Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


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A Brand New Year is on the Way

2013 is a’comin’!

2011 4th of july 063Are you ready?

  • Resolutions set?
  • Party plans made?
  • Christmas decorations all put away?
  • Count down started?

My answer to all those questions would be a loud, resounding, “NO!”

I still have my decorations up and my lights on.

Resolutions? Well, I’ve thought about them, but don’t know if I’ll write them down at all.

2011 4th of july 038

And a party? PARTY? I don’t think so.

The truth is, I remember very few parties I’ve given/attended on NYE in my life. As a kid when our parents would go to a New Years Eve Sunday School party, sometimes the other kids whose parents were at that party would come to our house.

Sometimes.

But I’ve never done the stuff you see on movies about cool parties. No balloon drops. No streamers. No sparkly balls dropping.

I did take G-Man to Eureka Springs to the Basin Hotel once. We had a nice, nice dinner, then went back to the hotel room to watch movies. 🙂

We’ve had reservations at Tulsa steak house once, but it turned out to be crowded, noisy and running late and all the waiters were cranky. And hateful.

2011 4th of july 012

We’ve even been to a concert. (Not a great idea.)

A few years ago, we discovered that going to Stillwater to dinner is a good idea, at least at the Chinese buffet we like. All the college kids are still at home (or want to go to a big city for the night) and navigating that town is easy.

Tonight, though, we plan to stay home. I might make pizza or buy a carry out early in the day, along with a little finger food, then we’re going to stay HOME.

Scarlett and I will think about putting away Christmas decorations tomorrow. 🙂

What do you plan to do?


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From The KOTV Vault: Kids Decorate Baby’s Grave With Christmas M – NewsOn6.com – Tulsa, OK – News, Weather, Video and Sports – KOTV.com |

They showed this on Channel 6 this morning.

From The KOTV Vault: Kids Decorate Baby’s Grave With Christmas M – NewsOn6.com – Tulsa, OK – News, Weather, Video and Sports – KOTV.com |.

Made me cry. I didn’t sob, but if G-Man hadn’t been eating breakfast next to me, I probably would have.

Yeah, I know. I’m an easy crier. 🙂 I’m not crying for the baby. That baby girl went straight to Jesus’s arms, so what’s to cry about? I am crying for the mama whose baby died, and then she had to move away. Oh, how that must have hurt her heart.

The baby was born/died in 1906, one hundred six years ago. I wonder if the mama lived a long life with lots of happy, laughing children around her? I hope so.

I wonder if she always mourned that sweet baby girl? I hope so.

I wonder, when she grew old and bent, if she wanted to go back to Eldorado, Oklahoma, to be buried near her baby girl? I hope so.

AND I hope when that mama got to Heaven, she went straight into Jesus’s arms and found her baby girl, still nestled there.

I don’t write historical romances, but if I did, I’d have to include this story in one. And if I did, I’m pretty sure I’d still have to cry.


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Mayans Didn’t Get Me

Yikes! I missed saying hi yesterday. I just hope that didn’t scare you.

I just now realized that, being it was December 21, 2012 yesterday, you might have thought I’d disappeared with the Mayans. Or that the planets (aligned for the only time in the past six hundred jillion years) made a magnetic gateway and sucked me away to that happy place over the rainbow.

Didn’t. Happen.

I know you’re relieved to find out I was only sucked into the world of Christmas while I wrapped gifts. Blogworld slipped my mind.

The good news is, I have most of my gifts wrapped. The bad news is, I was late for work for about the 30th time this week. And since I only have five work days in a week, that’s not an easy thing to do.

1-Christmas-shoesThese are a pair of shoes I bought at my Forever Friend’s aunt’s estate sale. I’ve had them several years, and this year I thought they needed to come out of the closet. Kinda cool, huh?

3-Christmas-feather-treeHere’s my feather tree. I usually put on the yellow and green balls that came with it, but this year I thought candy canes. Pretty, and edible. What’s better than that when it comes to decorations?

7-Christmas-kitchenThis is the kitchen. I’ve had the triple candle lights since we lived in Pryor Creek. I thought it made the wreaths look  homey and warmish this year.

5-ChrismtasThis is the doll I bought at War Eagle in the fall. She’s all dressed up for Christmas –well, she has a new necklace and a Santy hat–and she’s sitting in the trunk my kiddos bought me last Christmas. (I love it!)

5-Christmas-2But the poor dear still doesn’t have a name. I’ve been thinking about a few such as Gussie, Matilda and Minerva. Leaning toward Gussie at this point. Which ever I choose, I have a feeling she won’t be happy with it. I never have seen her smile.

Maybe if she gets a present under the Christmas Tree, she’ll cheer up. 🙂

 

 


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The TRUE Christmas Story

Haloed Angel

God sent the angel Gabriel to the Galilean village of Nazareth to a virgin engaged to be married to a man descended from David. His name was Joseph, and the virgin’s name, Mary. Upon entering, Gabriel greeted her:

Good morning! You’re beautiful with God’s beauty, Beautiful inside and out! God be with you.

29-33 She was thoroughly shaken, wondering what was behind a greeting like that. But the angel assured her, “Mary, you have nothing to fear. God has a surprise for you: You will become pregnant and give birth to a son and call his name Jesus.

He will be great,     be called ‘Son of the Highest.’ The Lord God will give him     the throne of his father David; He will rule Jacob’s house forever—     no end, ever, to his kingdom.”

34 Mary said to the angel, “But how? I’ve never slept with a man.”

35 The angel answered,

The Holy Spirit will come upon you,     the power of the Highest hover over you; Therefore, the child you bring to birth     will be called Holy, Son of God.–Luke 1:27-35 The Message


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Sputniks on my Tree

I’ve almost finished decorating for Christmas! (Woohoo!) Unlike other people in my life who have their homes decorated well before Thanksgiving, I’m a little slow. (Yeah, the phrase ‘a little slow’ is relative. Kind of like being a ‘little pregnant.’)

One of the reasons I’m so slow is that I really enjoy my ornaments. I like looking at them, remembering where they came from, praying for the people who gave them to me (or were with me when I bought them.)

Most of them aren’t just things I bought in a store; they have great memories attached to them.

And I like the really old ones best!

7-ornament

When I found this bell, mixed in with a lot of junk ornaments, I knew I had to keep it. It was part of the pharmacy’s decorations when we bought the store in Pryor Creek.

2-ornament

I bought this bell in a group of six or so when I thought #1 Son was old enough, and the tree tall enough, that it would be safe. This is the only one left. 🙂

1-ornament

I fell in love with this guy the moment I saw him. His big red bow and the heart that he keeps right out there make me smile.

4-ornamentThis is a new Christmas Carousel, but it’s exactly like the one Mama bought me when I was little bitty. I love it, just because of the feeling that comes back when the angels fly around it and make the bells go ting, ting, ting. Remember those?

11-ornament

These were Grandmother’s from the ’50’s. I fell in love with them, so they’re mine now. (They’re plastic, too!)

5-ornamentThese were her sputnik ornaments. (Except the sparkly ones at the bottom.) Aren’t they great? I can’t imagine her liking these as much as I do. I think I enjoy them so much because they were hers.

6-ornament Most of these I’ve bought at antique stores. They’re so different from the ones you buy today. Not at all perfect. Just homey and old and faded. Perfect.

10-ornamentA blue Merry Christmas. So sweet!

9-ornament

Hand painted poinsettia. Don’t you love it? (I do.)

3-ornamentThis is a new picture I bought this year. It might not be something that’s always be on my walls at Christmas, but the sentiment is exactly right. If there wasn’t one gift under my tree, as long as my family is together and happy, that’s the best present of all!

BTW: I have four trees this year. (That’s right, #4. Don’t you love it?) The one with Grandmother’s ornaments, her gloves, and my antique ornaments, a white feather tree, covered with candy canes, my family room tree–covered with family pictures and homemade ornaments–and my kitchen tree, with kitchen paraphernalia I’ve collected for a lifetime.

Now that I have almost all of it out, it’s almost time to put it all back.

Next year, someone remind me to get started a lot earlier! (Then, come and help me decorate!!!)

Now it’s your turn. What’s your favorite ornament(s) on your tree?


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Names of Jesus

cropped-merry-stars.jpgKnow whose birthday is coming up in a little over a week? 🙂

Those are some of His names in my header. I decided to do that because I read of a woman who made wire Christmas ornaments of some of Jesus’s names. She thought it was important for her kids that He have a presence on their Christmas tree, and now she has them for sale. You can see them here.

But I’d seen a beautiful “sign” at Thanksgiving, and thought I’d like to do that with Jesus’s names. (Those little ornaments would get lost on my tree full of pictures and bling.) So I started trying to figure out how to make one of those signs.

I planned to finish it in 8 1/2 X 11, print it out and either frame it or Modge Podge it on a board. But seeing that Christmas is just a little over a week away, I don’t know if that’s going to happen or not.

Do you know what happens when you start doing something like this sign with the names of Jesus? His names start standing up and making themselves known.

There’s one. There’s another one. Oh! Look, there’s another one.

I wish I could tell you my favorite of them. One moment I think it’s “I Am,” next I think it’s, “Lover of My Soul,” or “Lamb of God” who was sacrifice for my sins. Or maybe it’s “Immanuel, God with Us.”

God With Us. I love that.

But my favorite? I don’t know.

How about you?


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A Nightmare for Christmas

Christmas in the post-War United States

There’s something that terrifies me, and I have nightmares about it every Christmas.

It stems from my childhood, back when I was tender and vulnerable. Back when things impressed me and made a big difference in my life.

I think I’ve mentioned that I have four sisters and a brother. Each Christmas, Mama turned herself inside out, doing her best to figure out what we really wanted for Christmas. (I might have said I wanted ice skates, but with not so cold weather and no place to skate, she knew I wouldn’t be happy.)

So she’d shop from can’t see to can’t see, getting just the right gifts for all of us.

On Christmas morning, we’d rush to the living room to see what we had under the tree.

This particular Christmas morning, we all looked at our gifts and were giddy with joy. All of us, except one.

Now if you know my sibs, you know we’re very individual people. Debbie’s sweet and loves to have people at her house, Jeffrey’s a caretaker/outdoorsman, Lisa’s a ton of fun, I’m weird, Omega’s a baby (well, she’s THE baby, anyway) and Cindy is quiet, plays well with others. (Well, we all play well with others, but she doesn’t a really good job of it.)

I don’t remember what I got that holiday morning or what any of the others got. I only remember Cindy’s response.

When we’d all finished and were admiring our take, Mom noticed Cindy was crying. When she asked what was wrong, Cindy answered.

Her answer is the stuff nightmares are made of . . . for me, anyway. She said, “I didn’t get anything I wanted for Christmas.”

AAAAACK!

Mama was devastated. I was devastated for her. In fact, I think the entire family nearly bawled when Cindy said those eight words. The very next day, though, Mama made up for it. She took Cindy to Tulsa and let her pick out just exactly what she wanted.

She got to keep all the gifts she’d been given that she didn’t want, and get new ones, too. (Maybe that’s when the rest of us bawled.)

So a few days before Christmas, I’ve always worried that come Christmas morning, when we’re all sitting around the tree unwrapping the presents I’ve so lovingly wrapped, I’d hear those horrible words.

I don’t think I could handle it.

Do you have a nightmare for Christmas?