture. Watching snow fall during our visit home this year would be great. Not sure who I turn that request in to… We don’t see snow in this part of Texas. By then, I know my family will be tired of seeing snowflakes, but we’ll expect them to humor our enthusiasm over the white fluffy stuff.

The two children in this family have the job of stringing beads and hanging ornaments. I’m so glad they’re getting better at placement. See how nicely they’re spacing them out this year:

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It sure beats the signature move of clumping ornaments on one single branch. All toddlers go this route at some point, although its super cute and picture worthy at the time. Now I’ll only have to go back and fix this tree’s treasures a little bit, or this will be the year I leave the trimmings as is. The verdict is still out.

What’s your opinion? Do you rearrange the placement of the ornaments or do you leave them alone? Every year I say I’m going to leave them, then my husband sees me sneaking in after everyone has gone to bed. I can’t help it. 

Mostly, I look forward to the reason for the season. I look forward to the Christmas tradition of Advent and allowing it to remind me of why I believe what I believe. I love being reminded of how Jesus’ birth brings us hope.

This week I’m going to remember that we have hope:

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As I type this, while looking at our tree, I may even have a glimmer of hope that I’ll leave the ornaments alone…hmmm. 🙂

~Oldest Daughter

(I don’t know how to work this camera. I don’t know why the bear photo is so much darker, it is closer, I’ll admit. Anyway, I’ll get better at photo sharing.)

Fiction Friday: Winter’s Gift – Part 2

The first part in this series can be found here. Winter’s Gift: She Rewarded His Anticipation 

*****

Necia reached her hand out to touch the light fluffy snow, the branches around them seemed to cradle the snowflakes as the winter wind blew around. Joe watched her move towards the tree he had found. She gazed at the tip of her finger as a single drop of snow raced down.

It was the longest finger he’d considered holding in ages. He placed another feather in his pocket, he silently zipped the opening as if to trap the treasures inside.

“It’s the perfect tree, Joe.” Necia offered as she turned around to face him.

“I wasn’t sure it would work at first, but after a closer look, I think it’s just as you described. I wanted you to see it first,” he replied while focusing on the pine tree. What he wanted to tell her, was that it was her approval he anticipated. He hadn’t been able to produce the reaction in her that he craved, he wanted to see her mind travel back in time. 

“I didn’t expect this so soon, I have to admit. I figured we had a few more weeks before we’d need this tree. It is the perfect one,” she admitted as her mind trailed off somewhere else. She reached up to touch more snow. “You know, for me, snow has always been the first gift of the season. Beautiful evidence, proving that the Christmas was upon us.”

Snowy pine tree branch

He was beginning to understand that it had been years since she’d seen it. He was suddenly envious of the snow and the emotions it composed inside Necia.

“I’ll take care of it then, if you believe it’s the right one,” he decided. It hadn’t occurred to him that she would agree so easily. Did she realize what the tree meant, more so what it meant that she was using words like we and need? He relaxed a bit in that moment. She had included him on a future event. Finally, as if for the first time, it made him appear as more than just someone merely existing.

Her attention towards him released a desire he’d thought was gone forever.

“Joe? Do you mind if we stay a little longer? Are you too cold to stay?” Necia asked politely.

“We can stay, I…I’ve got my jacket,” he stammered, showing his excitement, probably too quickly.

He watched her gracefully walk over to a fresh tree stump. It was the remainder of the tree he’d chopped down recently. She considered sitting down on it’s rather large trunk , which had fallen close by. He instantly felt regret. He should have finished this particular project the other day. It would have only been another hour’s worth of work, but he was anxious to get started on a side project.

Then again the unfinished work had provided a place for them to be together today. He was suddenly filled with ease over his procrastination. Looking at the trunk reminded him that he should have his axe looked at, mostly sharpened, as winter would only get tougher as the season progressed.

The muscles in his forearms twitched as he considered how he’d remember to get the axe serviced. He didn’t trust his retention with her around.

Joe never tired of watching her. She moved in such a way that he found himself obsessing over her. He welcomed the moments when she wasn’t aware of him. They finally allowed him to show his weakness for her.

“I’m clearing this spot off, if you don’t mind, Joe. I think the wind will break just behind us, if we sit here. We have an unfinished conversation I’d like to visit, if you feel up to it.” Necia proposed. Her hands wiped the icy snow away from the bark of the tree trunk.

Joe witnessed her wings flow with her as she completed the simple task of clearing a spot to sit. He observed her intently. How come she never seemed too cold or concerned for herself? It was shivery out here, but she wasn’t human, he reminded himself so rationalizing seemed like a lost cause. They had no history, yet he had a desire to shield her from the wintery conditions.

He couldn’t take his eyes off her. He wanted these unspoiled moments to continue, the feelings to stay. Necia had caught him off guard when she emerged last week, and he vowed to take advantage of what today could bring, if she came.

Joe exhaled, she had come.

Their first encounter suffered from awkwardness, as he was lost in such disbelief over Necia. He’ll never forget how she emerged through the trees. On foot, her wings spread out, each white feather just shorter than the other as they cascaded down her back, she appeared.

Snowy pine trees frame a view of blue shadows

Her feet lightly moving her along, while she made her way towards the area of the old cemetery he’d been working in. She stopped a safe distance from him and offered a shy smile.

Without eye contact, he took in as much of her in as he could without revealing the longing he’d instantly felt. She looked as though she’d caught who she was searching for, she seemed relieved.

He found himself transfixed on her glow as his voice fell through to his stomach. In that moment, Necia had taken his words right from him. She petrified him.

“Joe?” she nudged.

He flinched, instantly placing his hand on his pocket of feathers. His cheeks reacted quickly to hearing his name,”Yes, Necia, this will work fine. I’m sorry, I was thinking about, well you and our first meeting.”

“Yes, and what were you thinking about?” she challenged.

There she went again, his natural inclinations couldn’t handle the moments when she spoke so directly to him. He found himself working on finding a way to breathe. His mind was reeling over who she was and why she was here. Why did she move him so?

Who desires someone like her? It just didn’t add up right, in his mind. He fought his feelings, yet his body seemed to override his knowledge of Angels, and the job they dutifully held.

(Photo Credit: Pine Tree: Mike Rohde &  Photo Credit: Happy Sleepy)