November 27, 2004



Mike and the girls were here all day yesterday and didn't leave until about 7:00 PM. Pete had asked Mike to come over to help him work on a raised garden that he is building where we used to have the shed. Mike brought the girls with him.

This is always fine with me because the girls and I always have fun together, no matter what we are doing. The sisters are good company for one another, and somehow their company never fails to make me happy.

Mike brought with them, a large cardboard box filled with packing popcorn. And, with my permission, the girls found a multitude of activities to do with it. Pretty soon, the white stuff pretty much covered the family room floor and started creeping into the kitchen. This activity seemed harmless enough to me, and I wasn't worried much about the cleanup.

It was fun to listen to their squeals of laughter, as the inventive children found so many ways to entertain themselves. Finally, when the girls exhausted their interest in this game, they prepared to get out some other toys which I keep in a cabinet in our attached garage.

I said; "First, let's clean up the popcorn before we start another mess." And, handed one of the girls a very small dust pan to scoop up the debris. I keep this with a little brush in the kitchen to sweep up crumbs and such from the counter. "Let me have it' said one child. 'No, let me have it." said the other. I handed it to the closest girl and set the timer for one minute, telling the other that when the dinger rings, it will be her turn.

This little technique worked like magic and soon the popcorn was back in the box. The timer went off several times during the process. But the girls were having fun and seemed to think it was a prize to hold the dustpan as they busily worked. The vacuum cleaner was brought out to sweep up the rest; however there are still bits of white all around the area which will require a more adult eye.

During the day, Pete and Mike worked steadily on the construction. Sounds of a saw were often heard from the garage. The only time we actually saw the men was if we looked out the window, or when they came in to get a bite to eat.

Meanwhile, I was spending the day putting the kitchen, dining and living room back in order from the holiday. Stopping on occasion, to answer questions; engage in a little "Let's Pretend' or to provide food and snacks for hungry munchkins.

Zoe has become a wonderful Mother's helper and always seems to want to help with the cleaning and cooking. She cleaned the three silver plate serving forks which had gotten discolored by the turkey, saving me the job. She wanted to help me spot the rug, but that had to be left for later.

When all the crystal, china and silver were ready to be put back into the cabinets, I brought the children into the dining room. Since so much of this stuff holds many memories for me, I wanted to let the girls know where it came from. I started with my Mom's old crystal goblets, went on to my wedding china, and some of the serving dishes that had been passed on from my grandmother, Fanny and Pete's mother, Lena. The girls 'Oohed" and 'Awed" over every piece, exclaiming "How pretty!"about one thing or another.

This made me smile, as the boys never cared about this kind of stuff. And the thought of someone wanting and using my belongings one day, makes me feel happy. Even though my ideal is to live simply, my attachment to the mementos of my past continues to this day.

Finally the guys were done for the day, and they came in for reheated Thanksgiving leftovers. Mike checked my computer to do a quick fix. While he was doing this, I packed up as much food as Mike said he would take.

(On Thanksgiving night, Michele decided not to make a plate to go home or pack up much of their belongings since Mike was planning on coming back the next day. And there was a lot of stuff. After all, they were responsible for a lot of the meal.)

The job packing up the food took some doing as Zoe and Mira wanted make their selections as well. And, occasional calls had to be made to Michele to make sure that she got her favorites. Good thing too, as she wanted some of the candied yams, cranberry relish and some leftover blueberry pie. By the time that Mike and the girls took their leave, several bags were lined up by the door to go with them.

This included food, the children's artwork and toys, Michele's pie basket, her purse, Mike's electric carving knife, the casserole dish and turkey pan that brought his smoked brisket and turkey, and last, but not least, the famous box filled with white "popcorn".



Today I left the house to go shopping for two gifts and a few things for us. A December birthday, a December wedding, a squeegee for our shower and new warm blanket for our bed. Luckily, there was no need to enter a mall.

When I got home, Pete told me that our gardener had stopped by just after I'd left. This hardworking man had lost the check we had given him on Wednesday and was hoping we would write another. Pete told him that I had the checkbook, and knew that I had some food I wanted to share with this good man's family. I still had half a roasted turkey and stuffing. We don't eat as much as we used to, and our group was considerably smaller this year. So much food. It would have been a shame to let it go to waste.

A call was made, and the gardener was soon back to pick up a rewritten check, extra turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce. I had turkey again tonight, but Pete would have no more. Instead he ate frankfurters.

The dishes, silver and crystal are all back in their places. The buffet has been cleaned out and I have found some takers for some trays and serving dishes, I no longer need. The Thanksgiving decorations are down or have been morphed into Christmas.

Still, fine pieces of white packing popcorn are decorating the small nooks crannies between sofa legs and other furniture. Left for another day's cleaning. But more precious than all the abundance that has been accumulated over 64 years of living and more than 41 years of marriage.

When I think of all of the people all over the world who have so little, it is somewhat overwhelming. How is it that some of us have so much and others are starving? Again, I think as the season of giving approaches, we must begin again to see what each of us can do to correct this imbalance.

How much we could do together if we just concentrated on the problems that face us and, were more satisfied with what we had. If only we remembered that we are all truly one family, and not separate from one another.

One time I spoke to my brother about my regret about our greed. He said something I have not forgotten. David said; "Greed is what fuels our economy." When I remember these words, I am always reminded about something I had been told long ago. "We can not give power to appearances." Nor can we say there are absolutes. Good and Bad are just judgments.

I think our job is to strive for balance. To just try our best to love in every way we can. To forgive ourselves and others when we do not. And, to remember that we are all connected, one to another, though time and through space, in thought, word and deed. One.

Posted by Judi at November 27, 2004 10:46 PM | TrackBack
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