The Return of Hope

“Entertain great hopes” ~ Robert Frost

1hopeI’m back!

Hoping to return to our regularly scheduled blogging as soon as am physically able. Will know if treatment worked within a week or so.

In the meantime, I didn’t want to be forgotten. – so here’s a short story .

christmasnick98

I always preferred white lights at the Holidays. Thought they were so classic. So clean.

Then, when Nick was about 3 or 4 , he told us that he thought Santa couldn’t find your house unless you had decorated with red lights. You know, to match Rudolph’s nose. So, like every good parent would, we proudly decorated our house inside and out in nothing but hundreds of  red lights. So Santa could find us. ( and prayed every night that no one thought that they were in Amsterdam.) Nick would look out the window  nightly to make sure that “Rudolph’s noses” were on. He was hopeful. We still don’t know where he got that idea, but it certainly has come to be one of our favorites.

We continued that tradition for quite a few years.

We’ve graduated to all colors now, but that is a story that will stay with our family forever. How we joked about our own little Red Light District  and if our toddler would only know what we were doing to appease him.

I suppose those are some of my favorite parts of Christmas.

The traditions, the stories, the families the love, and yes, the hope.

The sparkly snowflake

Wishing a very special friend of mine the best of birthdays today! ❤

The Shady Maple-d Sort of Hope

**16 Days til my Philadelphia Freedom!

Today marks one of my favorite days. It’s how the James Girls kick of the holiday season. Dawn breaks and Dad throws us all in the car. We then head to the place where cholesterol parties and desserts dance, otherwise known as The Shady Maple Smorgasbord.

Dad is the only male allowed and girls may only join provided they are of the James lineage and only under the stipulation that they have reached high school age, as it is often times a rated PG-13 ( at best) function. {*refer to an earlier blog entry about my obsession with balls. This obsession seems to just flourish around the holidays as balls are found around every corner and my sisters really feed into my obsession.} This year we welcomed my Natalia into the sisterhood.

The ride to Shady Maple is beautiful. It’s all country views. Cows, farms, green fields. Endless blue skies today.

Veteran’s Day was observed today for some schools today so it was a bit more crowded than our normal breakfasting/ shopping excursion. Mom seemed a bit disturbed by it but dad didn’t seem to mind. 

Little Sister Rachel>-> who will not be pleased that I posted this with Mom who shocked us all with this outlandish behavior. Mom is ever the lady.>–>

^Holly , the big sister with Dad. Holly is a poser. Dad, The Marine and proud Veteran, never stops eating long enough to partake of such shenanigans. Eating is serious business for a Marine. Many a time he has regaled us with the tales of having to eat maggots out of his helmet along with his food and therefore he is always just grateful for food in general. Daddy is delightful at dinner. 😀

During breakfast Holive entertained us all ( as usual) in the way that only Holly can. Which won’t be funny to anyone else so I won’t attempt to try to relive it. Suffice it to say,   Holly is fascinated by the most mundane little things and can make just about anything funny. Today it was a collapsible brush. Who knew such a cheap thing could provide such entertainment?

After we got our feed on, we headed to the gift shops to spend what my dad calls “all of our egg money” , which is dad speak for all the money we saved all year for this very day.

^ HOPE is the thing with feathers. ( Emily Dickinson fans ? )

Holly found a HOPE ornament with a ball in the O.  SCORE.  Posed in front of some fuzzy white and red balls for me, too!

.. and the winner of the strangest thing I saw all all day goes to this piece of blown glass poo… I mean slug. (Apologies to slugs everywhere).

We laugh, we eat, we shop.We laugh some more.  This close to my next treatment, it’s going to take me at least 3 days to recover from our excursion, but I don’t mind. Today not only signifies the beginning of the holiday season for me, it also reminds me how lucky I am. I’ve got sisters. Great, beautiful, kind sisters and I still have both my parents. Sadly, I don’t spend enough time with either of my sisters or my mom and dad, which is really quite a shame. But the time I do spend with them is always filled with laughter and love. And for that I truly grateful.

My fav jam from the ride! You gals “made my day”.  ❤