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Blog“Just Over the Hilltop”

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Hello from just over the hilltop where January has arrived. I love January! About the middle of December I realize I’m looking forward to January with its beautiful sunshine, slowly but lengthening daylight, and the stopping of extra activities and meetings. I enjoy the freedom from the calendar and just read, sort, file, watch old movies, and anything else I wish to do without having to clean up at the end of a day.

I spend this month filling up my body’s physical and spiritual tanks by resting and listening to God’s leading. Dick and I plan the next year’s outings, projects, and goals. We have a family reunion in Vermont this summer, maybe my fiftieth high school reunion, another grandchild due in June, opening the bookstore, and traveling the world. Wow, you think, “Sharon is really going to travel the world. She doesn’t fly, take a ship, or like to drive long distance.” Oh, you are right. All the above is me. But I asked Dick if we might travel the world via our living room and watch travelogues or documentaries this year.

she doesn’t fly, take a ship, or like to drive long distance

And he has many videos to take us away. Saturday evening we traveled to Scotland and though it was a quick trip, the stately castles, the deep lochs, the rugged, lush mountains in the highlands and the rock formations were stunningly magnificent. History was not my forte in school or after school so some of the historical background did not connect. I was amazed to learn that some of Norway’s people and culture reside in the northernmost part of Scotland. And the familiar song of “Auld Lang Sine” was written by the Scots author, Robert Burns. The sheep are plentiful as well as golf courses. The Celtic music and dancing is always a pleasure and so I enjoyed my first trip to another country, Scotland. I think next week we are off to Ireland or England.

Floyd flamingo

We just came through a time of bitter cold, some snow for insulation, wind to remind me to stay in, and the pleasure of making soups and Shepherd’s Pie for comfort. Floyd the flamingo’s scarf has become a weather vane as his scarf either gently waves about his legs or whips violently around the swing. The scarf recently in one of the strong winds got stuck to Floyd’s side. I thought maybe his hands were cold and he was trying to catch the scarf for extra warmth. Well, his hands seem to be fine and Dick freed the scarf so it can be our indicator to the strength of the winters winds again.

Dick repaired two of our living room wing back chairs, saving one from maybe being reupholstered. He was able to repair and sew the corner of my favorite mauve chair and trim and staple the bottom of his green one. He is so clever and talented in stewarding the best he can and they both look good again.

I have been working on and just yesterday completed a manual for the bookstore. This includes our statement of purpose, store policies, and training of employees, if we need any. I also wrote the policy for a consignment agreement if we decide to go in that direction for local crafts. I want to get some things in place before we begin the work over there. Should be starting next week if all goes well.

The phone

Who remembers the slogan, “Long distance, it’s the next best thing to being there?” I was thinking about this because I’ve talked in person with each of my children and my mom on the telephone this past week. I much prefer the phone to messaging or e-mailing or even facebook. You can quite often hear body language and voice tones of joy, sadness, or pain through the phone and that can help with responses. I’m thinking that God likes to hear from us, too, even though He already knows what we are thinking, what we are doing, and how our attitudes are concerning life. But somehow the direct interplay of voice to voice calms the worried or discouraged one, gives hope in words and love from the encourager, and lets the things of this world come into better focus. And that is true whether we talk to God or with a loved one. Well, that’s my thought for today so maybe this will happen again soon.  Let’s use the Bell method and call someone we love soon.

I hope you are enjoying January as much as I am and that you are getting ready for an exciting year. Love, Sharon