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Blog“Just Over the Hilltop”

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Hello, I’m back and this is another overcast day but I can see the Christmas candles in Dick’s library in the barn and they brighten the hour. He is now putting up the lights and wreaths on the wrap-around porch while I putter on paperwork, prepare for the Ladies Tea next week, look through our Christmas totes for a special memory to take to the tea, and now sit down to write you. “Just Over The Hilltop Journal” wants to make a comeback and if I keep at it, maybe, just maybe, it will happen.

This is part two of “My Favorite Things in 2020.” Do you remember the old, very old, Mother’s Day commercial encouraging people to call home if you can’t get home with the line, “it’s just like being there?” Well, that is true when you live six and a half hours away and can’t cross state lines temporarily. The next best thing is the phone call. Not a text message. Not a facebook post. But a phone call so you can hear the voice of the one you love on the other end of the line. You can hear a lot in the voice. And from my end of the conversations with my Mom, she was handling this lock-down graciously and with tenacity.

an example of loving life and making the best of it

She crocheted 156 lap quilts for nursing homes, hospitals, church members, and others during the year 2020. What an inspiration of keeping your hands busy so your mind can stay focused instead of worrying; which doesn’t change anything. We sometimes laughed so hard that tears came as we reminisced and shared life’s joys and trials. She, too, knew deep in her heart that God was in control of her situation and she was going to make the best of it. I believe she did that successfully and maybe I get some of my independent make-do spirit from her. She is such an example of loving life and making the best of it.

Grandchildren and swimming

As the summer progressed we had a swim camp with three of our little grandchildren. That’s what they called it as they wanted to learn to not be afraid of the water and learn to swim. So, they brought a blow-up ten foot pool, their sleeping bags, bikes, roller blades, and came up to Norwood twice for several days. Without their Mommy and Daddy. This was a first for them and a first for us. We made and treasure so many happy memories of swim camp which also included the local cousins coming to play, swim, and have picnics. We tried to teach them volleyball and badminton but they weren’t quite big enough. (This summer the grandchildren came again and we introduced them to croquet. That was much better).

Once our children began to marry, we had not celebrated Thanksgiving or Christmas on the calendar date but whenever we could arrange a day to fit all. But the year 2020 found us having Thanksgiving with Eric’s family on the day! It was the first time in about thirty years and I can’t begin to tell you just how special that was. We don’t mind moving the date to accommodate everyone else, yet every once in a while the thought would come, maybe some day we can celebrate on the day.

noise of conversations, laughter, squabbles, and fun games all going on at the same time

Are you wondering what did we do with ourselves? Well, as I said concerning my Mom, we made the best of it and enjoyed experimenting with different ideas. Sometimes we stayed home, had a special breakfast (but no, I didn’t make a big dinner), put the Christmas candles in the windows, maybe watched a movie, or just relaxed. I was often tired from days of baking pies for special orders for people and the downtime felt good. Other years we would go to a community Thanksgiving dinner and just enjoy the fellowship of others who were looking for a meal with lots of people and noise going on around you. Isn’t that what family gatherings are like? The loud noise of conversations, laughter, squabbles, and fun games all going on at the same time?

Yes, 2020 was filled with wonderful, favorite things that may or may not have happened otherwise. So, for a year that wasn’t, I have a heart full of wonderful memories. And they become “My Favorite Things.”

It looks as though there will be a part three next week because I haven’t finished with my list. Stay tuned to more of 2020 when I remember our church family and the growth and fun we had. Be blessed, my friends, and I’ll see you next week. Love, Sharon