My Granny (my Dad’s mother) would crochet house shoes for all her grandkids – and there were a lot of us. I looked forward to the gift each year because we had hardwood floors and the house shoes made perfect skates.
Several years ago, I found a pattern for house shoes with solid soles, and I made several pairs. Thinking on the fun my Granny’s house shoes provided makes me want to make up a batch for all my cousins’ kids (guess I’ll start tomorrow for next year – did I mention I have a LOT of cousins).
My mother always loved puzzles. Back before electronic devices controlled our world, you had to do puzzles by hand – live and in person. She was known for her love of all things puzzles so every year she received at least one new puzzle.
After family dinner, the dining room table would be cleared, and the puzzle fun would begin. The whole family would put in a piece or two. Lots of fun conversations were carried on around that puzzle table.
As her health failed her, my mother lost the ability to do the puzzles. I tried several times to start it up with my kids, but it never stuck with us (partly because we only have one table and we use that for meals).
I missed my mom deeply this Christmas, and after Tommy Blaze shared his adventures with puzzling this holiday season, I listened to the prompting. My mom’s puzzles were stacked on the shelf, and I chose the one in the most unusual container. My whole family gathered around to work on the puzzle (although we had to improvise the location). It took almost eight hours, but it was fun and had us all working together.
I look forward to many more puzzling opportunities in the days ahead.
My aunt hosted a card night at her house each year – sometimes for the holidays and sometimes when my cousins came up from Florida. We would laugh for hours. I miss those nights. I miss the family that used to gather.
I haven’t done enough to stay connected. I keep saying I will do more, but I keep coming up with excuses not to. I want my children to remember the laughter the way I remember the laughter.
My Nanny (my Mom’s mom) treasured time together as a family. She hosted a gathering at her house every year until she decided we had to rotate it between her children (so that when she was gone the gatherings would continue). We all gathered around her massive dining room table. I remember there was a window seat on one end and I always wanted that seat. We didn’t have a kiddie table. Everyone ate together.
Together – that’s my greatest Christmas memory – time together with friends and family. We broke bread. We laughed. We shared stories. We made memories.
This year, my family made memories. We broke bread. We laughed. We shared stories. Even though there were many holes in our hearts for those that are no longer with us, we had a day filled to overflowing with blessings.
My prayer will be that each day we will continue to make new memories and to honor the memories of those that have gone on.