All posts in Holiday

Where is Waldo? Michael’s Replaced Him

Is it just me, or is Michael Strahan–like Waldo–on every channel at all times of the day or night?

I don’t watch a lot of TV. My mom owns our only one. It’s mounted in her 10 by 13 square foot room. So to watch the TV, Tom and I have to sit on her wheelchair, or wall hugger, or hospital bed.

Sports are our favorite and when I mention sports, I mean American football and American baseball. Rarely do we watch an entire game since we’re usually busy farming. So we satisfy ourselves with snippets of this and replays of that.

We commit to NCIS and reruns of it. Gibbs is timeless and Dinozzo is a hoot.

But since Mom has been weaker and needs more care and company, I’ve tuned in to Kelly and Michael. I have to admit, I love them. If I were on their show and took the quiz of identifying other actors and actresses for $50 a shot, I’d have to declare bankruptcy since I’m clueless.

But I can identify them. Especially Michael.

I enter Mom’s room while her other caregiver is there. Who do I see but Michael, happy to have a good tasting laxative bar. Or he’s chowing down on a footlong. On Sundays, he’s commentating on the game–giving his opinion about this player and that team. And he’s good.

In the evening, I peek in on Mom and there’s the spot about St. Jude’s hospital. Michael’s smiling with the signature space between his teeth. He makes me smile.

Smiling is important.

So is laughing. Kelly and Michael make me laugh. And laughing is essential. Especially if you’re caregiving. Or at a difficult job. Or in a hard marriage. You may be coming to the end of your life, like my 94-year-old mama and need a good chuckle. Kelly and Michael will give it to you if you still have your hearing.

Today is New Year’s. Since it’s below 30, farming has come to a screeching halt except for feeding the chickens, pigs, and dogs. So TV is on my to-do list.

I’ll begin with the Rose Bowl Parade, then I’ll flip to college football. Michael might show up on the screen. And then there’s NCIS reruns all day. So I might catch a few episodes of those. I wouldn’t be surprised if Michael becomes the fourth member of Gibb’s team.

The man is everywhere! Michael, do you sleep?

Kelly and Michael, keep it clean, and thanks for making America smile.

We need it.

A Romantic Gift Idea for Christmas

Hello All! Christmas is approaching but I haven’t put up a tree or decorations. I’m gonna get busy, but for now, you can plan your own private holiday celebration with your spouse. NowU Online Magazine has a short gift idea I wrote. It’s about a special night Tom planned for me.

Check it out at:

http://www.nowu.com/article/connect/gifts-of-a-lifetime-romance-at-home/20322181/

A Girls Trip to Paris

So finally, I had a chance to write about my mystery trip to Paris. I hope you enjoy!

http://www.nowu.com/article/travel/two-moms–two-daughters-take-on-the-city-of-love/20257061/

Cosmic Intervention

Many science fiction movies begin with a cosmic thunderbolt and an alien appearance. That’s when they lose me.

When I pondered the Christmas story–the story that is pivotal to the universe–the backstory of our lives, the magnitude of it awed me once again.

Philippians 2 is a great description of not only the incarnation, but of our example, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Here’s how the New Living Translation puts it:

“You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.” Phil. 2: 5-8.

It’s as if the cosmic thunderbolt of all thunderbolts hit this planet when the God of the universe clothed himself with our skin.

To live a perfect life.

To die a gruesome death.

To be raised for our transgressions.

So we could have life.

That story never loses me.

Monday’s Musings

A father and two sons lingered around the cutting board cleaning their twelve-inch trout caught off of a local pier. It was the Saturday before Easter. Tourists often flock around our charter boat at the end of the day, especially around the holidays. Mostly to check out my husband Tom’s catch. But this young family didn’t care about our catch, they beamed at theirs. I conversed easily with them while the father worked.

“Happy Easter!” I wished them as they walked away.

The man gave me a peculiar look. “Actually, this is the first year we’ve celebrated Easter. You see, we are Jewish. But last summer I began to research and examine the claims of Jesus, and well,…I converted.” He stated this as if he just discovered it for himself.

“Praise the Lord!” came automatically from my lips. We talked a while longer. I mentioned that I just finished the book, “The Case for Easter,” by Lee Strobel. The young father mentioned a few books he read and a Christian website he followed. I informed him of the standard ‘He is risen—He is risen indeed,’ greeting. True fellowship.

Before leaving, he looked at me and said, “It really is a miracle, isn’t it?” His face glowed.

Growing up in the church, I looked forward to Easter. First, there was the basket. Then I graduated from the basket to a new dress. (Although I always kept the basket.) The Sunrise Service was a favorite of mine. And in The Salvation Army, we shared Easter breakfast together. After that, we filed into the sanctuary to hear good music, and a rich sermon. A busy, happy day.

When I was young, the church service was the least important to me. As I’ve grown older, supplied Easter baskets and some new clothes to my kids, I tend to take the whole season for granted. It seems to sneak up on me.

I don’t think that is a ‘good thing,’ it just seemed to be a ‘life thing.’ So this year, my goal to finish Strobel’s book before Easter seemed to be a worthy one.

It was a blessing. I took much needed time to meditate on the cross. But maybe for the first time I began to get a better grasp on the resurrection and what it means to Christians. That can’t be overstated. A mere ‘awesome’ doesn’t begin to cover it.

When two friends bury two sons in two weeks, the resurrection takes on personal significance. It becomes real. Palpable. Immense.

Not just something we celebrate, but something we believe. A belief that we base our lives on. As it should be.

It really is a miracle, isn’t it?