Remembering at Christmas

Sri Lanka

And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so?  It came without ribbons.  It came without tags.  It came without packages, boxes or bags.  And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore.  Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.  What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store.  What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.  ~Dr Seuss
Galle, Sri Lanka 

At Christmas, it's difficult not to think about all my growing up years climbing into my mom's pink Mary Kay car, playing backgammon with my brother for the 4 hour drive north to my grandmother's home. Usually, at Thanksgiving, Grandma had my brother dig up a pine tree from the back acreage on her rural Oklahoma farm which we would keep potted and replant some time before we left to return to school in January. My job was to decorate it with all the glass ornaments collected through the years and with the silver tensile she would carefully save and reuse each year (since 1960's). Each year we would give Grandma a special ornament with the year engraved on it. I inherited the precious ornaments from my Grandma Walker when she passed in 2000. It feels so long ago. I miss her chocolate pies and candied sweet potoatoes. I miss Wheel of Fortune and Jepardy game shows playing in the background. I miss sleeping under the living and dining room tables because the house was so overflowing with children and relatives that we were allowed to make a special fort under them. I miss getting apples, oranges and chocolates in my stocking on Christmas morning. 
The photo by the sea reminds me of her, not because she liked the ocean. In fact, I don't know that she ever visited a beach in her lifetime. But, because her eyes were the color of the sky, so clear, light blue. Today I am missing her very much, mainly because in her own cantankerous way, we knew she loved us more than she knew how to say. 

"Christmas - that magic blanket that wraps itself about us, that something so intangible that it is like a fragrance.  It may weave a spell of nostalgia.  Christmas may be a day of feasting, or of prayer, but always it will be a day of remembrance - a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved." ~Augusta E. Rundel


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