Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Lakepoint Lodge - Eufaula AL
Good morning, come on in to the "Net Porch and have a cup of coffee. It is not cold, cold outside but cold and damp which makes it most uncomfortable. Where is my sunshine and warm weather? Maybe the picture above will give you a clue. This is the lodge at Alabama Lakepoint state park and they were putting up the Christmas tree. It was not quite December but almost and this means cold will now enter my life for a season.

The cold makes my joints ache and my feet cold but it is necessary for the peach trees to have peaches. This is my favorite fruit and we live in peach country down here in South Georgia but the trees have to have so many "cold hours" for the trees to have fruit. If we have too much warm weather they will bloom too early and the crop will be light meaning higher prices and not many peaches. This would be a shame for I do love those fresh from the tree, juice dripping, ripe peaches. If cold is needed for me to have this, then let it be cold for a few days.

We are entering a new season of Christmases for us. This will be the first Christmas in our lifetimes we have not had at least one parent with us to celebrate Christmas. Last year my daddy was still with us but he went Home to his Heavenly Father in June to spend the remainder of his eternity with the saints who have gone before. It will not be a mournful time for us because we know all our parents are with the Lord and we will celebrate the wonderful memories they gave us at holiday times.

This now means that Roy and I are the oldest living members of our immediate families and are supposed to be the wise ones. It is a new season in our lives and because our lives are marked by the Seasons of Life, we welcome it and the joys and responsibilities of being the patriarch and matriarch of our families. So listen up family, we are the Wise Ones and now you can break out in laughter. We will do our best to be the wisdom of the group but hang in there for this is a new era for us.

Part of our family will be celebrating Christmas in the home where my family grew up in Camden, Alabama. The home place is still there and is pretty much like mama and daddy left it. Now don't you young ones get the idea I am going to decorate everything with a flat surface or hang something on it if it stands still for five minutes like mama did. She decorated EVERYTHING with red, green, gold and silver and the whole house would look like Christmas.

When we were children the tree would be a cedar tree cut from a friend's farm and be about 10 feet tall. It would have to have some of it cut off to fit in the house but it had to touch the ceiling or we weren't satisfied. The limbs would be loaded with decorations we had bought or made for mama kept all of our hand-made ornaments and hung them each year and the tackiness didn't matter. She and daddy took a lot of pride in their children's "artistic" abilities. We would always look for the ones we had made and point them out to each other.

The smells of cedar and fruitcake would fill the house along with all the cookies, cakes and pies baked by mama. If we could have bottled those wonderful aromas and kept them to open each year about this time it would be great but we have those memories and the smell of cinnamon and nutmeg can recreate them in our minds in a flash. Mama would bake for weeks on end getting ready for Christmas parties and gifts of homemade goodies for friends. I don't think I ever went in that house until mama got sick that there were not some homemade goodies to eat. She was a fantastic cook and loved to do it.

My niece the other day said now that she had her tree up it smelled like Christmas. Now I have gone the artificial tree route but I always bring in some fresh pine boughs to get that wonderful aroma of Christmas. There is no spray, candle or potpourri that smells as good as a cedar, spruce or pine branches or trees. We don't have much cedar over here in South Georgia so I have to use pine and that reminds me I need to go outside to the woods and cut some.

Yes, Christmas will be different this year for the house is empty most of the time but it sits ready for us to walk in and begin our new era of life. I will put up some of mama's decorations, bake some cookies or a cake to smell up the house with goodness and cut some greenery to add the fresh smell of pine. The big tree will not be put up but a small one will stand on a table top and the hustle and bustle of our family will not be as loud but if we stand still and listen we may be able to hear mama and daddy laughing up in heaven for those two enjoyed Christmas.

New seasons in our lives are interesting and I look forward to each day left to us. The Bible tells us that our days are numbered and in those days are seasons from birth to death and now we are in a new one. The challenges are many as we cope with "old age" but the joys far outnumber the challenges. We have each other, the children, the grandchildren, the great grandchild and one on the way to enjoy. Then there is our marvelous extended families which will be increasing by 2 in the coming year and maybe more, you just can't ever tell.

Love is abundant in our family and our memories we have made and those we will make are full of love for each other and that is what Christmas is all about. We also have a passionate love for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and we anticipate celebrating His arrival here on earth for a time. So, family and friends, look with anticipation to a season of music, worship and fellowship with family and friends and may your memories be sweet and your love abound to each other

Nuff said

The Georgia Peach
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