June on the Farm

Bike rides on gravel roads; cool water, the trusty sprinkler, picnics and grandma’s salads, Old Dutch chips, fireflies, bible camp, babysitting, teen beat, lollies, and boys. These are just some of my memories of summers on the farm. Oh how I remember wanting to go camping, but that was out of the question. My parents were so not the camping type. So, we improvised. I would throw blankets over the clotheslines and crawl in and lie there and watch the reflections of bugs and bees fly over my “tent.” I loved the thought of sleeping outside with all the kittens, our dog, frogs, and all the birds. Why, I’d be right there with the fireflies and whippoorwill.

I waited all year for summer to come. Oh how I dreaded school. As the month of May wound down, so would my angst at school be replaced with daydreams. Boys, bike riding, chasing fireflies, walking the valley, hanging with the neighbor kids, picnics, easy times, and best of all, gardens of flowers in bloom all over our farm. Don’t let me forget to mention the strawberry bed and the first tomato, or walking barefoot everywhere and trips to town. My first stop at Rexall Drug and the magazine racks for me. I would save all my babysitting money and pray there was a new Tiger Beat out that week.

Summertime meant more time to read, earn money, and reinvent myself for the next school year. The first picnic would be for Dad’s birthday in June. As I type this post, it is his birthday. Ah, I wonder if anyone celebrates birthdays in heaven. He’s been gone for almost twenty-five years now. Grandma, his mother, always wanted to have a picnic for him. Eventually, we bought a picnic table and, thereafter, a picnic we had. Grandma and her strawberry jello with fresh strawberries and cool whip, Mom and her Old Dutch chips, and at the last minute, grabbing a couple of cans of 7-up so that Dad would have a cold drink after chores. Summertime meant sitting in the crook of an old tree and daydreaming away the afternoon, or walking through the woods to bird song and finding a cool spot to lie down in the grass.

Whippoorwills at night in the tree by our bedroom. Peepers and big fat toads croaking in the pond across the street. On our farm, every single day was the best time of the whole year. Whether it was the smell of freshly mowed hay or green chop, the anticipation of the first peony, strawberry, or green bean, or summer storms that had us sitting on our screened-in front porch, laughing at the loud claps of thunder and smelling summer rains. Oh, how I miss this part of my life growing up in the 70s on my family’s farm.

Nothing compares to the innocent times of childhood where a simple storm, a favorite magazine, an afternoon stroll, hot dogs for lunch, the treat of a cone from A & W on a Sunday afternoon, or watching Dad come flying down the hill on his old John Deere, standing up, letting the cool breeze blow through his bib overalls, happy to be hauling the last load of hay home for the day. Simple times, beautiful memories, cherished days. Summers on the farm.✨ 

revised and reposted 6/16/22

🐝kind be well, until next time

Easter on the Farm

Easter Sunday in the 70’s –growing up on the farm.

Happy Easter!!

People seem to think on the first day of spring, or at least by Easter Sunday, that winter should be finished. That isn’t how I remember things growing up on the family farm in the 1970’s. Oh yes, there was an Easter or two, where we could wear our new spring dresses and patent leather shoes. But many times, Easter fell at a time when our world was filled with snow and cold. And then the most asked and answered question would be, “How will the Easter bunny get through all the snow?” He always made it—that’s for sure!

Prior to that day, I would have watched any and all of the religious programming on television put on by our father for our viewing pleasure–Billy Graham, Robert Schuller, and Oral Roberts. Oh, our dad loved his evangelical preachers. My most enjoyable part of any of what showed up on television at this time of year was Jesus of Nazareth, which I still watch to this day, some 45 years later. Before the big day, mom would shop for all our favorites, including beef short ribs or sometimes ham, which were meats that she really knew how to bake. Of course, her Easter table always had scalloped potatoes, sometimes scalloped corn, carrots, peas, and store bought buns warmed up. What we had for dessert escapes me right now. Often times, especially when I was younger, our grandparents would be our dinner guests. Dinner would be leftovers from our Easter meal, and Dad would be able to take an extra long nap in his chair.

And yes, we got Easter baskets that usually held a hollow chocolate bunny plus a big cream egg (fruit and nut or cherry) in a box, and mom would hide jelly beans all over the dining room and living room. It never took me long to find most of them–same places year after year (window sills, desk, and table) lol. Mom seemed to really enjoy making holidays like Easter and Christmas special for us.

My earliest memory of Easter was when I was 8 years old and had written a letter to the Easter bunny. Low and behold, when I woke up, he had answered my letter with muddy🐾 prints and a basket of goodies. Easter time growing up is a wonderful memory for me and one I reflect back on each and every year as the holiday arrives. Though we didn’t have baby chicks or bunnies on our farm, springtime was a time of renewal on this special place. The land after a cold, wet winter was renewed and ready for new crops. The cows began calving and our barn cats began having kittens. The first flowers I would see and smell were my grandmother’s tulips—she loved the red and yellow ones. All of the spring rains, longer days, warmer days and nights, and the return of the robins and whippoorwill are all things that I think about when I remember all of my Easters on the farm. 🐄 🐰🐤 🐱

Fall on the farm in the 70s

Fall time on the farm was many things while growing up. First off, not long after the dog days of summer, cooler weather was upon us in Minnesota. The county fair signaled the end of summer break and the first thoughts of the new school year.

Sometime around fair time our family, when us kids were younger, all drove to a larger city about an hour from the farm and shopped for school supplies. I also remember a time in the late 70s when I bought my first pair of Levi’s on this trip and my first bottle of cologne called Love’s Baby Soft. Walmart’s weren’t around back then, at least not in Minnesota, so everything we needed for school was purchased at one store and that was called Osco Drug. When we were younger and had less school supply needs we most likely could get everything at our local Ben Franklin.

When the fair came around, sometimes, if I was lucky, I’d be able to wear a piece from my new back to school wardrobewhich in the 70s comprised new jeans or cords, new turtleneck (always), a new shirt, socks, and underclothing. That’s it! If we needed new jackets, mittens, and caps then we got those right before the first snowfall. For years fair time meant baking cookies, arranging flowers, and trying to find just the right vegetable from the garden to show at the fair. My mom helped me with the cookies, and my grandmother taught me flower arranging and some gardening. I remember receiving several red ribbons (2nd place) and a few prized blue. Fair time meant hamburgers at the 4-h building, rides, and trying to win a big stuffed animal. Though I usually came home with a stuffed snake or banana.

Living out in the country some thirteen miles from town we had to catch the bus every morning for school. I think at one time we were first on the bus—where we were picked up right in front of our house at 7 am. Then after a while we had to hoof it up a hill that was maybe an 1/8th of a mile from our front door. The bus, give or take 5 minutes, would then pick us up at 7:20. We would be alerted when it was time to run when mom could see from our front door the bus approaching a certain spot in the road.  Many a day I remember running as fast as my legs could carry me because missing the bus was never an option. Once school started it wasn’t long before the time changed and we would be waking in the pitch dark and the sky would just be lighting up about the time the bus approached us.

Fall time on the farm meant the last of lawn mowing but more raking leaves. Also every fall I helped to put all my mom’s gardens to bed. This involved raking the ground smooth and then mulching it with leaves. Eventually my bike would be put away for the winter by washing it up good, drying and buffing it, and throwing an old rug or blanket over it until spring. Our momma cats were usually all done having kittens for the year so trying to find them and “help” to take care of them was over for another season. No fall would have been complete without my mom offering out my services to pick up the walnuts off my grandma’s front lawn and the lawn of a close neighbor/friend.

It should be said that I did not like school. I literally counted the days until graduation. I was the picked on kid for several years starting in 3rd grade and ending in my freshman year. My dislike of school was not a direct reflection of my teachers. I had some wonderful teachers and a nice school to go to. Bullying back in the 70s was almost unheard of– unfortunately it still happened rare or not and my being bullied eventually stopped when the bullies graduated or moved away. There was, however, an aspect of school I loved and looked forward to and that was when I could order books from The Weekly Reader. To this day those memories are still some of my most favorite memories growing up.

No fall on the farm would be complete without remembering dressing up for Halloween. I’m not sure there were any factory made costumes back then—I never saw any that’s for sure. Everyone wore whatever they could come up with from whatever silly clothing that could be found. So, there were always hobos, farmers, moms, grannies, clowns, and wearing pj’s (the best of all) or curlers in your hair (very popular). I think I was a hobo every year lol. Trick or treating in the country meant about 5-10 houses and only the ones with the porch light on. We didn’t have fancy pumpkins or bags to throw our candy in instead we used an old pillow case. Seventy percent of what we got trick or treating was popcorn and apples with an occasional Hershey candy bar or lifesavers thrown in. The one thing all kids in the 70s were looking forward to receiving that night were full size Snicker bars. We never went to town trick or treating because of how far we were from town, the amount of candy we would have got, and last but never least the tom foolery usually going on like toilet papering houses and egging cars.

Shortly after Halloween all you would hear in the valley I called home were corn pickers and harvesters as the farmers harvested their corn crops for the year. Every night after supper the ground would have a covering of frost. Sometimes I would sit on the swing in our front yard and listen to the corn stalks rustling together and smelling the distant smoke from our neighbor’s woodstove.

Fall on the farm brings back memories of hot summers gone and the coolness and colorful beauty of the next season beginning. Leaves, hot cocoa, candy, wood smoke, and harvest. These are the memories I have of fall on the farm.

Summertime on the farm in the 1970s

If you drove past our farm in the 1970s you would have seen two things right away in our front yard–my dad’s old B (John Deere) and our tree swing.

Summer in the 1970s was a time of absolutely nothing to keep us indoors except sickness– and even that didn’t do it sometimes. Mother would be hard pressed at days end to get us indoors as we were so busy running around in the dark, feet wet from dew, chasing lightning bugs and scaring each other. Whether it was bike riding on gravel backroads, riding to the store and buying lollies, or dipping my toes in a wading pool or better yet running through the sprinkler–seventies summers were the real thing. –A time period now only revived for period piece sitcoms or movies.  One none of us will ever really experience together again except in memory– of growing up on our family farm and summertime in the 1970s.

I grew up in a valley full of farming families in the 1970s. A time where television meant one channel for us, if we were lucky, and if our antennae wasn’t acting up due to wind—weather was our televisions greatest enemy in the 70s. Of course we only got NBC which for the most part had lots, and lots of sports–not our family’s favorite thing. Saturday mornings, bugs bunny, and after school specials were a highlight for us. We lived thirteen miles from the nearest town which for years had just a mercantile not an actual grocery store. There you could only buy the staples and most of them were limited or outdated. So we would drive over the hill and through the woods to another small town and buy groceries—again from a mercantile but this one actually had stocked shelves and a butcher shop in back. I have great memories of walking the wood plank floors of this stores three aisles and eyeballing the large barrels full of candy at checkout. If we were good we’d be allowed to go into the Rexall across the street and I’d happily browse the magazine racks–my favorite thing, buy the newest Tiger Beat, and a pack of gum if I had any change left over. On Sundays if my dad could find some free time we would take a drive up to this same town and get rootbeer floats at the local A& W.

Life in any year, every generation, has had its hardships and the 70s was no exception. Farming had some rough patches in the 70s and money was tight the whole while I was growing up. My dad had two farms, which was quite a bit of land for a small scale farmer, milk cows, beef cattle, and crops to put in and then harvest seven months out of the year. We didn’t take vacations, but sometimes we would drive to see something of interest–clock museum, steam engine museum and parade, historical marker–things like that would take all of us from the farm on a Sunday afternoon and give dad a break. An ice cream cone, hamburger, or a rootbeer float was always our treat before we headed back home.

Food in the 70s was not at all what food has been for the last 40-50 years. For most people there was no such thing as fast food. I was 18 when they built the first McDonald’s in one of the larger cities we visited to buy school supplies every year. School supplies another favorite memory of mine–also, when Levis first came out in this city and we all took a trip into it to this large warehouse style store and asked to see a pair of Levi jeans. I remember the store was owned by a family and two brothers worked in sales. When we asked to see a pair the one brother whipped out a measuring tape, measured my waist, and then from a large stack of denim jeans tossed a folded pair at me. That was all there was to it–no changing rooms at all. If they were too long, and they were, then you got your mom or grandma to hem them for you. School supplies were purchased at Osco Drug which was right next door. In grade school I think crayons, pencils, and an eraser were probably all we were required to bring. Once in high school we were then required a notebook for each class, book covers for the textbooks handed out, and pencils.

Back to 70s food- there was absolutely no such thing as prepared food until around 1979/1980. I remember this because our neighbors, whom I babysat for, began to purchase microwaves and Banquet chicken/pot pies/ and chicken dinners were introduced in local grocery stores. I loved Banquet chicken !! My mother probably had a microwave by the time I graduated high school, but never ever bought tv dinners or Banquet chicken to microwave in it. She likely used it to warm up tea or coffee as I honestly don’t ever remember it being used for anything else. Prepared foods were frowned upon by most if you were home and able to cook (as you always had been cooking) with staples, items from your garden, and of course your local butcher shop to supply you with everything you needed.

Once our garden started producing supper meals were sliced tomatoes still warm from the summer sun, cantaloupe, mac salad, and Wyler’s lemonade. When strawberries were in season there was lots of sliced berries, angel food cake, and of course everyone’s favorite–strawberry jello with sliced strawberries and cool whip on top. Lunch when we were younger was whenever we could hear my dad coming down the hill by our farm on his tractor. If it was a hot, humid day, he’d be standing up on his tractor all the way down the hill until he pulled into the driveway. Once or twice a summer my grandma and mom would put on a spread out on our picnic table and everyone would eat supper together outside. There would be a cold cut plate with cheese, white bread with butter, strawberry jello, pickles–usually watermelon pickles, and mac or potato salad. As a treat maybe a bag of plain Old Dutch potato chips. Mom would put a can of budweiser in the fridge for dad with a couple of cans of rootbeer for us to share.  Sometimes as a treat she would buy cones for ice cream cones and we would get one or two scoops of butter pecan, or neopolitan, or just plain vanilla. These were simple times and treats like this were a real luxury. Another treat was popcorn which wasn’t made very often, but when it was there were smiles all around. We tried making it in saucepans, air poppers–but what finally worked was when Jiffy made the popcorn you placed on the stove burner and moved back and forth until all the kernels were popped.

Life though busy was a slowed down version of life today. Our phone rang when one of the elders wanted to gossip. In the early days when I was nine or ten years old we still had the party line. There were certain rings that indicated when the call was for you. I’m not sure anyone ever went by that as all I remember was mom or grandma picking the phone up and then setting it back in its cradle right away. The phone was used for emergencies only unless as I said someone rang you. In our house the radio was on all the time and on a channel were there was non-stop grain reports, country music, and Paul Harvey at dinner time. By the way dinner time was the noon meal, supper was the evening meal, and lunch was the sandwich and milk dad grabbed before he went down to milk both in morning and evening.

Night time in the summer in our valley was a delightful orchestra of whipporwill, distant hound dogs barking, sometimes our dog barking, peepers (sometimes bull frogs), and cows mooing lowly. The smells ranged from fresh cut hay, to grain, to soil, rain/river, and manure. All of which I miss to this day. Every time I smell fresh cut hay I’m back home looking out my bedroom window planning my future self/life all the while smelling hay, hearing peepers, sleeping by whipporwill, and rising with the sound of a tractor start.

Just before school started it was fair time. I was in 4-H and always entered flowers, baked goods, and something from the garden. My grandma often helped me with the flower arranging and mom with the baked good. The fair was usually held a week or two before school started so if we got new clothing–which was rare, we sometimes wore it to the fair. With our new Levis, when they came into fashion, one would avoid all stains etc. as you didn’t want to wash them before the first day of school. Washing them would take some of the denim dye out and also make them less stiff–stiff dark denim was a thing once upon a time with no fringes, no holes, and absolutely no wear ! lol The fair was bright lights, lots of noise, ferris wheels, 4-H ribbons, trying to win big teddy bears– I always won the stuffed banana, and eating cotton candy. Oh and stopping in the 4-h barn for a hamburger and boy watching–lots of boy watching. Innocent, easy, summer time fun.

These are my memories of growing up on a farm and summer in the 1970s.

 

A Minnesota Christmas- A Ghost from Christmas Past (growing up in the 70s)

559_image1

Photo Source

A Christmas Essay by Kim VanderWerf for goodfoodgreatdesign ™ (previously posted on my blog Feast 12/12/15)

I grew up in the 1970s in a little valley about thirteen miles from the nearest town and belonged to a family of five. Which was made up of mom, dad, a younger brother, and a younger sister. We lived in a hundred-year-old farmhouse next to our grandparents’ on the family farm.  From our home, we could see our grandparents’ next door, our neighbors across the main gravel road in front of our home, distant neighbors by their barn light (known as a security light now) and the wisps of smoke from their wood stove.  Occasionally we would hear the bark of that distant neighbor’s coon hounds if the wind blew just right. As the year wound down and the holidays grew near, a certain mood took over in our household.  Christmas time was a special time in our home; a time when it seemed my parents’ moods brightened and even they had a child-like state of mind. You know the one I’m talking about. The happy, peaceful and hopeful feelings that every child has at Christmas time. My siblings and I didn’t have to be reminded to behave, nor do I ever remember being threatened that Santa would not come. Though no doubt we were anxious, and probably at times slightly giddy, we knew that Christmas was about more than just presents.  You see our parents’ weren’t like some of the parents’ of the time, they did not compete at Christmas time with the Jones’.

First and foremost in our home at Christmas time it was all about Christ. Christ was brought into our lives by way of the church we belonged to and its annual Christmas program. It was there that we learned the story of the baby Jesus as each year one of us took a turn participating in the play. Though I loved going to church and enjoyed watching the Christmas play, I really looked forward to the box of candy we were given as we exited the nave.  The play was held at night time so all the way home all you would hear from mom was “no candy before bed”. To which of course meant I had very little time to ever so quietly sneak out the biggest piece of peanut brittle I could find.

Christmas time meant a lot of time spent with the elder members of our family. I grew up with four step great aunts all in their 70’s and a step great uncle. There was also a reverend in our family along with a church choir director. So one could say I was brought up surrounded by Christian influence. Often my father would include bible verses in simple conversation even though he himself was a lapsed Lutheran. Whether it was the ever-present Christian influence or the spirit of the season, mom made sure that giving to others remained an important part of our Christmas festivities. She was ever busy trying to find just the right gift for the elders, wrapping them just right, and making arrangements from one to the other on when we’d come over to visit. Even at their ages each great aunt had their home warmly decorated for Christmas and all had made the customary goodies from their native country of Norway. Once the meal was ready we would enjoy Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes, carrots, corn, and gravy. Desserts were varied but usually were cranberry salads, glorified rice and of course- lefse, rosettes, and sandbakkels.

After the meal we three kids would sit quietly amongst the adults as they visited. Then eventually we’d be handed our gift. From the elders, our gifts were usually homemade. Over the years my sister and I received hand knit Barbie clothes, stocking caps, mittens, and homemade Christmas tree ornaments. Never did we look down upon these gifts even though we knew our friends were receiving the store bought kind from their aunts and uncles.

Because of the different groups, my mom belonged to there was always the Secret Santa gifts to look forward to buying and receiving. It was fun to watch her get someone’s name and then have to go out and try to find the gift requested. It was even more fun to see her expression when someone who wasn’t shopper savvy would draw her name and ultimately give her a gift she hadn’t requested. But of course mom would make good use of it and the rest of us, well, we’d sure get a good laugh out of it.  My sister and I belonged to 4-H so we would also have a Christmas party and exchange gifts. I always asked for a Lifesaver’s Storybook for my gift and sometimes I would actually get one. For me, that was the ultimate gift and one I still asked for up to a few years ago. As a family, I think we enjoyed the giving of gifts way more than ever receiving them.

Christmas Eve was always spent at our grandparents’ home watching Doug Henning, the magician, on t.v. while grandma prepared her Oyster Stew. Neither of my siblings, nor I or mom, would eat the Oyster Stew so grandma prepared a casserole for us. Of course,  it goes without saying my eyes were constantly perusing the candy dishes because grandpa would usually have quite an assortment of hard candy at this time of year.  After the evening meal, we would present grandpa and grandma with their gifts. Grandpa was easy to buy for because like me he had a major sweet tooth. So he usually got a flannel shirt, some mixed nuts, and hard candy. Grandma liked the prettier things in life so her gifts were pretty knick-knacks, gloves, or her favorite– a gift set of Chantilly dusting powder. Before the end of the night, grandma would open a box of chocolates and each of us would be able to pick one. I always wanted the vanilla cream one but usually ended up with a caramel nougat. Then back to our home we would go where we would shortly be sent up to bed. After a few reminders that “Santa won’t come if you’re still awake”, we would settle down and go off to sleep.

Come Christmas morning we would wait for two (sometimes more) hours for dad to finish chores. While Mom was in the kitchen making a special breakfast of sausages and eggs we were allowed to open our stocking. Our stockings were stretched out old socks once worn by Dad now retired, clean, and full of goodies. Each stocking contained a handful of hard candy in cling film, a candy cane, and the ever traditional orange. You can read the story behind the tradition of putting oranges in stocking here, which I thought was very interesting. Having cared for many elderly people throughout my healthcare career, I know that getting an orange for Christmas during the Great Depression was a real treat and sometimes all a family could afford. Mom no doubt was carrying on a tradition started by her grandparents as she was born a few years after the final year of the Great Depression in Canada. Fruit at Christmas time and all through the holidays is a big thing throughout Europe, the U.S., and Canada. There’s fruitcakes, fruit baskets, and fruit of the month clubs to name just a few things that promote the giving and partaking of fruit during the Christmas holidays. Of course, as soon as I saw the hard candy or candy cane the orange I was given was soon lost to the world. Just kidding, it was set aside to eat AFTER the candy and breakfast was eaten.

Once dad was in the house we could open our bigger present; as we each got one big present. I usually asked for LP records, while my sister asked for games or clothing.  Our little brother always wanted whatever new John Deere tractor or piece of machinery was popular that year from the local farm implement.  Smaller gifts were Christmas nighties or slippers, new denim jeans or socks. After our presents were opened it was dad’s turn and I think all of us were most excited for his reaction. Each year he got the same things, yet, he was always thankful and happy to get new ones-socks, long underwear, and that ever-present winter staple in the Midwest– a flannel shirt.  And what about mom you ask? Well, she purchased her own Christmas gifts because she was ever so particular as to what she would want. Usually, she wanted a flannel nightgown, soft socks or slippers, and sometimes a soft sweater or housecoat. She bought the gifts I wrapped them and come Christmas morning they were a complete surprise to her.

Christmas decorations in our home were simple; our tree was always decorated with handmade ornaments. The traditions were abundant from the meal we ate on Christmas Eve with our grandparents’ to the oranges in our stockings Christmas morn. Christmas vacation was a time for sledding parties and ice-skating and one year even going for a horse-drawn sleigh ride. Mom would spend two weeks every year making her famous homemade fudge and special Christmas Sugar cookies. Which of course meant that between all the Christmas break activities I was forever sneaking into the pantry eating fudge and sugar cookies. Christmas dinner was usually mom’s famous baked BBQ ribs but sometimes it was a ham with her delicious scalloped potatoes and creamed corn. I loved, loved, loved my Christmases growing up. It set in stone how I’ve spent each Christmas since I’ve left home. Steeped in tradition with its common theme in giving, Christ is still the reason for the season in our home.

Each year at this time I look back and the ghost of Christmas past is very present. It’s a great experience, I’m very thankful for the memories I have. As I grew into an adult I passed some of my family’s Christmas traditions onto others, and I am certain that if they’ve remembered the giving part rather than focusing on the receiving part their Christmases have always been memorable. When I first met my husband he was very stressed at Christmas time. His family celebrated, throughout his childhood in the states, Christmas on December 5th. That is the date that people from the Netherlands celebrate Sinterklaas Day. I’ve written about this day on my blog a few times. In short, it is a day dedicated to the children in the Netherlands where St. Nick arrives by boat and gives gifts and candies to all. As adults, my husband’s family drew names and then got together on December 5th to exchange the gifts.

When we got married I was expected to change my day of celebration to December 5th.  But I would not do that. Instead, I compromised and did both because there was no way I was going to give up the way I celebrated Christmas. Their celebration did not involve Sinterklaas arriving in their home giving gifts to kids but instead was each adult drawing names and then buying the gifts from that person’s list. Christmas dinner was the same meal served at family get-togethers throughout the year. And although we enjoyed getting together with family on Christmas day what inevitably happened between family members and gift giving made it a very stressful day for us. Let’s just suffice it to say what usually happened would definitely rival some of the Christmas movies made today where the entire family is having a meltdown.

By our second year of marriage, I had taken my husband home so that he could see how my family celebrated this special time. I wanted him to experience how warm, and friendly and giving centered my family made the special day. After that experience, he was sold on celebrating Christmas the way my family enjoyed celebrating it. By the third year of our marriage, we were celebrating in our home with some of the traditions I had grown up with and some new ones of our own.  Now twenty-one Christmases later Christ and the gift of giving is still the main focus of our Christmas time.

As your family gets ready to enjoy whatever celebration you have in the month of December don’t let how others choose to celebrate the day affect how you enjoy yours. Comparison really is the thief of all joy. Enjoy your traditions and make new ones. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Good Cheer!

Here are a few more Christmas decor pictures. Notice half-way through our little ham needed to get in on the action. He kept posing in front of the camera each place I stopped to take a snap. Finally, once I got the hint, I took his picture.  Our Christmas tree is decorated in Blue, White, and Red as a remembrance of those who lost their lives and the families of those whose lives were lost in Paris. You may also notice if you click on the photo that there are spaceships. Yes, spaceships. For nearly twenty-one years my husband has been collecting Star Trek ships (Hallmark Ornaments) and this year I promised him they could go on the tree. So they are there amongst the blue, white and red and if I may so I think they look just grand!

Joyeux Noel
IMG_1149
IMG_1147
IMG_1116
IMG_1119
IMG_1120
IMG_1121
IMG_1167
IMG_1145
IMG_1148 IMG_1152
IMG_1153
IMG_1156

Until next time…

Written by Kim A VanderWerf
12/12/2015