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January 2, 2011

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OpalToney7-24.jpg (37075 bytes)As I Was Saying
By Opal Toney

I didn’t cook a thing...
I’m sittin’ here wonderin’ what might happen next.
Daughter #5 decided to have an early family Christmas get-together at her home.
So, everybody went and the house was full, and there was also a lot of delicious food.
There was so much that we went back the next day to eat leftovers and I still didn’t cook a thing, but I ate a lot!
And, maybe that’s why the next day I have been “punished” for doing nothing but showin’ up.
Yes, my shoulder started hurtin’ more, and I put a “new” kind of ice pack on it.
It’s something I never used before. It’s a rather small square “thing” that I was told to put in the “frig” and get it frozen and then place it where the pain is.
Well, I did what I was told to so, and guess what? When I set back down in my chair the cold thing slid off my shoulder and went down into my clothes!
Thank goodness I was here alone ‘cause I screamed pretty loud.
I’m thankful Santa Claus has come no matter how naughty I might act.
I finally got dry clothes on and hurried to bed, and covered up under my new electric blanket, which is one of my gifts – so maybe I have been a good little girl instead of a naughty one.
As I was saying, I’m wondering what will happen next. One thing I’m doing is wishing y’all a Happy New Year.


honeyandflag.jpg (61206 bytes)The View From Here
By Katherine Veno

A brand new year...
Here we are in the first months of winter, with chill winds and frost on the ground, stepping cautiously into a new year, and tying up loose ends from the past year.
The seasons slip silently one into another much more quickly than they did before for me. Time moves so quickly now, but some days or nights can be longer or shorter than others.
Before we know it, spring cleaning will be here and spring bulbs will push their colorful flowers through the frozen ground, but for now we are left silently looking at ourselves and facing whatever is in our future with all our resolutions made.
New Years Eve was always a night of parties and too much of a good thing. Now I am content to sit by the fire and hold my cat or just enjoy friends. Getting older means not putting unnecessary pressure on yourself or taking as many chances as you did as a young person.
I have lived my entire life as a risk-taker, but not as much anymore. I still love excitement and anticipation, but find such happiness in simpler activities than those that used to capture my fancy. I bought 50 pounds of sunflower seeds to draw company to my window as I write. Now while I compose my new year message I am visited by chickadees, and tufted titmice as well as painted buntings, wrens, and fiery red cardinals. My window above my computer is a virtual moving photograph of colors and sounds. It is a pleasure I savor seven days a week, both morning and evenings, while the feeding frenzy continues.
There is a male cardinal who tries to intimidate his reflection in my window pane every morning and evening. He is alert to my every movement, but does not shy away. Instead he jumps angrily at the window glass and I am always afraid he will hurt himself, but he endures in his imaginary confrontation with the enemy.
Walking in the woods yesterday, the sun shone through the golds and reds of the leaves as the weather began to change for the colder. I could feel the breeze begin to nip at my face as I made my way up the hill. Winter was making a not-so-silent arrival.
Thinking about a new year gives everyone of us a clean new chalkboard on which to write our lives. There is room for goals, and space for dreams. We have the opportunity to take charge of our life and make changes, set boundaries, explore our spiritual side.
Now in my sixth decade of life, I have learned that life holds no expectation for us that we cannot imagine, and shadows no dream so heavily that we cannot see it if we take time to look. I know that in order to really evaluate where we are going, we must first see clearly where we have already been, and step accordingly.
Happy New Year! And my best wishes for every wish your heart makes.


EmilyLundy4-2.jpg (36194 bytes)Escapades of Emily
By Emily Gail Lundy

Resolution time...
For years, January 1 held abode for seriously taken New Year’s Resolutions, a time to start something good or drop something negative. Usually I had a limited three in my adult life concerning finances, weight loss and breaking my biting of nails.
When a few months went by and I still lived the same, I saw resolutions as a list of actions that caused depression that lead to failure. I should have opted for resolving what I might actually change.
I have broken the nail problem. With new dental implants on my left upper chops, it is impossible to bite into something slivery thin and have any kind of action. That stress-release habit went to another part of the body to reveal itself one day. The financial department changed from “me” to others or having a little money left over, and my new attempt at weight loss is drinking a large glass of water before each meal. This should soon show positive results.
I have known a few people who have made resolutions and actually succeeded, but I wish I knew who started this practice of a bumpier road in life. I hope I survive all this company for the holidays without a “meltdown.” (Hey, that could be my resolve.)
January 1, the start of a new year, is a wonderful cleansing time for new habits and goals. I like the even years best. But it’s hard to look ahead without a glance at the past. There should be a clever name for new actions we should have done but didn’t.
One shadow of the past with my family is we should have played more games. Dominoes were a hit if someone didn’t accuse the other of cheating. Chicken Foot made a hit with the grandchildren for a while. Board games were seldom enjoyed, because we were a family known for losing sock mates, keys and parts of games.
In my husband’s family, “42” was the big contest. One domino, double six, had a corner chip, and everyone watched for it. Once, Mama had this big play, managing to keep her thumb over the chip until the very last, then play it and win to the screams of agony of the children playing with her. It’s a lasting memory.
Thus the main game in our living room, crude as it sounds, was to take Dad to the floor and see if he could overpower two or three of the children. “Uncle” was the give up word. Then my help was usually needed for the grand finale, which was to torture Dad with the only feeling he could not tolerate. Stick some type of stuffed animal at his pants cuff up to his knee. He would cry “Uncle” forever. In his childhood at some time, a mouse or other small animal must have gone up his overalls, which would not descend no matter how much he jumped and danced.
Then one more fun time for us as a family, and I am speaking of some teens here, was to go to First Monday, a rodeo, a game, or anywhere we had to walk a distance to the car.
On this sojourn someone would begin to imitate how another one of us walked. Then another took up the game, having to jump out in front of our group to be seen fully.
When the youngest began his mimic of Dad, we all doubled over with laughter, with Dad threatening to get even at any moment. I really hope no one saw our acts of mimickry. These imitations even took place in our own family room, always a success.
Old Maid and Uno might have been two card games we shared, but they are a weak tradition next to Monopoly, Scrabble, Battleship (someone did have that one a month), or Trivial Pursuit.
There’s hope in the years to come. I see grown children buying games, actually playing, as I sit quietly by with my crossword puzzle.



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