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If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. ~ Adlai Stevenson

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Good and the Bad...


December is a holy month. Maybe it is the dark, silky silence that descends so early that speaks to me of reverence. Maybe it is the promise that December holds -- that no matter how dark, how cold, how empty it can get, the light is coming back. Something always shifts in me when December arrives -- I embrace the darkness, and am eager for the coming solstice when the whole world is still and holds its breath, waiting to be reborn again.
~Meg Casey 

Inspired by Kim over at Our Enchanted Place, I've decided I need to be more proactive around holiday planning, starting today, with Advent. We have never celebrated Advent really, other than those cheap calendars with pieces of chocolate (which we have this year too, of course).

...Ideas...

A Waldorf-inspired seasonal nature table, with something new added each week:

The first Light of Advent It is the Light of stones:
The Light that shines in seashells In crystals and our bones.
Week one: stones, crystals, shells

The second Light of Advent It is the Light of plants:
Plants that reach up to the sun And in the breezes dance.
Week two: plants, mosses, flowers, pine cones

The third Light of Advent, It is the light of beasts:
The Light of faith that we may see In greatest and in least.
Week three: animal images (wooden animals, beeswax ones, etc. Make peanut butter/birdseed treats to hang in the apple tree)

The fourth Light of Advent It is the Light of humankind:
The Light of hope, of thoughts and deeds,
The Light of hand, heart and mind.
Week four: a human image, perhaps something like this:

Other Days to Celebrate Before Christmas:

December 6: St Nicholas Day

December 22: Winter Solstice

We also need to make gifts for family, get and decorate the tree, put up our Christmas lights and homemade giant peace symbol, and clean the house with Christmas in mind. We have cookies to bake, some fudge to make, menus to plan, and things of that sort. We usually buy toys for the firefighters' toy drive too. Everyone gets one gift on the Solstice, and then the family gathering is normally on Christmas Eve. Christmas Day is just for us!

Sadly, this year is different in a not-so-good way. Over Thanksgiving weekend, my dad fell, three times. The first time, he was on the floor for about 8 hours, before my sister, who checks on him every morning, found him. We had him transported to the hospital, where they proclaimed him to be severely dehydrated. They pumped him full of fluids, and nine hours later, sent him home.

He fell again that night.

And later that afternoon. This time, the paramedics took him to a different hospital. They haven't figured out exactly what is going on, but kept him, and today he's being transferred to a rehabilitative/nursing facility. We have no idea how long he will be there, or if he'll be able to return to his "independent" living, or if he'll have to be placed in assisted living.

I have power of attorney for medical issues, so it has been a horribly long weekend. I've been staying home from work, spending hours in the hospital, etc. I did finally sleep last night, knowing that he was safe, and that he's being transferred to someplace he'll be safe too.

Homeschooling has been on the back burner, as has housework. Today I feel like the fog I've been in since Saturday morning is starting to lift.

In the meantime, I want to keep things as normal as I can at home. Hence the focus on enjoying December!

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What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
Emerson

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