Thursday, December 31, 2015

That’s a Wrap

As we wrap up another year, I'd like to take a moment to reflect on the past year and appreciate where I have been. My year centered on downsizing, simplicity, and traveling (you may click on the hyperlinked posts below).

My travels included Hawaii, North Carolina, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Montana, Italy, France, and more than a few trips to Lake Chelan in eastern Washington. We seemed to be somewhat plagued by less than optimal weather, as in the wettest and coldest for whatever the time of the year we happened to be in each spot. We did not let this get to us. Living in the Pacific Northwest one learns to adjust to changing weather, have a plan B and C just in case, and dress for whatever comes our way.

While traveling I have realized I don't need a lot of stuff in order to enjoy myself. I have taken simplicity in our travels and have brought it home where downsizing is the order of the day. As I continue on my path into a new year, I know downsizing, simplicity, and traveling will follow.

Take a moment to reflect on the past year. What did it center on for you? Did you let it get to you or did you adjust along the way? As we begin a new year you might consider having a plan B and C just in case, and don't forget to dress for whatever comes your way. Join me as I put a wrap on the old year and toast the new year of possibilities ahead. Cheers!

A champagne cheers photo courtesy of Bill Masson

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

All is Calm, All is Bright

My Dad spent many a Christmas Eve with us. I would cook up a Christmas feast which sometimes included a roast goose and all the fixings. We would take our time sharing gifts and enjoy a yule log fire. My husband, Dennis, would set aside a special log sometime during the year when he was splitting wood. When we sat down to open gifts, he would light the fire then we would each write a wish on a piece of paper and toss it into the flames. Before the designated yule log burnt up completely, Dennis would make sure a chunk of the charcoal was saved. The following Christmas Eve, he used the old yule log chunk from the prior year when he set the new yule log on fire, thereby continuing our good wishes from year to year.

After Dad died, we were left with a sense of sadness with the first Christmas Eve without him. Instead of doing what we had been doing with my Dad, we were determined to start new traditions and make new memories. I haven’t roasted a goose or have had a yule log fire in twenty-five years. When I look back over the years since Dad died, I can see making new traditions was just what we needed to do to help move us forward.

The holidays can bring up many memories. How about allowing for a season of change? It’s time, and it’s okay for you to enjoy the holiday season. Start by making new traditions and wonderful memories for the future.

During this holiday season I wish you all the best calm and all the best bright!
Cozy fire photo courtesy of Rachel_pics

Monday, December 7, 2015

The No-Gift Giving

I recently received a text from my friend Ann. She had been out and about and saw an ornament that reminded her of me. She wanted to buy it but her husband reminded her that I am in the process of getting rid of things. Ann carried it around the store with her for awhile then decided to take a picture of the ornament and send it to me instead of buying it. I told her the photo was perfect. It’s a gift just knowing Ann saw something that reminded her of me, and in that moment wanted to share it with me, but because she cares she didn’t buy it. Thank you Ann! I can keep the picture and know it was something she intended to buy for me, and it won’t take up any space.

I was thinking what a great way to give someone a gift, the no-gift giving when not a gift is a gift. With so many cell phone cameras around these days perhaps we should all get on the no-gift giving band wagon. It would be another way of sharing our love without accumulating stuff.
Ornament photo courtesy of Clark family archives.