Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!
I hope y’all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I did. I spent it with my family at the beach. Thanksgiving day was the first time I had seen my mom as a 60-year-old and her response was exactly as I had predicted. “Did you have a nice birthday?” “Yes, it was wonderful!” “How old are you now, 30’s?” (in all seriousness) “60.” “60?!? How can you be 60? How old am I?” “88.” “88?!? Are you sure? My hair is not white and I don’t have wrinkles. That smells bad (holding her nose for emphasis).” At this point, my son lost it with a mouthful of turkey. But that wasn’t all. Mom asked what we were going to do for the rest of the afternoon. “Well, we are taping the Carolina basketball game and going to watch it and probably take a nap. All this turkey is making me sleepy. It’s that Tryptophan.” “A trip to Japan?” I kid you not. We all lost it then. Mom is so entertaining! Bless her heart! (By the way, it is a myth that tryptophan, an amino acid found in turkey, makes you sleepy. However, is there anyone who is not sleepy after their Thanksgiving meal?!?)
“What we’re really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean why else would they call it Thanksgiving.” Erma Bombeck
Friday night was so much fun y’all! We all went down to the Marshwalk in Murrells Inlet for dinner. The Marshwalk, similar to a boardwalk at the beach, was covered with Christmas lights. It was so beautiful! We walked the length of the Marshwalk while waiting for our table. Last year we ate outside and though it was mild, it was not quite as warm this year. Our restaurant has a live band every weekend but we never know what kind of music they will play. We were seated on the porch where the band was setting up. I looked at my sister and said “maybe they will play some oldies.” She was doubtful. We decided to stay and listen to a couple of songs. Well… they opened up with songs from the Doobie Brothers, Al Green, Four Tops, Bruno Mars, Commodores, and yes the Temptations, but it was “September” by Earth Wind and Fire that got my daughter and me up dancing. And dancing we did until we left an hour and a half later. The band was GREAT! Painted Man Band, a local band from the beach.
“Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.” Charles Schultz
On our way home, we stopped by a house in my sister’s neighborhood that goes WAY overboard with outdoor lights, but for a good cause. They take donations for their church. It is unbelievable! There is a combination of Frosty, Santa, Baby Jesus, and even a singing Bass fish! Over 30,000 lights and 500 man hours to set it up. Priceless.
It was hard leaving the beach – that sweet salty air. But I wanted to get home so I could decorate my house for Christmas. It’s going to be a busy December and this was my best opportunity. Besides, I always decorate right after Thanksgiving – I just cannot wait! My son-in-law’s Grandpa helped me get my tree. Remember last year when I called him to see if he would help me? And I failed to identify myself, but he said, “Sure! I am happy to help. Where should I meet you?” Met him at Whole Foods (again this year) and he was happy to see what lady he was helping. Same thing this year except he knew it was me. Got a pretty tree and it is up and decorated in my den instead of the living room. Decided to put it where I can enjoy it every day. There’s nothing like that smell of a fresh Fraser Fir (except the beach air!).
I remember once when my neighbor was decorating her Christmas tree. It was the biggest tree I had seen! And it had toppled over a time or two. So her “fix”? She hung pocketbooks on the backside of the tree in the corner of her living room. Tree never fell over again! Pretty ingenious!
We can all learn something from gazing at our beautiful Christmas trees. Here are some lessons from my Christmas Tree (borrowed some):
- Always be a light in the darkness.
- Brighten someone’s day every day.
- You were born to Sparkle.
- We all fall over sometimes.
- It’s ok to be a little tilted.
“Christmas waves a wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” Norman Vincent Peale.
This is my 2nd Christmas SOLO. Thankful to be where I am this year. Last year, I bought a lot of new decorations for my tree and my house. I added some new ones this year. I still have my starfish as my tree topper and saved all the ornaments that involved my kids, but discarded the others that were acquired over so many years, with so many memories that no longer hold special meaning. My tree decorations follow a different color scheme and center on family, love, friendship, the beach, and Carolina! When Mom moved to Assisted Living, we divided her special Christmas Village between my sisters and me, and gave one piece to each grandchild. My part of Mom’s Christmas Village occupies a special table near my tree. Christmas is so special to me. As I look around my decorated house, I am reminded of what is truly important in life – family and friends. The Christmas spirit.
“Home is where love resides, memories are created, friends and family belong, and laughter never ends.”
We are at the end of November, our thankful month. Remember to take the time to think of something you are thankful for each day this week. Find the Christmas Spirit. And make an effort to reach out to those you love, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.