Welcome back to SOLO AT SIXTY!
It’s almost time to say farewell to 2020. Adiós. Au Revoir. Sayonara. Ciao. My birthday and Thanksgiving have come and gone and here comes Christmas in just 2 days! I think this year “We Need a Little Christmas” more than ever and we needed it earlier than ever. Yes, my tree has been up since the day after my birthday when my daughter and son-in-law came with their truck to help me get my tree. I always put my tree up early, but this year was a bit earlier. Felt right.
“Don’t you love it when the Christmas tree is the only light in the room??”
Did I mention that my daughter and son-in-law were not in Charlottesville for my birthday, but because we were having a drop-in BABY SHOWER for my older daughter? Yes y’all, I am going to be a Grandmother any day now! I have known since early July when my granddawg pranced in my front door wearing the cutest pink scarf that said “Big Sister.” I looked at my daughter and said, “are y’all getting another dog?!” “Nope,” she replied! I immediately got the message, screamed, and hugged the soon-to-be parents! What a happy (grand) Momma I was (and am!). But I was sworn to secrecy for months. Now, I am finally able to share that Chase Michael Boland will join our family the first of January (if not before!). A dear friend gave me an ornament that says “On the very day a baby is born, so is a Grandmother” and friends, that is going to be ME! Oh my word, I had to keep this secret for months. Proof that I can keep a secret!
“Grandparenting is the stage in life when you finally understand the true meaning of the best is yet to come… because you’ve reached it.”
What a great way to finish celebrating my birthday – celebrating one of my favorite girls after a week of having other people make me feel so special. My coworkers decorated my office with streamers, signs, and birthday confetti – so nice to be able to celebrate a bit with them now that our work schedules keep us apart, just as our closed doors do (new Covid protocols). I also got to try out two delicious Charlottesville restaurants: The Ivy Inn with a friend, The Clifton with my daughter. We were celebrating both of our birthdays, hers on the 17th, mine the 20th. Brought her home from the hospital on my 30th birthday. Best birthday present – one that just keeps on giving! I cherish my birthday, even at 63, it is not a blessing all get to enjoy.
“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” – Oprah Winfrey
I also took an online grandparent class… yes… the new parents signed me up! (Everything is online these days!) However, I am so glad I took the 2-hour class – I learned a lot! I mean, nothing is the same as when my kids were born – honestly, I do not even know how they are alive today seeing that they slept on their stomach and NEVER on their back which is totally taboo now. They had bumper pads, blankets, and stuffed animals in the crib which is also forbidden. And they only slept in our room for one night – we could not sleep since every peep they made we sat up thinking something was wrong. Nope. Now they are supposed to sleep in their parents’ room for months! Also, no rice cereal and applesauce as their first foods – it will probably be avocado. WHAT?!?! But the greatest thing I learned (or am trying to learn) is the new mantra – I will not offer my opinion unless asked!
“A grandmother is like an angel who takes you under her wing. She prays and watches over you and she’d give you anything!”
In spite of Covid, I have tried to find any opportunity to bring the Christmas spirit into my life. I was able to take a private evening tour of Monticello which was decorated for the holidays, and where Mr. Jefferson made an appearance. I also enjoyed luminary night in my neighborhood. And I hosted my sisters and my kids for a weekend that included making Christmas wreaths (their Christmas gifts from me!). This was the third year for my younger daughter and me making Christmas wreaths at the Market at Grelen (a wonderful nursery and shop), second year for my younger sister, and first for my older sister, older daughter, and my sweet daughter-in-law. It was so much fun! All the greenery is fresh from the property. We even learned to make bows. Finally, my bow this year was worthy enough to remain on my wreath! Hoping this becomes an annual family event!
“Wreaths… Hung to fill our homes with holiday cheer, they’re made in circles with no beginning or end to symbolize the endless connection we have with family and dear friends.”
More family time was enjoyed last weekend as my sisters and I had our Annual Sisters Christmas Baking Day! We made lots of goodies – peanut butter balls, fudge, molasses cookies, lemon cookies, chocolate/raspberry squares, chocolate pecan clusters, peanut brittle, and sugared pecans. Many were Mom’s recipes. We laughed, we sang out loud, we had fun. (My brother-in-law hid downstairs until we called him up to take a picture!) Unfortunately, we could not bring Mom out to my sister’s to help bake, but we did take several trays of goodies to her caretakers and got to visit with her, masked and 6-feet apart, for 30 minutes. So hard to keep our distance when all we want to do is give her a hug and get that good mom hug in return. Only 2 of us were allowed in so my older sister and I went. It was my Christmas visit with mom… my sisters will go back on Christmas Day.
“Family… where life begins and love never ends.”
So, as trying as 2020 has been, it has also been filled with blessings in my family. We added a beautiful daughter-in-law in October, AND… we will have a new addition to our family any day now! Last Christmas without a little person around! So much to be thankful for. Christmas is almost here… my kids are here… winter is here… we are gaining 1+ minutes of light every day… only 2 more days of Leslie’s 25 Days of Christmas Sweaters (see pictures below)… and I think we are all ready to move on to 2021. I wish for all y’all a wonderful, happy, and healthy Christmas season and a healthy and prosperous New Year. Make the most of these days because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.
See you next year friends!
“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.” – Charles Dickens
PS – 25 Days of Leslie’s Christmas Sweaters!