We have started putting up our Christmas lights. I am so excited about this. A new house, a new look. We are going to shock the heck out of our neighbors. They don't realize just how many lights we always put up at Christmas. It is a given fact that when all the lights go up, I can't use my microwave while the lights are on or we blow a fuse. Of course that was in the other house, who knows what will happen here.
When we first started putting up lights at the old house, no one on the street ever put up lights. Every year that pasted, more and more people started joining in on decorating their houses. It was way cool. We had a friendly competition with one of our neighbors. They are way better off than us and had cooler lawn lights, but we had just as many lights as they did. Then someone started vandalizing their lights every year and they have stopped putting them up all together now. The street got alot darker at Christmas and was pretty sad, now we have moved away and the street is all that much darker.
We live just a few streets over from where we use to because we didn't want the kids completely up rooted. They still live in the same neighborhood as their friends and go to the same schools as before. I have a hard time going down that street though. The bank finally put our house up for sell. They updated the kitchen and painted the house, I doubt they will get what they want out of the house though, not with the market the way that it is. The reason I know about the kitchen and painting of the house is our old neighbors feel the need to tell us what the bank is doing with "our" house. I know they mean well, but we just don't really want to know. If the bank gave us that house back for free, I wouldn't move back in. Yes, there are good memories there, but there are also some pretty bad ones. I think I would have to have the place blessed and exercised before I would even think of moving back....even then I would want to knock the whole house down and rebuild something new.
That is what we are trying to do here, build something new. It's one of the reasons why the lights are important to me this year, more than any other year. A Birth of a new life, a new beginning. Neither of us are who we use to be, thank God for that. I checked a million lights yesterday before work. I passed hubby in traffic, he was coming home and I was just going in. I had dinner cooked and ready for him, so he and the youngest put up the lights that I had checked. Now all I have to do is go through the other million and one lights we have left to put up.
We haven't gotten our tree yet. If I'm not too tired after work tonight, we are going to go pick one out. Hubby is worried we might get stuck with a Charlie Brown tree. I kindly reminded him that the way trees cost this year all we can afford is a Charlie Brown tree and to stop worrying, we got plenty of time. He didn't think that was too funny. on the other hand I did, I find strength in our poverty, I always have. Families tend to forget what matters the most when money is abound. It's not the gifts, it's the time spent together, the reminiscing about about past times. It's about being in the kitchen and making cookies together, curling up on the couch and watching "The Christmas Carol" (The old one with George C. Scott or the Muppet's, the only versions I'll watch), or listening to Christmas music while the family decorates the tree together and then reading the story of Christmas. That is what Christmas is to me, spending time with my family, re bonding and re birthing our love for one another and occasionally we are blessed with adding a new member to our family. We have two this year so far. One is my daughter's new girlfriend and our new kitten.
On Good Friday we had to put to rest one of our cats, Oreo. Fortunately we had a wonderful vet. She cried with us when we had to make the decision to put Oreo to sleep. She prayed with us and was ever so gentle with Oreo. Oreo developed a tumor in her lungs that was extremely aggressive. She was perfectly healthy one week and then a week and a half later she was gone. When the vet diagnosed Oreo, she told us to take her home, that it wasn't time yet, and to love on her and Oreo would let us know when she was ready. The Vet was so right, we kept Oreo at night in our room and the night before we put her to rest she came up and licked us both in the face and settled down between us for a long and labored night of breathing. We got zero sleep that night and made the call the next morning. When the vet gave her the first shot, Oreo started to purr, it was her way of letting us know, it was alright and it was what she wanted. Even the vet started to cry. When the second shot was administered Oreo was at peace. Our vet told us to bring her home and let the other cats see her and allow them to grieve as well. I had always thought you shouldn't do this, an old wise tale that it would cause your other animals to to grieve themselves to death, but she told us that it was the opposite, not letting the other cats know what happened to her would upset them. So we took her home and showed her to the other cats. I was amazed at how they acted. Ashley, the old general walked up to her and kissed her paws while Peaches kept smelling her and looking up at us and then laid down beside her.We buried her under a large oak tree in the back. My husband made her a cross with her name inscribed on it and I have planted a peace lily on her grave. We miss her terribly and as I wrote this, I have sat her and bawled like a baby.
On Easter Katana was born and we were able to bring her home 8 weeks later. I know this may sound crazy, but I feel that God blessed us with Katana. She is more human that cat, honestly. She sleeps above my head on what we call her nursey pillow. There are raised flowers on it that she nurses on before she will go to sleep and if you disturb her while she is sleeping she will start nursing again to fall back asleep, just like a baby. On her back and down her spine to the beginning of her tail, she has an outline of a sword. The hilt of the sword is shaped like a cats head and begins at the top of her head. I feel this is God's way of saying Oreo's spirit is with Him and He has given Katana to us in return. Her markings are extremely unique and symbolic to me. She is a tortoise shell calico, with lots of red highlights and greenish eyes. She is my baby and can do no wrong, except when she tries to eat my parrot, then we have issues.
I have alot to be thankful for this Christmas and even though I will be working on Christmas day ( boss decided to take his vacation starting Dec.22 and will not return until after the New Year) I plan to keep a joyful heart....I swear....really....even as I'm rising at 3am to open a store on Christmas Morning while others will be gathering around the tree, creating memories, laughing.....My heart will be joyful!