- The state of my dining room table and carport.Both are still covered with ruined things from our basement. Christmas ornaments we're still hoping will dry out, given just a little bit more time. Like Christmas ornaments from both Beve's and my childhood and the first ones we bought together. Children's books (sigh, I do know these are a lost cause but can't bear it, really I can't!). Linens, sweaters made by Beve's mother. All a treasure trove of our history. All waiting for the insurance adjuster to go through our list before we can get rid of the water-logged. Sigh.
- A cold which has taken up residence in my eyes. Somehow this is always where I get colds. Not in my nose, but my eyes. It makes me want to keep them closed all the time, and if they're open I need to wipe them constantly, and look like I haven't slept in about three days.
- The lack of interest I have in decorating our house for Christmas. I think this has to do with the flood in the basement and the loss of so many of our things. We've had our tree up since the day before the flood but J thought it was the scrawniest tree he'd ever seen (we do favor Nobles). But I think mostly its scrawniness was because it stood naked until Tuesday when we finally lights and decorations up. And they were only simple blue and silver balls, and clear lights. Almost like we're newly-weds again.
- Trying to figure out how to keep our Springer Spaniel from running. Her favorite activity in the whole wide world is playing fetch and she's under strict vet's orders to lay low until she finishes her course of steroids. She has a fracture in her left shoulder, tendinitis, bursitis, and some floating bone spurs. In short, just about everything that could go wrong with that shoulder has. So she's limping like an old lady, rather than the springy 5-year-old that she is.
- The smell of the Christmas tree in our house. Seriously, is there anything better? I know, I know there's a lot to be said for the ease of an artificial tree, but that smell...I can hardly wait each year. Along with the smell are the lights. Love them with all the lamps off, and carols playing in the background.
- The luxury of time with Beve that come when school's not in session. I realize that there are those who envy the surfeit of vacations educators get, but given how hard the ones I know work, what long hours the one I live with puts in (many days 13-14 hours a day plus time on weekends for which he gets--none of which he gets compensated for), he needs his breaks. And when he lets down, the quality of our conversations...well, it's been a surfeit of riches.
- Time to quilt. Our puppy is calming down, so that's a factor. And Beve's presence is also a factor. So I've been more productive in the last week (even with burning eyes) than I was all fall. I'll post pictures soon.
- Cuddly puppies. Jamaica's bum wheel means she's even more of a velcro dog than usual, needs to lay against one of her humans to sleep. And she's just so sweet.
- The great books I've been reading lately. Elizabeth Goudge. Old-fashioned stories of family, faith and reconciliation. They're sweet and well-written and I forget how much I love them. I was introduced to them by an old friend years ago, ought most of them at used bookstores, and wish I could find the rest at non-collectors' prices.
- Traditions of Advent. Being intentional about the story of the Incarnation. Each Christmas Eve, just before we go to bed, the five of us sit in our living room and have communion together. We take stock in the year, who Christ has been to us, where we hope He'll take us, then ask Him in again through the bread and wine. This, even more than the candlelight service at church, is our true celebration of His birth.
So, that's my list. Hope that if you have a list it's disproportionately full of the 'awesome.'