40 thoughts on “Rants! and Raves! 11-3-18

  1. At our SS luncheon yesterday, Bob asked me to teach for him tomorrow.
    The lesson is on the 2nd chapter of James. I can do that.
    But preparing a lesson is harder than it used to be and the teaching is not as good.
    We’ll make it OK.

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  2. I could probably fill this thread all by myself. It has been quite a month already, and it has barely started!

    πŸ™‚ Our granddaughter is being baptized tomorrow.

    😦 We can’t be there. My husband is sick.

    😦 We can’t be there because of an unknown (that’s probably best) family member being “helpful.” They parents told us it would be late September or early October, and we kept waiting to hear a date and not hearing one. My mother-in-law told us they might try to do it the same weekend as another baby shower so that I could be there. We told her please don’t do that; I’d already been to one baby shower for her, and we took additional gifts to their house when we met the baby, so we couldn’t afford more gifts and there was no need for me to go to a second shower. Sure enough, later we heard that the baptism had been scheduled, and that someone in the family had said it would be helpful to us if it was the same weekend as the shower. Nobody asked us if it would be helpful to us; we’d have said don’t move it into the cold months, please, but keep it late September or early October. I told my daughter I had already RSVPd no to the shower; I didn’t get into “we have already provided furniture for the kids’ room, already bought several gifts twice, and really can’t afford another shower right now” as she’d probably say “You don’t need to buy gifts, just come.” And it’s kind of silly to drive several hours to a shower to watch other people bring gifts! I did tell her we RSVPd no because it was our anniversary weekend and also we had a medical appointment scheduled months in advance, and I asked could the baptism be moved ahead two weeks? No, the other grandparents weren’t available then, so it had to be moved back. We reminded her that her dad often gets sick this time of year, but said we’d come if we could, and here we are.

    😦 She’ll be four months old by the time we see her for the second time. I haven’t even seen her little hands yet; she was fully bundled by the time they let us see her the second day.

    😦 We have other stuff going on that, because of some gross incompetence, may cost us a lot of money and may hurt someone else, too. Ultimately it probably won’t end up costing us, but it will bring major headaches in the meantime. It isn’t something I’m allowed to talk about, but I could use up my word count ranting if I could.

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  3. πŸ™‚ Managed to get to the pregnancy counseling center fundraising dinner.

    πŸ™‚ We hosted a table but weren’t in charge.

    πŸ™‚ The woman I sat next to was in charge of the table: author Francine Rivers.

    πŸ™‚ It’s not often you have a dynamic conversation about Zephaniah. πŸ™‚

    πŸ™‚ On the other side of my husband was our friend Dawn, the woman’s director of the local Christian camp.

    😦 I’ve spent all week trying to find time to prepare my 10-minute talk for Monday morning. I was thinking I’d speak about the “ministry of interruption.”

    😦 I never found time to sit down. I kept getting interrupted.

    😦 On Thursday, I finally had time to get that taken care of, but first I wanted to write a 400-word piece that’s due two days after I return.

    😦 But then, I wondered when the longer article I’ve been slated for was due. So I looked through the emails and found the information.

    😦 800-1200 words due THAT DAY!

    What to write?

    It needed a December theme.

    😦 I tossed aside my interruption talk–I’ll just use my standard Biddy and My Utmost for His Highest–which is what I anticipate I’ll be speaking on anyway and this speaker’s conference is about preparing our talks.

    πŸ™‚ I used the interruption notes to write the Glorious Table piece! I sent it in on time.

    😦 But I was bummed about the Interruption talk.

    πŸ™‚ I asked Dawn, see above, last night who the speaker would be at her next planned Women’s Retreat in the spring.

    πŸ™‚ “I don’t know just yet. I’m using amateurs. I keep coming back to one theme: interruptions. I need two more people to help.”

    πŸ™‚ My husband and I started laughing. We told her about my week. Her eyes widened, “This is obviously a God-thing.”

    πŸ™‚ LOL I just sent her my original blog article “Biddy Chambers and the Ministry of Interruption” (#2 on Google), my Glorious Table piece (runs in December) and the list of “interruptions” resources I’d already found.

    πŸ™‚ God is funny.

    πŸ™‚ Now back to work.

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  4. 😦 My father-in-law passed on Tuesday night, with my eldest daughter holding his hand.
    πŸ™‚ All the family got to see him and spend some time with him before he passed.
    πŸ™‚ He is no longer in pain.
    πŸ™‚ I have an A in all my classes….today. I struggle with subcellular biology, and the art class has so many assignments, it is hard to keep up. I am currently memorizing all of the muscles.
    πŸ™‚ Goats are bred, and the billy is returned to his owner.
    πŸ™‚ Canning is almost done. Time to start butchering.
    πŸ™‚ Trey and Miguel are doing well with his homeschooling.
    πŸ™‚ We continue to be blessed each day.

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  5. 😦 So sorry for your family’s loss, RK.

    πŸ™‚ A fun evening with my daughters last night, and also hanging out together this morning.

    😦 Chickadee expressed to me that the idea of having Thanksgiving with Nightingale’s friends here makes her anxious, and she’d rather not come. (I cried about that last night in bed.)

    I won’t mention that to Nightingale until later, after Chickadee is back at the McK’s, so she doesn’t say something sharp to her in her initial annoyance.

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  6. Chas, I loved studying the book of James. That was our Sunday morning ladies’ Bible study book before the one we’re currently in — Malachi.

    Cheryl, so much of that sounds so unpleasant. I’m sorry you’re having to experience all that. But am filled with joy that your granddaughter is being baptized tomorrow. πŸ™‚

    Michelle, my best friend was the one who told me about Francine Rivers’ Mark of the Lion series. She loaned me all three of her books so I could read them. I can’t wait to tell her tomorrow that Michelle (K will know I’m referring to you, as we’ve prayed often for you and yours in the last year) sat next to Francine Rivers at that pcc fundraiser. πŸ™‚

    RKessler, my condolences on the passing of your father-in-law. May the Lord comfort you and yours as only He can.

    Kizzie, I’m glad you had a fun evening with your daughters, and time for hanging out this morning, too.

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  7. 😦 I’m sorry RK 😦

    😦 Election week ahead. We had a conference call about coverage on Friday, I and another reporter were put on what’s known as the ‘early’ shift (2-11 p.m.) so we will have to go out to polling places in the afternoon to get “color” for the blogs and stories later. After that, we’ll join everyone else at a newsroom of a sister paper in tracking the returns & numbers for the particular races we’ve been assigned to cover.

    πŸ™‚ I won’t have to work until 2 a.m.!

    😦 I’m trying to train the dogs to use a ramp to get in and out of the Jeep — they are having some issues lately with jumping in and out as it’s a smallish but really tall SUV. So far the ramp is proving logistically complicated. But they’re getting to be that age where jumping could cause injuries.

    πŸ™‚ Finally, I feel like I’ve amassed enough vacation time to take some time off around the holidays. Looking forward to some day trips with a couple friends and my cousin — I also want to paint my old weathervane (and find someone to install it) and paint an old wooden bench and cabinet that now are in my patio. Of course, not all of that will begin to get done if past weeks off are any indication. πŸ™‚ They go fast.

    πŸ™‚ I haven’t had a week off in what feels like ages; the ongoing house projects required me to take some steady days off over the past 1-2 years, depleting my available vacation time quite regularly, so I really have had to “sit on” my time through this past spring and summer (and now into fall) to accrue a ‘chunk’ long enough to begin taking some time off again.

    πŸ™‚ The exterior house painting is *almost* done. It was the last thing on the official list (which of course grew exponentially as the work went on over these past 2.5 years. Aside from getting a couple more bids for next year’s projects (awnings, *maybe* a faux tile roof covering for the over-hang on the front porch depending on cost and just how complicated that is, indoor painting), I intend to take a good break from it all.

    😦 The GP I’ve had for 36 (!!) years announced this week he is easing into semi retirement so I’ll probably be going to a new doctor here fairly soon — he’s joined with a new practice with several doctors so it also will mean a new location. We were both youngsters when he was introduced to me at the time he took over the practice he’s had ever since. It was all very old-school, the hometown ‘family doctor’ who knew his patients, very similar to the medical care model I grew up with. My neighbors also are long-time patients of his as is our former photo editor. You run into all sorts of people you know there. Now, we’ll all be eased into a much less personalized practice — but that’s the way of the future for medical care now, unfortunately.

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  8. 😦 My rant (about Daylight Savings Time) is over on the Daily Thread. πŸ˜‰

    πŸ™‚ Nothing else to rant about, or nothing about which to rant, speaking in a grammatically correct manner. πŸ™‚

    πŸ™‚ I have four judges lined up for spring auditions. It didn’t take as long to get them as I thought it might take, but I still need a fifth judge, and have been having difficulty getting that last one. There’s still plenty of time yet before March 23, Auditions day, but there are about 15 other districts who will be or have already started searching from the same prospective-judges pool, so I’m hoping to have all my judges in place sooner rather than later.

    πŸ™‚ This week’s piano lesson with my student who’s been with me now three months involved just a little sightreading for him, then he and I and his mom had a how’s-it-going conference where we discussed how everyone was feeling with the direction we’re heading in lessons, whether we might want to tweak goals in any way, etc. I want to make sure I’m meeting their needs well, especially since they spent six years before coming to me without the boy hardly learning to read music at all.

    πŸ™‚ They said the boy is growing in confidence (which confirmed what, from my perspective, appeared to be happening as well), and that even sightreading music in his band and choir classes has improved since he started piano with me. (We’ve worked a lot on sightreading strategies for piano, so I’m glad this has carried over to his other musical endeavors. One of the beauties of learning to read piano music — the crossover value to other instruments.)

    πŸ™‚ After our conference, I played for him 14 different pieces as possibilities for the District Auditions in the spring. He is excited to participate, and is working this week not only on the assignment I gave him in his last week’s lesson, but also on the favorite pieces of the ones I played for him on Tuesday.

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  9. Kizzie, you said, “Chickadee expressed to me that the idea of having Thanksgiving with Nightingale’s friends here makes her anxious, and she’d rather not come.” Here’s a thought (maybe helpful, or maybe not). Is there any way that she can meet them ahead of time? Does Nightingale skype, and could they maybe have a Skype meet-up or something nonthreatening ahead of time?

    The reason I suggested that is my son-in-law’s younger brother, who is around 20, or maybe still late teens. He has autism. They will be going to our mutual granddaughter’s baptism, and I am still on the e-mail list for our old church and every week the bulletin is e-mailed out. (Since our kids still attend that church, and we still have friends there, I won’t ask to be removed from the list.) Anyway, thinking that they might like to see a digital copy of the bulletin for whatever reason (including our baby girl’s name in it), I forwarded it to my son-in-law’s mother. And she e-mailed back that her son is nervous about the church service and not sure he can go (he’ll stay with his grandmother if he can’t), and that they will go through the bulletin ahead of time with him and see if that helps him and makes him able to attend the service. So when I read your note, it occurred to me that something like that might help your Chickadee.

    BTW, we won’t see any family for Thanksgiving. Most of the years of my life since I went away to college, I haven’t seen family for Thanksgiving, although we have been with my husband’s family (and of course our girls) for the holiday every year since we have been married. But it will be just him and me unless someone invites us over. The daughter who works with the elderly has had to work on several holidays per year, anyway–since she often has two such jobs, she might work at one on Thanksgiving and the other on Christmas. Sometimes we can eat early before she goes to work and sometimes we can’t, depending on her schedule. And now that our other daughter is married, she has another family with whom to alternate holidays. (I would have liked to at least invite our girls for Thanksgiving–though I’m guessing neither could have come–but we don’t yet have a dining room table and can’t really host yet anyway.)

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  10. πŸ™‚ Our small group guys are here this morning to help us get some wood chopped and into our wood room. What a blessing.

    πŸ™‚ We found a new doctor this week. She’s young and she said she has no plans to go anywhere else. New doctors often come to our closest city for two years in order to get their schooling fees reduced and then they leave. This doctor grew up here and is in an office with her dad. I believe they both attend our church.

    πŸ™‚ Son and DIL are doing better mentally, although it is still a struggle for DIL

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  11. Another thought for Chickadee is to make it okay for her to go to her room to decompress for a time at any time. This has helped my niece tremendously.

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  12. Kare, my younger brother used to do that. We’d all be together for Thanksgiving, having a good time, and suddenly someone would ask, “Where’s J?” and my most-recently-moved-out brother would go looking for him and find him in his bedroom. As the youngest of us, and a number of years younger than our older brothers, and as a loner, he’d simply find it too much after a while.

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  13. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ A completely full wood room with more cut and split outside. We are so thankful for our small group community. Wow, wow, wow.

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  14. You all remember that PNG had a big earthquake this year. Translator friends of mine did translation in that area. I just got their newsletter today from when they put on a trauma healing workshop in their village last summer. It included these quotes:

    – “My place (home) was ruined. I can’t remain living there anymore. So I thought I would just become a nomad, going from place to place, without a home. Now I am giving this to God.”
    – β€œUnder the weight of all the hardships that have happened here, my body was weighed down. But now after my time at this course, I am feeling light.”
    – β€œAfter the earthquakes, the government people came. They took the names of those who had died or were injured and they left. Then the (oil and mining) companies (and aid organizations) came and brought us food and shelters. That fed and helped our bodies. Then you came to help make our lives β€˜okay.’ My worries were eased by your coming.”
    – β€œThe worries and hardships that I was carrying had taken me down into a deep trench. Your coming pulled me out of that trench.” (Pastor Hamaga)
    – β€œDuring this course, I learned about two types of wounds – the ones on the body and the ones that are inside of us. Doctors came to help heal our body wounds. Now you have come to help heal us inside.”

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  15. Cheryl – I had thought of having her meet Virginia at least shortly before reading your comment. πŸ™‚ I will pass that idea on to Nightingale and Chickadee.

    And yes, I would let her know that she is free to disappear into her room.

    Nightingale said I should not have told her that she didn’t have to come. When Chickadee had asked, “Do I have to come?” I had replied, “Well, you don’t have to,” in that tone of voice that implies that I’d like her to. Nightingale thinks I should have told her that yes, she has to come.


  16. I think both those ideas — a casual one-on-one meeting in advance or making clear the provisions for a ‘panic’ room escape, no judgement — sound good.

    Holidays are a toss up for me, of course, sometimes with friends, sometimes with the cousins, sometimes another plan. I miss the regularity of family gatherings which I had all through my growing up years, but ours was a smallish family even when we all gathered so eventually there were only a couple of us left (my 2 close-by cousins are, respectively, (a) gay and (b) simply single) First one has a twin brother and other family in Arizona so he goes that way often for holidays now. My other cousin lives in the same neighborhood as an old high school friend of hers so she always has a standing invite to join with them, but the two of us have been known to escape it all and catch a movie.


  17. Come on out, Cheryl, I do have a dining table, but it’s small — my mom’s childhood / family kitchen table from Iowa). Three mismatched chairs, too!

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  18. Mismatched is in, right?

    Or am I behind the times? Or ahead of the next re-trend?

    Is re-trend really a word? Spellcheck doesn’t appear to have noticed what I thought was a new word. There’s no little red squiggly line. And here I thought I was making up a cool new word!

    I guess I’m not a trendsetter. πŸ˜‰

    Wait, I think I already knew that. hahaha

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  19. πŸ™‚ I had about a week and a half recently, ending about three days ago, when I slept as well as I have slept in my adult life, maybe ever, a consistent seven to nine hours a night.

    😦 About three days ago I was thinking of the upcoming time change, and figured I should stay up just a little bit later to ease into it. Just as I was meaning to shut down for the night, a friend e-mailed me with a lot going on in her life. I got to bed more than an hour “late,” but figured it was the new time and that was OK. Nevertheless, the pattern of sleeping really well was broken.

    😦 Before we moved, I decided that I should not be on the computer the last hour or two before bed, and my best alternative was probably to set up a reading area, and plan to read a book. I have a lovely reading chair I bought in Nashville. Our bedroom here is quite a bit larger than our old one, and so I asked my husband if it could be set up in the bedroom. In hotel rooms, sometimes I read for a while after he goes to bed, and he says it doesn’t disturb him. So I asked multiple times if we could do that here. I pictured that would be a nice, gentle way to ease toward sleep, reading an hour or so next to my sleeping husband and then closing the book and crawling in next to him. I also figured that as we age, there may be times one of us is sick and the other would like to be able to be there in the room but reading or whatever. So we set it up. Unfortunately, every time I have tried to read there and he is in bed, he turns his back (he usually goes to sleep turning toward the chair) to get away from the light, and I can see it isn’t working as I planned. So I end up turning off the light and leaving so that I don’t hurt his sleep. And so now my reading chair is in a fairly impractical place, but now it also can’t realistically fit anywhere else. But it also isn’t giving me the easing into sleep that seemed like a good idea, a good way to wind down and end the day. So I often end up being on here late after all . . . I can still read in other rooms in the house, but reading next to my husband, in my reading chair with my nice foot stool, is cozier than reading on a leather couch (not my favorite seating material) in another room, and so I tend not to do that after he is in bed.


  20. BTW, the asking multiple times should not be seen as nagging or begging, but as double-checking to be sure that this would really work, that he hadn’t had second thoughts. I was sure it would work well for me, but wanted to make sure it really was OK for him.


  21. I have a bit different perspective. I recognize that Chickadee’s differences in processing information can make new people and new situations overwhelming for her. But, she will never grow without being challenged. Most of my mother’s side of the family experiences significant to extreme social anxiety. My mother does, all of her siblings do, her father did (he was on antianxiety medication for years), and not a few of my cousins as well as all my siblings and myself do. I find it terrifying here, as I did in West Africa, to interact with patients, as once again I am faced with cultural and linguistic barriers that I do not know how to navigate as I know to navigate my own culture and language. But I want to be a nurse and to care for people in other cultures, so I am willing to put myself through that strain again and again in order to do the work I know I can do. I am not a strong independent woman, not on the inside – I often find myself thinking in the back of my mind during a stressful day (most days are stressful) that I would like nothing better than to crawl back into the protection of my warm family circle. I just know that I cannot take the easier path.

    I saw what happened to one of my mother’s brother’s who did that. He found it difficult to work with his anxiety, and, having a chronic medical condition (with which he could still have done certain kinds of work), he went onto disability. He stayed at home, raising his children, while his wife worked, and they all lived with my grandparents. When my grandparents died, the house went to him entirely, as he was joint owner. I and the rest of the family have been unable to set foot inside our grandparents/parents’ house for years now. Initially it was shame that made him reluctant to entertain us, now it is physically impossible. Every room is filled floor to ceiling with junk, with a few narrow paths to the places in rooms that are absolute necessities. My aunt suffers but has no say (there are details on why that is the case that I will not relate here). Hoarding has been identified as a symptom of anxiety, and my uncle’s anxiety has paralyzed him from any further personal growth. He took an easy path to escape from the necessity of interacting with those who made him anxious, but that path led to a trap that he can no longer climb out of, unless he gives up all that makes him feel secure.

    So, provide a place where Chickadee can go for a short while to recharge, but don’t allow her to remain there. Perhaps let her young nephew coax her out again after a few minutes. There are times during the Christmas madness, when I have had it up to here with the hordes, and a request from a young nephew to play one more game seems like a request to climb Everest. But, when I look back at all the times I laid aside my social exhaustion and left my room to play with my nieces and nephews, I am glad I did it. More and more their requests for me to come a play with them are not solely because they want entertainment (they could watch a movie or play a computer game for that), but because they want to spend time with me. I never set out to win their love nor did I expect their gratitude for what I do for them. I just realized that I could not always keep to myself and still claim to be serving the Lord, even when the service involved playing silly games with small children.

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  22. Chuck in on a 15 hr flight from Atlanta to Tokyo. I used to have 12 hour flights, but we could get up and walk around in the plane. I can’t imagine sitting for 15 hrs.


  23. Once everyone is asleep on those flights, it is quite easy to get up and walk around the plane. As long as you have an aisle seat, anyway. However those flights do throw you off.


  24. Roscuro – Nightingale said something kind of similar when she said that I should not have told Chickadee she didn’t have to come. She said I should have used tough love and told her that yes, she does have to come. If she lived here, we would lovingly help her face her anxieties a little at a time.

    I think the McK home seems like a safe haven to her, as I think they are coddling her, at least somewhat.

    I understand some of Chickadee’s anxieties, having dealt with agoraphobia when I was a young adult, as well as being an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person).

    (Btw, I wish that had some other name. Whenever I say it aloud or even write it, I imagine it sounds like a silly young woman, head tilted a bit, with the back of her hand on her forehead, saying, “I’m a highly sensitive person,” in a dramatic tone of voice. πŸ˜€ But it’s really “a thing”, as they say these days.)

    Like you with your nephews, there are times I go beyond my comfort zone to be a blessing to my grandson or his mom, or both.


  25. Elvera has been walking around all afternoon looking for something to do.
    How would you like it if there were nothing to do?
    No you wouldn’t. Believe me. you wouldn’t like it..


  26. Kizzie, the thing about that is that shedoesn’t have to come. You are not an authority over her anymore; she’s an adult. Personally (at least if I had time to think about it–I don’t think well on my feet), I would have been inclined not to answer that question with a yes, she has to, or no, she doesn’t have to, but something like “Sweetie, it’s Thanksgiving, and it’s important to me to have my family here on family holidays, because I love you.” And then go on to say, “Hey, what kind of desserts do you want to make sure we have?”

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  27. Chas, can you give her something to do? Talk it over with your granddaughter and see what you can find to have her do. Can she sweep, fold towels, put together a puzzle?

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  28. I was out chopping firewood this afternoon as son and his buddy had brought several rounds and I wanted it to dry. Anyway, seventeen year old son came out from his nap. I told him I was doing open gym. He grinned and said he was heading off to open gym early. I stopped working and gave him a hug. First time he has been around when we were awake in a long time. Months. Other than the other night when he brought his girlfriend over to introduce us. Actually, she brought him because she has a learner’s permit. She also had her mom and her grandma in the car. But they did not tell us until after she left.

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  29. Chas, what were Elvera’s primary or favorite ways years ago of taking in information and interacting with her world?

    For example, if she leaned toward preferring visual activities — reading books, looking at artwork, watching TV, observing nature — provide her with plenty of visual items. Maybe photo albums of the grandkids and great-grands she can page through? Or pictures of people wearing certain clothing or color combinations? You’ve said she has retained her desire to achieve a certain look with her wardrobe, having clear preferences about what she likes and doesn’t like in combination. Ask her, “What do you think of these colors this person is wearing together?”

    If her dominant mode of learning has been listening, perhaps audiobooks or podcasts on subjects she’s enjoyed in the past may help her pass some of the time. Maybe sermon podcasts on favorite passages of the Bible might be enjoyable for her.

    If she’s been a hands-on, do-it-and-get-it-done sort of person, the activities Cheryl mentioned in her 5:42 would be great, if she’s able to perform tasks like that.


  30. Chas – I, too, was going to suggest giving her a broom or a dust cloth. With my MIL, we stumbled into giving her those Seek-a-Word books. Initially, she had found one in a drawer in her room that she took out and started working on, and after she finished that one (it took quite a while), we bought more.

    Eventually, she wasn’t really doing them, but she would sit with one open and a pencil in her hand, trying to do one, but mostly gazing out the window or watching TV. I imagine the not being able to concentrate, or constantly forgetting what word to look for, could be greatly frustrating for some, but it didn’t seem to be so for her.

    You might give her various magazines or catalogs to look through, if she enjoys that kind of thing. Maybe have some plastic dishes on hand for her to wash?

    But please get input and help from your family. Please don’t try to take care of all of this on your own. It is exhausting.

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  31. Cheryl – That was my thought, too, that Chickadee is an adult and doesn’t “have to” come. Nightingale’s way of thinking is that, unless there is a very good reason, spending time with your family on a holiday is the right thing to do. Period.

    (The two friends she has invited do not have family in the area, so that’s why it’s okay for them to spend Thanksgiving with us.)

    (Actually, there were three invited, one being Virginia’s brother, who lives with her, but he may be spending the day with his girlfriend’s family.)

    I will try to find some way to coax Chickadee into coming, without demanding it. (I’m not the demanding type of person anyway.)


  32. Kizzie, I agree that it is good to be with your family on holidays if you can. I’m not sure I’d go so far as to call it a moral obligation, but it is a good tradition, and to some degree it may even fall under “honor your father and mother.” But that all assumes that family lives locally and has no conflicting responsibilities (such as jobs, other branches of the family, etc.). It’s a privilege, not an obligation, to be with family for holidays. From 1989 (when I moved out of Phoenix) until 2002 (the last Thanksgiving of Mom’s life), I was with her for Thanksgiving just one time–and that time only because her second husband died suddenly the day before Thanksgiving.

    I know a lot of people who don’t have family, and others who don’t live near family. I haven’t seen my side of the family for any holiday since 2010. I’ve had holidays with my husband’s side of the family when he wasn’t there with me (because he was sick), and I would have rather been home with him than be with his family without him. I don’t take for granted being together with family for Christmas or see it as a “right”; it’s a privilege, and one that people who have it should take advantage of. BUT holiday gatherings aren’t really a privilege for many people; they either have no one with whom to spend them, or they don’t like them much.

    It would be good, as Roscuro said, for Chickadee to move a bit out of her comfort zone. But you are privileged to live close to all your descendants, and if Chickadee prefers a quiet family meal to a big “event” with guests she doesn’t know, you’re already finding ways to do that. Don’t set all your hopes on the holidays; they tend to disappoint. See your girls when you can, and enjoy whatever happens on Thanksgiving. If Chickadee doesn’t want to come for the big meal, but agrees to come over later to help eat leftovers, do that and enjoy that too.

    One of my brothers is coming over for lunch tomorrow, though–just got word yesterday–and he and his wife will be the first to see our new home.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Cheryl – Nightingale meant that family that is close-by should be together, but there is not an obligation for far-away family to have to do so. To be a bit clearer, I should say that Nightingale would agree that a married couple having a holiday with one spouse’s family but not the other is obviously understandable (unless they never get together with the other family). And since she is in a profession that involves often working on holidays, she certainly understands that. (She will be working second shift on Christmas.) We both also realize that sometimes families have to have their family celebration on a different day than the actual holiday.

    I will work something out with Chickadee, one way or the other.

    Enjoy your lunch with your brother!

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Kizzie, depending on how many times a year family gathers, even “local” family get-togethers can feel oppressive.

    Growing up, my family ate together pretty much every meal, except when people were at work or at school. I don’t even remember the oldest two brothers living at home, though my second brother was my favorite from as far back as I can remember, which clearly must have dated back to when he lived with us. (He went to California to college the year I entered kindergarten.) But the older brothers would come home for Thanksgiving and for Christmas, making those two holidays the highlight of the year. We’d have a big meal for Thanksgiving, and for Christmas people would come over Christmas Eve, and I think we had some sugar cookies, but I don’t think we necessarily had a meal together. I didn’t grow up with Easter dinner or Christmas dinner. (It’s possible that we had Christmas dinner when I was little, but it became too complicated as the boys grew up, got jobs, and began to leave home–I don’t know.)

    Well, I married into a family where The Big Family Dinner is a big deal. My mother-in-law has multiple sets of dishes, a different set for each major holiday, plus everyday dishes, plus non-holiday company dishes, and her daughter has nearly as many. Mom and my sister-in-law take turns hosting, but family is expected to gather for Easter, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day (and even though those are Sunday holidays and we attended church in a different town, one is expected not to be late to dinner), plus Thanksgiving and Christmas (two Christmas meals, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day). That’s before we get to Cinco de Mayo and various birthdays and other parties. When Christmas Day was on Sunday, we were asked to attend with them and not go to our own church, and once or twice we were asked to attend church with them on Father’s Day. When we go back to visit, Mom finds out when we are coming and plans a Big Family Dinner on one of those evenings. To me, it’s just exhausting. Let’s get together for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and we’ll take you out for your birthday if we’re in town and you can take us out for ours, and you can have us over for dinner from time to time and we’ll have you over, too. But I’m just not a big party girl. I like a party here and there (especially if it gives an excuse to dress up at Christmas), but I just don’t want multiple big family dinners every year. I’d like to host one per year, and attend one or two more, but six a year (plus parties) is more than I find pleasurable or interesting. And the ones that forced us to keep our eyes on the clock and rush out of church as soon as it was over were particularly frustrating. I’m happy to have that behind us–even if it means not seeing family for Thanksgiving. It’s a fair trade. But nobody told me before we moved that we would be trading the Big Family Dinner on all those little holidays for one on every visit back to his mom’s home, even if it isn’t on a holiday.


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