The December Wonkiness

The week after Christmas is always a bit wonky for me.

Joey’s 2nd Birthday at Grandma’s House

I wander around in a sugar daze from all the sweets consumption, totally discombobulated depending on what day of the week the holy day fell. Because Christmas Eve always feels like a Saturday to me, Christmas Day a Sunday…well, I’m sure you can see why today–a Monday–felt like the day after Christmas and it was nearly 11:00 before I realized it was the 28th and called Oldest Junior Hall to say, “Happy Birthday!”

To be honest, this is standard procedure for me, though it is getting a bit later in the morning each year. But I’m pretty sure he was just waking up (he had the day off!) so he was none the wiser to his very own mother forgetting his birthday. Plus I had something profound and lovely to share that I’d read from Henri Nouwen’s Here and Now, thus glossing over any shortcoming on my part. To wit, Nouwen wrote about how a birthday is the one celebration that is strictly about the birthday person.

Just think about that for a moment. When we get a birthday card or a call or even a text, it’s simply and only, in Nouwen’s words, an opportunity to say, “Thank you for being born and being among us.” We’re not celebrating any accomplishment, achievement, or victory. We’re just happily celebrating a life, and that we’re glad to be able to share in that life.

So yes, it’s been my usual wonky week after Christmas, including almost forgetting my first born son’s birthday. But I’m grateful for all that because it means despite everything else going on in the world–and it’s a LOT, isn’t it?–it’s life as usual in the Hall House. And that’s worth celebrating, too.

D’oh. I completely forgot to cleverly tie in my December Muffin posts, but I believe I’ve expounded upon my perfectly plausible excuse for why that didn’t happen (See wonkiness above). So if you haven’t read “Faith over Fatalism” or “A Fine Romance” (Apparently, the letter for December was “F”), please go take a look-see now. And stay safe out there, y’all, till we meet again in 2021!

Accentuating the Positive

See this broke in half tree? That’s in my backyard. It crashed through the fence, leaving holes just the right size for Bigfoot to come waltzing in. And when I called my insurance company to report the damage and ask what was I supposed to do about Bigfoot, the nice person on the other end laughed.

I laughed politely back, just to show her I wasn’t completely crazy. But I was not kidding around, y’all. It’s been a bit of a wild ride this year and Bigfoot paying me a visit wouldn’t even be the craziest thing that happened in 2020 around the Hall House.

Anyway, Thanksgiving’s almost here and as I’m a firm believer in counting one’s blessings rather than one’s boo-boos, trials, and tribulations, let’s just accentuate the positive:

I’m still writing over at the Muffin, so you can take a look at “When Daylight Savings Time Ends” to see how I’ve dealt with that particular annual trial. And I also have a suggestion for how you writer types can use your best talent in a lasting way. Check out “Giving Your Best Gift: Writing” and let me know if you have additional suggestions. I’m pretty grateful for this gig over at WOW-Women-on-Writing; I love the support of my writing community and I’m glad there’s something that puts my derriere in the chair and makes me write. Also, that makes me think because as you may recall, I’ve had some technical bloggy snafus lately. (They’re still mucking about with me but happy thoughts, people.)

I’ve started Walking with Purpose, a Bible study program for women, and it’s been wonderful in so many ways. And even if you’re not looking to join one more thing, I can heartily recommend dropping in on the blog as a balm for your harried soul. Honestly, if not for the whole pandemic thing, I wouldn’t have the time or maybe even the inclination for this Bible study. So I’m grateful for the moments I’m getting to spend with new friends and new hope.

And I’m thankful for the Junior Halls (and their spouses!) and family and friends, and even the folks in my neighborhood grocery store who may not always agree on how the world’s being run, but do agree that what makes our lives worth all the boo-boos, trials, and tribulations is the love we share while we’re here in this crazy world.

At least, until Bigfoot comes through the fence. There will be no love for THAT tribulation, I can guarantee you. (But I’ll try to get video. And happy Thanksgiving, friends, be safe out there!)

Still Miffed But Whatever

As you may recall well over a month ago, I was thoroughly put out with technology. Specifically, the changes made at this here WordPress blog that once allowed me to write at ease but now requires the use of brain cells heretofore relegated to dealing with the once-every-five-years computer glitch.


To be honest, I thought if I waited a bit, all would be well when I returned. That the mechanics of blogging here would all be miraculously back to just the way I like it, what’s normal for me. But alas, despite my denial strategy, nothing changed and I’m still grappling with my new blogging-at-Wordpress reality.

Come to think of it, the denial strategy is not a very effective tool in the whole Life Toolbox thingie, is it?

Nope, what’s called for is pulling up one’s bootstraps, facing situations head on, chin up, and no crying in baseball (if you’re a Braves fan).

Look! I added a picture where I wanted it!

So let’s just carry on and take a look at what I had to say about feeling lucky, in life and in publishing, over at The Muffin. At the time, I didn’t have any wedding photos from the Big Event, but if I’m lucky, I’ll find a way to add my favorite pic of Oldest Junior Hall and his Princess Bride. I’d also like to add that, fortunately, it’s been nearly a month now, and all the wedding guests have been quite well, thank you. So happily, we dodged making the 11 o’clock Atlanta Covid News.

While I was waiting and quarantining myself, I turned to some creepy mystery reading because it is my favorite spooky month, after all. I read a Victorian period mystery that was in first person present tense (*shivers*) and I had plenty to say about that, too, over at the Muffin.

I did not say the name of the novel, however, and I’m sure you’re thinking what’s so creepy about a Victorian period mystery (unless you’re thinking of Jack the Ripper and the White Chapel murders and then you’d be a clever one, wouldn’t you)? AND though the Ripper came up, sprinkled here and there, that was not the main creep factor in this novel. It was all about hanging, which was a pretty ghastly and common means of dealing with the criminal element in the 1800s. And there is a LOT more to hanging than just throwing a noose around a neck. So if you’re up for a bit of grisly, and you think you’d like to give first person present reading a whack, take a look at The Hangman’s Secret.

And so that’s about it for October. I sincerely hope that when next we meet, I’ll be well and truly used to blogging here. A little tolerance and kindness would be nice, too, because however it goes in just a week, some people are still going to be miffed. For us all, then, I offer a few words that always make me feel better:

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart, I have OVERCOME the world.” (John 16:33)