A significant year? Not today. I have done 1935 posts on this blog. When I have some extra time, it is  always a pleasure to relive my last seven years of blogging. If a teacher chose to use my blog to teach universal themes to a group of students they would get it.  Themes that reoccur over and over are love for family, simplicity, hope,humor,growing up,memories, change, and love.
As I prepare to return to my childhood home tomorrow there will be subtle changes. As we have grown older the tempo of Christmas has slowed down and it is more about quality time in conversations than ripping and tearing presents. It is more about a simple meal than an elaborate feast. Fewer visitors will stop and bring goodies or raise a glass of cheer.

Tomorrow I will also see rituals that have stood the test of time at 516 W. Cameron. Brandy soaked fruitcake, Nuts and Bolts, popcorn balls, spritz, Seven Layer cookies, hot buttered rum, eggnog, elves on the kitchen shelf, angels attached to house plants, Christmas sweatshirts, traditional ornaments, and angel chimes.

This year I want to hit the pause button. I want to take it all in slowly, savoring the smells, tastes, and sounds. I want to have cherished conversations, belly laughs, and as always... the anticipation of some Christmas disaster to occur.

The Smallest Things

As I said in an earlier post, a favorite part of getting reading for any holiday is the planning. This year with my mother and brother coming for Thanksgiving. I wanted it planned so we weren't in the kitchen the whole entire day. I wanted to have some energy left to enjoy our dinner.
We cooked the pumpkin ahead, then I baked the pies ahead. I arranged the flowers as ahead as I could so they didn't open up too much. On the morning of Thanksgiving the cranberry dish went into the crockpot. The squash dish was cooked ahead in the oven while it was free. As Mom did her signature dressing, brother Bill peeled the potatoes ahead. A friend said Thanksgiving is more about timing then cooking. I believe it.
Because of how all this was done, it was relaxing.  We had time between preparations and dinner to rest. After dinner everyone helped out to clean
 up so it wasn't a huge job. Thank you husband Everett.

Dessert came later, and then it was early to bed. The rest of the week-end followed a similar pattern. My hope was that Mom could enjoy herself and relax while not being at home. I hoped the same for my brother Bill. He kindly took care of the turkey bones and did what it took to make a delicious turkey soup on Saturday. I had never had it served in my house. Perfect.

Brother Bill made reference to "the smallest things" today on his blog with his Three Beautiful Things. You can find it  here.It was a bit of a coincidence that I found the following quote about the same topic this evening spoken by one of Mom's most favorite authors and favorite character in children's literature.

“Sometimes,' said Pooh, 'the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”- A.A. Milne 

I think our week-end was made up of smallest things. It turned out how I wished. Mom's parting words were, "It was one  the best Thanksgivings. Thank you so much." That took up lots of room in my heart.