Dear Friends and Readers,
Today is Kwanzaa, a holiday I had never heard of in my childhood—but I am a fan of ALL holidays. Kwanzaa sounds a lot like a holiday that was celebrated in rural Mississippi call “camp meeting” or “homecoming.” A gathering of friends and family to celebrate and give gifts and memories. I don’t celebrate many holidays these days. As most of you who are older and have lost family will understand, the weight of the past is hard to drag in the present.
But I have a secret weapon. Two young girls who live across the street from me have begun to come over every afternoon after school. They adore Mandy and like me well enough. But they like to PLAY! And play hard. We play Monkey in the Middle, toss footballs for passes, ride golf carts, draw pictures, and generally return to childhood for half an hour each afternoon. The love to help me in the barn feeding the horses, putting hay in the stalls, and sweeping. I have to say, these two little girls have given me back the gift of Christmas. Their joy is a balm.
It’s common acceptance that youngsters learn from their elders, but in this instance, I have learned so much from them. They have suffered losses, which they handle with a lot more grace than I do. They believe in Santa Clause and justice and a Heaven where their mom resides and watches over them. I am in awe of their certainty and the sense of peace they have. I lost a very dear friend this month, and I would give a lot to be as much at peace with this as my little neighbors are. That is not to say they don’t grieve; they do. But their grief is tempered by a future where many good things will happen.
One of the keys to happiness is to have something to look forward to. So my job this week is to come up with something to look forward to during the holidays. Sadly, the thing that gives me great joy is MAYHEM! So to that end, I am going to cook up some mischief. I am asking in advance that if I am arrested, some of you will help me post bail to get out. I have animals who are expecting Christmas treats and I can’t disappoint them.
I got my bicycle tires aired and the chain tightened so I have my getaway plan in place. Check your email and FB in case I need help.
And I hope you’ve had a fabulous Christmas!
Here’s a tune for your enjoyment! Click this: Christmas in Prison. Remember, if you can’t send bail money—bring me food! (And Jack!)
On to 2024 from Carolyn and the Critters
This drawing of Erik and Pearl was done by someone at Wags and Whiskers Animal Rescue. Anyone can have one done for $10 for one pet or $10 for two. They are only digital, but so cool.