We might have been dreaming of a white Christmas but those dreams went unfulfilled. Instead of a snowy holiday, it was so warm we had our family Christmas picture that is usually made inside, made standing on our front porch (no coats necessary). Fact is, no matter what kind of weather we have, Christmas does not depend on snow on any other kind of weather. Christmas is much bigger than that. The One who controls the weather is what Christmas is about.
This was a busy, happy December; one that will always have a place in my heart. For the first time our family participated in “Wreaths Across America.” We placed the beautiful live evergreen wreaths on Ruble’s grave as well as that of my dad (Veto Kennedy) and Pa (Marvin) Hughes, representing WW I, WW II, and Vietnam.
I will spend most of January, Lord willing, putting my pictures of the tree lighting in Bay Tree Park and the Red Bay Christmas Parade pictures into a special Christmas album. So many of our friends and family have sent cards with special greetings written inside, I will add them to my Christmas album of memories, 2019.
I received too many thoughtful gifts from our children and grandchildren and I love them all. They, in turn, seemed to enjoy gifts selected for them. Our “Christmas Table” that we shared was bountiful with favorite holiday foods. Those favorite foods are now two or three times prayed over and we are still enjoying them.
It has been one blessing on top of another since this special season began. As I bowed for Holy Communion at our church on Christmas Eve I made an effort to recount my blessings of just that day. There is no way I could ever count a day of blessings in a short amount of time. Of course, there are things that we always wish we could change, but there are some things that we cannot change. We must accept them and move forward. God is already there ahead of us, therefore, we can go forth unafraid.
I received emails from several of my high school class mates as well as my high school English/Literature teacher who made such an difference in my life. Each one reminded me of some special time we shared together; times filled with laughter, joy, and (tame) adventures. One friend who had seen the pictures Dawn posted of me riding in the 1957 white Cadillac in the Red Bay Christmas Parade wrote: “Wow! I am impressed at the beautiful car and “sparkly” outfit. But it seems to me that a sky blue 1957 Chevy, speckled with a bit of “dirt road mud” would have been more symbolic of the good times we had “back in the day.” The sky blue ‘57 Chevy she referred to was my mama’s car back when my friend and I were in high school. It was always adorned with speckles of mud since our Shottsville highway was not paved then.
On Christmas Eve I received a Christmas card by “snail mail” from another dear high school friend. She began her note by saying she was late getting her cards in the mail. She wrote: “I love retirement. I do just about whatever I want to – I am just later about getting it done.”
One of the joys of this special time is hearing from such dear friends and the laughter such memories bring to us. As we keep some of this wonderful Christmas in our hearts, let’s move into the year 2020 with faith and joy. Happy New Year! And I thank you for being my friends.
LaVale Mills is Publisher Emeritus of The Red Bay News.