Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!
This past Sunday was the 2nd Sunday in Advent, meaning the Hope candle for the 1st Sunday and the Peace candle for the 2nd Sunday were lit. PEACE. Such a calming word. It’s lovely when we find peace in our lives. When there is no conflict, worry, or angst. When life is calm, skies are blue, and we have a feeling of contentment. This time of year we tend to get caught up in all the hustle and bustle of the holidays – parties and events, shopping and presents to be bought, and celebrations in addition to our everyday busy lives. So when we do find a moment or two of peace, we must cherish them.
“Nobody can bring you peace but yourself.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Came out of church Sunday to SNOW! Lots of it. Made life a bit chaotic as everyone was carefully trying to navigate their way first to their cars, and then on the snow covered roads home. And it continued into the night. Our original prediction of 2-4 inches was surpassed within the first couple of hours. I last measured over 9 inches on my deck! But the chaos of the morning lead to a very peaceful Sunday afternoon and evening at home in front of a fire, wrapping presents and watching Hallmark Christmas movies, content to be inside. I went out later to take a picture and just stood listening to the silence of the new fallen snow. So unlike the days when my kids were younger, out sledding and playing in the snow! I remember putting beach towels down in the entrance hall for my kids and their friends to leave their boots, jackets, snow pants, etc. It was a pile taller than ME! Loved those times dearly, but I have to say that Sunday’snight made me think of Silent Night’s “all is calm, all is bright”. I left my outside Christmas lights on all night. They looked so special under the snow.
“A snowflake is one of God’s most fragile creations, but look what they can do when they stick together!”
If you recall, I ended last week’s blog telling you I was off to attend a fun event that night. And I was: my first EVER Carolina basketball game in the Dean Dome. Can you believe that?! My younger daughter and I left Charlottesville late afternoon and headed to Chapel Hill. Had dinner at our favorite restaurant, TOPO (Top of the Hill) and walked (briskly I might add) to the Dean Dome to watch UNC play UNCW, my younger daughter’s alma mater. I got tickets to the game for her birthday (and mine!). When I was at Carolina, basketball games were played in Carmichael Auditorium. I remember camping out for tickets at least once. We set up early and got close enough to an outlet to have an electric blanket! But I digress… I have been in the Dean Dome for several Late Nights with Roy – the last one in 2017 when the Championship banner was hung, but this was my first game and it was exciting! Great seats and great atmosphere. So much Carolina Blue. SO. MUCH. FUN! The UNCW coach is a former UNC assistant coach, so it was a homecoming for him and he was well received. First half was very close, but UNC pulled away in the 2nd half. Still, it was a great game for us and we stayed until the last second ticked off, then trekked back to our car enjoying all the Christmas lights on Frat court (they must have hired a company to put up all their lights!) and the beautifully decorated Carolina Inn. Since it was a 9 pm game, we did not get home until 3 am (thankful for 5-hour energy drinks)! But it was worth every sleep-deprived moment! Oh how I would love to have season tickets to those basketball games…
“The purpose of our lives is to be happy.” Dalai Lama
Though I was dragging a bit Thursday after only 3 hours of sleep, I did not want to miss the member’s Candlelight Christmas House Tour at Montpelier (home of President James Madison) that evening. This was my third house tour and I am always in awe of what I learn, see, and feel each time. My younger daughter was there photographing the event and as we walked from the Visitors Center where there was wine, food, and music, to the house, we found ourselves whispering. Then we both said, why are we whispering? Because it was so peaceful, beautiful, and quiet along the candlelit path. I love visiting with “James and Dolley” as well – it is amazing to me how they are always perfectly in period time, but I would never have made it in Madison’s time – they barely decorated for the holidays back then!
My original plans for the weekend included a peaceful trip to the beach to recharge and catch up on sleep, but the impending weather changed my plans. So instead, I went to Richmond on Saturday to see my granddawg and celebrate her birthday a few days early. She will be 2 years old tomorrow (Thursday). You may think that makes her 14 in human years (I did!), but according to WebMD that is not the case. She is 24 human years old, 15 years for her first year and 9 years for her second. That makes me feel old! She’s almost as old as my son and has only been in our lives for 2 years. To say she was excited to see me is an understatement. Of course, she is always excited to see visitors, but I like to think she felt something special for me. She loved the birthday presents I brought from my son, daughter, and me. (That dawg loves presents, and the bags presents come in!) Went out to lunch with my daughter and son-in-law, but with the chilly weather, we did not take Paige and eat outside. Love spending time with my kids.
“We should live every day like it is a holiday, being thankful and spending time with family, and looking hopefully to the future.”
I cannot end without a summary of this week’s 25 Days of Christmas Sweaters. What fun I have had with this! Love your comments on facebook each day. Still having a hard time deciding which ones will not make the cut this year. It is causing me angst when I need peace!
This Christmas season, and every other day of the year, strive to find peace in your life, in your family, in our world. What a wonderful world it would be if only we had peace in our daily lives. And live each day as if it could be your last, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.
“Peace…It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”
PS I am off on another FUN adventure tomorrow. And looking forward to being a Moravian again this Sunday! More on all of that next week!