Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!
Hello December! Hard to believe that we are in the LAST month of 2019. There’s a new decade coming. Three weeks from today we will be opening presents from Santa. THREE weeks y’all! Are you ready? HO! HO! HO!
Did you get your fill of turkey last week? Still eating those delicious leftover turkey sandwiches? Aren’t they just the best?! I hope your Thanksgiving was full of blessings. I am so thankful to have had all of my kids together for Thanksgiving and the weekend. And I got to celebrate my birthday a bit more with my kids (still dragging it out!). As I have said before, just having them together is the best gift for me.
“Fill a house with love, and it becomes a home.”
My older daughter and son-in-law hosted Thanksgiving for our family and my son-in-law’s family. It was wonderful for all of us to be together celebrating and eating Thanksgiving dinner in their beautiful new home. 15 people and 2 golden retrievers! Only disappointment was Carolina’s ugly loss in basketball, which we have experienced every November since 2009 (10 of those 14 losses were to unranked teams). But it did not dampen our spirits nor our appetites! After dinner, my son, his fiancée, my younger daughter, and I headed back to Charlottesville with full bellies, turkey overload, and though desperately needing a nap (or just to go to bed), we stayed up late talking!
“To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today.” Barbara Johnson
Did you hit the malls for the Black Friday specials? My daughter and son-in-law were home from their Friday morning Black Friday adventures before the rest of us even woke up! We avoided the crowds by going out into the countryside of Albemarle County to taste some wine. Visited Glass House Winery, Stinson Vineyards (where a sweet friend was pouring), and Grace Estate. Enjoyed wine at each and were able to sit outside taking in the beautiful scenery and being together. So thankful for a special day spent with my kids. Arrived back at my house in time to meet my older daughter, son-in-law, and my precious granddawg for dinner. (They spent the day unpacking the last boxes from the big move. And shopping!) For the first time in ages, we had our old “Saturday night family dinner” of grilled steaks, baked potatoes, salad, and garlic bread. Topped off with leftover chocolate dessert and pumpkin pie. Again, we just sat around the table laughing and sharing their childhood stories with my future daughter-in-law. And drinking wine!
After dinner, my older daughter and her husband headed back to Richmond, my son and his fiancée left to meet up with some of his friends home for Thanksgiving, and my younger daughter’s friends came to my house to visit with her. Just like the old days from middle school through high school! Love all of these “kids” and loved listening to them laugh, sing (karaoke), and share stories now that they are “adults.” Friendships that continue to thrive. When the younger set returned, they joined in as well. Several friends ended up spending the night, just like in high school, except now it is hanging out at “Momma Les’ house!” These “kids” are always welcome!
“The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Saturday was one of those lazy, chilly winter days. We started the day with breakfast casserole, cinnamon rolls, and fruit – all served on Christmas china, since it is, after all, the most wonderful time of the year! But before we sat down for brunch, we looked out my back deck to see 5 hot air balloons. Must have been early Christmas presents! It is not unusual to see a hot air balloon in Charlottesville, but to see 5 at once was pretty special. We all gawked at them and took pictures. I once went up in one – an anniversary present from my kids. Pretty amazing!
We spent the rest of the day in comfy clothes, sprawled in front of the fire watching football, soccer, movies, you name it, complete with lasagna for dinner at home. Another perfect day, especially since Carolina was playing football as we sat down to dinner. BIG win for our HEELS and we are now bowl eligible – first time since 2016. Perfect ending to a perfect week.
“A good life is when you smile often, dream big, laugh a lot, and realize how blessed you are for what you have.”
My dishwasher ran more in those wonderful 4 days than it has in the last 6 months! Same for my washing machine. And my recycling bin overflowed (lots of water, wine, and beer bottles!). People were in and out of my house. And I loved every single minute of it! As much as I love living SOLO, it was so nice for the “empty nest” to fill up again. So when I said goodbye to my 3 Charlotte-bound kids Sunday, it left me with a bit of that let-down feeling. The cure for that? Digging up all of my Christmas Sweaters! Organized them and decided which ones would not make the cut this year, since I have added even more, some new, some not so new! Be sure to check out my 25 Days of Christmas Sweaters on Facebook! (Did you know Solo at Sixty has a Facebook page?!)
“What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future.” Agnes M. Pahro
There’s this wonderful feeling this time of year that can bring out a smile even on ole Scrooge. Elf on a Shelf is keeping the kiddos on their best behavior. Christmas music abounds. Christmas movies are on TV 24/7. That’s what “a little Christmas” means to me… a little more kindness, more understanding, more acceptance of others. Christmas embodies all of this, plus pure joy, love, generosity, and the anticipation of something wonderful about to happen. So take time to notice the faces of children visiting Santa, volunteer to ring the bell for Salvation Army, adopt a needy family, or take a gift request from an Angel Tree. In other words, do something for someone else, even if it is just showing a kindness. I promise it will help you claim some of that Christmas spirit. Don’t wish the season away, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.
“For we need a little music, Need a little laughter, Need a little singing… Ringing through the rafter, And we need a little snappy “Happy ever after,” Need a little Christmas now.”
PS… Did you know that today, December 4th, is NATIONAL COOKIE DAY? Yep, that’s right! Do you have a favorite? Chocolate Chip? Snickerdoodle? Oreo? Girl Scout Cookies? So many choices…Hope you enjoy one (or a dozen) cookies today!