December 11, 2009

Holidays, friends, and fun.

Ah, life! You ask what's been happening in my life and it's the same. Work, friends, grandchildren. Here's some pics to show you....

This is my amazing grandson Quinn and his Purple Monster. He knows that real monsters NEVER go to Gramma's house. He made this one himself!
This is Quinn's twin sister Talia, the Princess, standing before their art gallery at my house. Yes, she's a bit toothless.
This is Simone, the tabby kitty, lying on my 1000 piece puzzle, even though I've told her many, many times not to do it! Don't you think there are a zillion more comfortable places to hang?

Some of my Wowettes at a recent potluck at my house. Fabulous group always.

We visited a Fall Fair at a local farm about 30 miles north of my house on Halloween. Thousands of pumpkins, lots of animals, fresh vegetables, a ride in a train through a hillside of sunflowers, two happy children, and a very happy gramma.

They love to play on the tractor at the farm!

Talia had her face painted to match her Snow Princess Halloween costume.

Thanksgiving at gramma's. That's a pumpkin pie my daughter made from the Halloween pumpkin. See the smiley face in the pie?

The morning after an overnight at Gramma's. PJs, the tabby cat, and toys on Gramma's kitchen island bar.

Yes, that's me and Santa. I left an office full of patients to see my patient being Santa! He's been playing Santa for decades, starting when he was the only Jewish guy in his military unit. The hospital next to my office hosts hundreds of needy children for lunch, entertainment, a picture with Santa, and a big bag of toys for each! This was held on the same day that my daughter visited the twin's class to teach the 1st graders about Hanukah. There are miracles everywhere.

December 6, 2009

The gifts of the season.

I'm enjoying the holiday season. End of year, Christmas, Hanukah, my birthday, all in a few weeks time. It's a lovely time of year to celebrate miracles. I love that the holidays, no matter what religion, are about miracles, amazing happenings we can't explain logically. The virgin birth, the miracle of the lights, even our birthdays are celebrations of life, that mysterious thing that we so take for granted but is really beyond our comprehension. Our heart pumps, our kidneys filter, our blood delivers oxygen - sometimes the mere thought of how our body works makes me think there must be a god or something much greater than ourselves that can perform miracles and create what we can't understand. It's a season to stop and realize the majesty of our mere being, that we are in a certain place at this particular time to learn or grow or be a blessing to others. Makes me misty, thinking about the miracles in my own life, that I have the most beautiful daughter, that she has created a wonderful family, that she loves me. It's beyond my ability to comprehend, but I appreciate that I exist and that I'm here, right here and right now.

Sometimes I wonder if I should be doing more fun things or seeing more people or doing more charity work or fostering a child or giving my time to the needy or a multitude of things. I'm never going to cure cancer or travel to the moon or even put a needy child through college. Sometimes I'm so caught up in survival, paying my bills, wondering how I'll be able to retire, that I don't even think about those lofty goals. But really, maybe it's enough to just be me, to just give a smile to the checker at the store, to try to make the job easier for my staff at work, to listen to my friends, to encourage my daughter, to hug my grandchildren, to do the little daily things that might make life just a tiny bit happier for the people I see every day.

We don't have big holidays in my family, just a few of us getting together opening a gift or two and sharing a meal. But I think keeping it simple helps us remember the real gifts in life, that we are healthy, that we have a roof over our heads, and that we love each other deeply. I certainly will never understand the meaning of life or how it's possible to create a kidney or a flower, but I'll always understand that happiness in this life isn't in the presents we open, but appreciating what can't be bought.