Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


I Know the Big Guy!

I know the real Santa.

Don’t raise your eyebrows. It’s true, I do know him.

I met him a long time ago, back when my kids were small.

Here’s how I know him. Every year, St. Nick visited C-Town. When my kids were little, even though we lived in Pryor Creek and had our own parade there, the boys insisted we had to come home to C-Town because that was the only place where the real Santa made it for the parade.

So we’d come home. We watched the bands and floats and Shriners entertain, and even though there was a wonderful show going on, the boys only wanted one thing. Okay, two things. Candy and to see Santa riding on the big red fire engine.

And when Santa cruised past, he always waved his hand at our corner of the parade route and shouted, “Hi Danny! Hi Kyle! Hi Matt! Hi Brad! Hi Grant! Hi Melanie!  Merry Christmas.” For him to know their names, he had to be the authentic Kris Kringle, didn’t he?

Santa also took time to come to our church to visit with the kids after the Christmas program. He not only knew their names, he gave them  each a bag of candy, too.

So #1 son deducted that he HAD to be the only real Santa.

Who was I to argue?

SHAY KIDS DO NOT READ THIS!!! (I mean it. You’ve been warned.)

PS:  Don’t tell my kiddos, but the Big Guy was represented by a Christian man in our church. His suit was made by one of the wonderfully talented women in our church. (Don’t you love people who donate their time and talent so freely?)

This man was kind and loving to the kids in town and very, very patient. (With the length of some of the lists and the crying the babies did, he had to have a ton of patience!)

Not only was he a member of the church we went to most of my life, but he was also a neighbor. They make the best Santas, don’t they?

Way back when I was a kid and one of my sibs recognized the Santa we visited or noticed his beard wasn’t real, Mama always explained it by telling them the man was Santa’s helper. He had to have helpers like that because the Big Guy was so busy at the North Pole getting ready to fill up that sleigh and make his whirl-wind trip to all the boys and girls in the world.

Wow. Remember believing that? What a sweet time it was when we really believed that all the world received gifts. Back before we knew about hate, unhappiness, prejudice and my-way-or-the-highway kinds of life. And before we knew about poverty in parts of the world that make you cry to think about.

I still believe in Santa. (Even though Paula told me the truth when I was four. BTW–it’s okay, Paula. I enjoyed knowing and helping Mom keep the secret all those years.)

Besides, Santa is the Spirit of giving and Christmas and forgetting old hurts and loving one another. So of course, I BELIEVE!

Do you?


Are You Ready?

I’ve loved this song each time I heard it, but whoa! Mark Lowry gives it something special. So I posted it here for me. I want to be able to find it and listen to it whenever I get the yen.

Like right now. 🙂

BTW: I got up this morning, made coffee and cinnamon rolls. (Thanks, Sister Debbie for the recipe!)

I’m decorating for Christmas after I eat them. What’s your day going to be like? OSU/OU football? Gift wrapping? Hanging on Facebook?

Whatever it is, why don’t you give me a wave on the way?

Oh, and if you’re intentionally organized for Christmas, could you give me a few pointers? I’m Organizationally Challenged. 🙂


Fun, Friends and Beavers

A long time ago, G-Man and I lived in Ponca City, Oklahoma. (My postman called it Punkin Center.) That was before kiddos and before I started writing down my stories.

Yesterday, Dad and I went back to that part of the world. We didn’t go to the house where G-man and I lived, but we were close. Made me think about all the people I knew back then. Those were nice people (hey, they were Okies, how could they not be nice?) but sadly, I haven’t stayed in touch with them.

Dad and I met a family yesterday, though, that felt as if we’d known them forever. The wife was sweet, friendly and funny! (A requirement in my Small Town World.)

Her house was already Christmas ready and gorgeous! The thing is, you could have transferred everything from her house to Sister Debbie’s house, and it would have been perfect. (Deb would have loved it!)

She even had some of the same things I’ve seen at Sister Debbie’s house. Her attitude as a stay-at-home mom was just like Deb’s. And more than her things and attitude, her heart was very familiar!

Her husband’s pride in her was obvious, and her joy at being married to him was there for everyone to see. We met their son, and I have to tell you, he was a boy to be proud of!

The boy is a hunter and fisherman. A kiddo who reminded me a lot of Brother Jeffrey! Not only that, but he was nice and actually carried on a conversation with us adults!

Funny thing, even though there had been problems and tragedies in their lives, this family was fun to be around. We really could have been related! And we might be family in Christ. (I didn’t ask, though.)

When we left this wonderful homey house (complete with pumpkin cookies Daddy loved) we drove through the countryside so we could check on some of our farms.

We stopped on a bridge at the edge of a farm so I could get a picture.


I had to have a picture of this beaver’s dam. See it in the middle there, kinda looking like a bridge? LOL.

I’ll try again.

Damming the creek!

Damming the creek!

See it now? Too cool for school, huh? There was one on the other side of the bridge, too . . .


Looks like a pretty creek where beaver would love to live.


See it, there in the middle? It’s a half-dam. Dad said it had been washed away sometime. We saw another beaver dam while we drove, so we figured there must be quite a population of beaver in that area.

BTW: Did you know beavers mate for life? There’s a couple making a home right there.

We went on to the Kay County Courthouse from there and then to visit the FSA office, where we visited with friends. (Have I mentioned how much I enjoy meeting and remeeting people? They’re just so much fun!)

It was a long day (even with Dad driving) but after a dip of Cherries, Pecans and Cream on a waffle cone (anybody?) I perked up a little. And God gave us a great gift to get us home–

sky-high I couldn’t do the sky justice, but I tried.

It really was a beautiful day. One that’ll live in my memory for a long, long time! (I meet a lot of people I enjoy, but rarely meet folks I feel as if I’ve known for a long time like this family.)

How about you? Do you enjoy meeting new people or are  you happy hanging with the people already in your sphere?





The Christmas Candle

Yesterday afternoon, G-Man and I went to see “THE CHRISTMAS CANDLE.”

On a scale of 0-5 stars, I give it an even 10!


It’s probably the very best Christmas Movie of the Season!

The book the movie was made from was written by Max Lucado. (I ordered the book last night.)

51HWQuvOvGL__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-60,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_I borrowed this picture from Amazon. I’m looking forward to reading it!

And I saw the script writers/producers on the local news last week, and I believe it said they went to school at Victory Christian School in Tulsa!

That’s why it’s showing in Tulsa now when it opens nation wide on November 22nd. (And Tulsa is very special!) 🙂

image1These pictures come from The Christmas Candle website.

I wish I could show you a picture of the village where the story is set. I want to visit! (Whether it’s real or not.)

The story was great, the acting fantastic, and best of all was Susan Boyle, the singer. Oh, my stars! God gave that woman a great talent. It was wonderful to hear her sing! Worth the price of admittance just to listen to her.

image2When we got home, I looked up some of the actors who looked familiar. The man here (the Candle Maker) has played Dr. Who as The Doctor (Voice). I’m not sure what that means, but I was impressed! 🙂

image12I’m feeling Christmassy already.

One man who has a pivotal role in the movie looked so familiar. He isn’t on the website but I looked him up on IMDB. Here he is–

MV5BMTk4Nzk0NjA5OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjM2NDA4MQ@@__V1_SY317_CR10,0,214,317_John Hannah

He’s Rachel Weisz’s brother in “The Mummy.” In “The Christmas Candle,” he’s a man, dying with consumption who’s not worried about himself. He’s concerned about his nephew who doesn’t speak and his daughter who has lost her faith.

He does such a good job, I felt like I knew him. Or should know him.


The Christmas Candle is a beautiful, very well made movie with Christian values. I love having movies like this available and want to support them as often as I can.

I want to buy the video as soon as it’s available so I can watch it every year. It’ll be another one of my Christmas Traditions!

Have you seen CC? What was your favorite part?

If you haven’t, do you plan to?


Favorite Things, AND People

One of the things I like best about Christmas, besides the celebrations and gifts and stars and sparkles and fun, is the people in my life. Family and friend. (Sometimes, that’s the same thing.)


Have you met Omega?  This is she.

No, she’s not singing to me. (Looks like she’s singing “Holy,  Holy, Holy” doesn’t it?)

006This is the night of our company/family Christmas party. We all got together to celebrate on the night before Christmas Eve. (Would that be Christmas Eve Eve?)

Aren’t they gorgeous? I love these girlies!

I don’t love them just because they’re pretty. (They are.)  I don’t love them just because I’m related to them. (That, too.) And I don’t love them just because I’m smarter than the average bear. (I am, at least most of the time.)

I love them because they’re nice and sweet (sometimes) and fun to be with. They don’t kick dogs and they’re nice to old ladies. 😛 I like that a bunch!

They keep me in stitches nearly all the time. When they’re around, there’s never a dull moment. E-V-E-R!

This Christmas they were the best part of the C-Town Baptist Church’s Christmas play. They performed Dicken’s Christmas Carol with a Christian twist.

The girls’ daddy (aka Omega’s husband) played Scrooge.

play-noel-2This is Noel as Scrooge, hanging with Christmas Past. (He has nice legs, huh?)


This is Hope. She played Scrooge’s girl friend, back in the day. (Was that character’s name Bell? I don’t remember. 😦  )


Here’s Faith,  (some people call her Ralph) who played Scrooge’s girlfriend when they were kids. (Was Bella the name, maybe? I can’t remember.)

While the Nation Clan dominated the action, they did let a few other people act in the play.

play-noel This is Christmas Present with Scrooge. She carried a pillow and lammed him with it every now and then. He carried a cane, but never did smack her back. He has to have a lot of self-control, because he’s the local middle school principal.

playOne of these guys is a local Highway Patrolman or Lake Patrolman as well as a trapper.  If you look to the left, you’ll see Christmas Future. (I think he’s the Baptist Preacher’s son. PKs always get the best parts. 🙂  )

That boy never did forget a line. The sad thing is, that kept Omega from doing her job. (She was a very prompt prompter.)

Don’t you love Christmas programs? Don’t you wish you’d been there?