When I was five years old, Mother bought a copy of the school annual. That's when there were two separate elementary classes at two different scholls, but joined together at one school, in sixth grade. In my kindergarten class photo, I am a blurry little character sitting in the shadows in the back of the room. The other kindergarten class picture showed a cocky, little smartass sitting right in front. I must have showed that picture to my mom at least a thousand times, saying "THAT IS THE CUTEST LITTLE BOY. I WISH I COULD MEET HIM!" Back then, five year-olds didn't know how to read like they do now, so I couldn't figure out what his name was that was listed on the page. Flash forward six years to Sixth Grade. I'm now eleven and there is a cocky little twelve-year old smartass that has come from the other elementary school. I wrote in my diary I WISH I COULD MARRY LONNIE OLIPHANT. I don't know why I even thought that, 'cause he was a real brat to me and picked on me a lot. During that same year, I met the nicest girl from the class joining ours, whom I still consider a great friend - Jodi. During the summer between sixth and seventh grades, we would write letters to each other. Yes, people, putting words on paper, shoving said paper into an envelope and slapping a five cent stamp on it. We had moved that year to a farm around the country block and AT&T had no telephone poles down our road (even though Dad offered to pay for the stupid pole!), so we didn't have a telephone. So writing was the only way I had to communicate with Jodi. Mom hated driving and if we got to go to the Troy Mills drive-in restaurant or to Rockwood's store once a week, we were happy campers! Needless to say, we didn't get out much and there wasn't too much to get excited about, so when there was, I wrote to Jodi in CAPITAL LETTERS for extra emphasis. ie: "I AM SO TIRED OF PAINTING FENCES AROUND THE HOG LOT! "I AM SO BORED!" "Mom took us into Rockwood's store this evening - I THINK I SAW LONNIE OLIPHANT AND HIS MOM DRIVE DOWN MAINSTREET! You are SO LUCKY to live down the street from him. I WISH I COULD LIVE NEAR HIM!"
Guess what? All of these wishes came true.
Well, at 3:40 this morning, I woke up with the words WHAT A REMARKABLE JOB YOU ARE DOING, LORD! shouting in my mind. There were the words, almost visible to me in the darkness. It was so cool! (I made a point of coming out to the dining room and writing the words down so that I would remember how exactly they went). I guess I can even praise him in my sleep, and that makes me so very happy. I don't know what it is with me and "shouting" while I'm thinking or writing, but even though I took the really long way to tell you this, it must be the way my brain is wired to handle important thoughts. Sorry it took so long to get it explained.
Last night we had a very good time celebrating Christmas with the kids and their kids and Little Ma (Hazel). Jenna's boyfriend and his sweet daughter joined us, which made me very happy. I guess the food turned out well, since everyone ate it, but it's kinda hard cooking when you can't really taste anything. After preparing almost everything, I took a shower and washed my hair to get ready for "company". Uh, Houston, we may have a problem. It looks like the old hair may be starting to depart. Yup, the follicles are starting to loosen up. I just told everybody, that if they found a loose hair in their food (gross!) it was just a special Christmas kiss from me. Nobody said anything about being "kissed".
I had bought myself a pretty necklace with pink and white crystals shaped like the breast cancer ribbon. Then I got one for Jenna, Little Ma, Cate, and Abby to wear. Later, my best friend/ partner-in-crime/sister-in-law Nina (you remember her) and her husband, Larry stopped by for a little bit. When I gave her one, since she is one of my staunchest supporters, we both started to cry. Jenna and I had a hard time earlier, controlling our emotions when I had given the family the pictures I had taken. At that time, everyone got quiet, letting us get a hold of ourselves. Then little Alec pipes up with, "You're gonna make me cryyyy! You're gonna make me cryyy!" When he got to the word "cryyy," he kinda sang it in his little vibrato that he does. That was huge for us, that he picked up on the emotions going on in the room. Well, that got Jenna and me laughing. But when Nina and I got teary-eyed, I told her if we started bawling, I was going to have someone take a picture of her, Jen and me to show the world what ugly criers we are. That's been something Jenna and I have said for years "We've got to stop it, We are NOT PRETTY CRIERS!" and that just makes us laugh.
Even with our little "moments", we had such a good time. Cate loved her new cowboy boots, and Abby was thrilled with all the Monster High books and Legos. Alec was working on running his new video camera. He is always filming little movies with Jenna's camera - setting up scenes and moving toys around to look like different parts of movies. With his new camera, he can see on the screen what he's filming and can set it solidly down to perform in front of it, without having to prop the phone against something.
Well, it is now 5:40 and I think I will try to lie down again. Wish me luck!
GOD BLESS YOU ALL