Don't worry, though...I'm definitely having Christmas events! Cheryl had a gathering of about a dozen family and friends at her home last night. She served us stew and a few loaves of killer garlic bread. Christmas Eve with her son, her granddaughters, my daughter, and various others who are all "family," is always a tour de force! Somehow, the love shows through and although we're all exhausted when they go home, we wouldn't have it any other way.
To meet my nephew's social calendar, tomorrow is my day to cook and act as host to the few remaining Garlands--Christine, Robert, and Parker (bet some of you didn't know that was my maiden name, did ya?). Of course, since Cher and I are family, she and her beau, Rick, and their good friend and boarder, Jim, will also be here. I decided to go all out for the dinner and bought a big prime rib. I plan to stuff it full of garlic (just like my mom used to do), season it, and roast it slowly until it's medium rare and juicy. I'm serving fresh green beans and a scalloped potato casserole to go with it. I wimped out on the dessert, though, and bought a frozen cheesecake from Sam's and a Dutch apple pie from Coco's. I can't seem to pull off the full Martha routine, although I do plan to have us all sit down together and use my grandmother's china. So, maybe being alone today was my way of making sure I had plenty of energy in reserve for tomorrow!
Some of that reflecting brought these things to mind (most are good things; a few are things that I pray will turn to good):
- Rick is still working toward getting back to normal 7 months after his stroke. He's doing well, but he has a long way to do.
- A good friend, Martin, is in the hospital with viral pneumonia. He's bad enough that they've put him into an induced coma so his lungs don't have to work so hard while they heal.
- My friend Suzanna's daughter has had a tough year with several complications from kidney failure and other related problems.
- My friend Janis, who has had breast cancer, has had it metastacize into her spine. At the moment, it's under control and the chemo is keeping it at bay, so we're all hopeful that prayers will continue to work for her.
- Bruce, the husband of my dear friend Carmen, has had wonderful success with bone-marrow transplant and is doing well after months of very scary times. They just took him off the drugs that help the body not reject the donor materials. Good news!
- My sister has been clean and sober (as far as I can tell anyway) for a few months. She's getting more together every day and although she may always have problems, they are fewer and less horrendous than they've been in a long, long time.
- My daughter is well and seemingly happy. She's in a secure job and has made some recent changes there that seem to be for the better. I see her a lot these days and that's good.
- My brother is happy, is a good man, and has been the kind of father my siblings and I all wish we had had.
- Jim and Connie R, cancer survivors, have had clear, clean, cancer-free checkups.
- Jeanne moved into her new home in Virginia and is playing nanny to her niece. Go figure!
- I lost a friend this year, by choice. This loss was caused by confusion, anger, and miscommunication. I don't know if I can mend it; worse, I don't know if I want to. I do know that I think of her often and care about her well-being. Maybe that's as it should be. I wish her well in her new life.
- I am blessed with a network of friends that support me and that I love dearly. My friends are my treasures. They fill my heart and give me strength beyond measure. My cup truly runneth over.
Here's a picture of me and Cher at the beach a while ago. It was rainy today, so not a good beach day!
Glory to you all; may your spirits buoy you through whatever rough seas you may encounter. Merry, happy seasonal blessings to you all! Whatever you celebrate, I hope you celebrate yourselves and this wonderful life...