Monday, December 16, 2013

Snowmen, Stockings and a Surprise Visit

My goodness!  WHERE does the time go?  The office party for our Kingston store was today.  This is the first time Jerry and I have missed our own company Christmas party, but it could not be helped.  I sent a surprise box down for my Manager to open during lunch, which she did.  I was in the cereal aisle of Walmart looking for the now non-existent oatmeal that Jerry likes when I received a call from the WHOLE CREW on their speaker.  They called to thank me for the box and for lunch; and they told me they love us, and I told them we love them.

REALLY?  How many businesses do you know of that the employees end phone conversations to the boss with "we love you"?   It is truly a blessing and touches my heart more than anyone but God can know.  Our employees are very special, and if it wasn't for each and every one of them, the doors of our businesses would have to close without Jerry and I there.

Jerry mentions it often to me.

He is amazed that he has been so sick -- and has not been to either store AT ALL for weeks -- but the business still runs, the checks still come in, the bills still get paid, and the world has not come to an end because of his illness.

HONESTLY, we are so very thankful for our employees, and we pray for them when we pray for Jerry that God will bless them with good health and prosperity.

Tammy read my mind somehow and determined that it would not be good for Jerry to go to her house full of people on Christmas Day.  That day will be the one when he is most vulnerable to infections due to the chemotherapy that starts this Wednesday.  I can't even feed him a fresh vegetable because it might have bacteria on it!  Tammy suggested that she, her husband, Lindy (her daughter), and Hollie (her daughter-in-law) come here on Christmas Eve.

No sooner did I read her text than I FLEW into high gear.  I spent most of yesterday decorating a bit.  Nothing remotely resembling what I used to do, but still a little bit of Christmas spirit.

Snowmen with candles in their bellies light up the fireplace mantle, and 7 stockings hang underneath it.

There will be only 6 of us, but there were 7 holes under the mantle.  I decided the 7th stocking would be for Jesus.

After all, it is HIS birthday!  And YES, I know it isn't his REAL birth date, but it is the day we celebrate it.  I KNOW what He wants for His birthday too.  He TOLD us!

He wants us to LOVE GOD and LOVE ONE ANOTHER.  If only everyone would do it.

I have a big Christmas tree and mega boxes of decorations, but they are up in the attic.  Jerry always used to get it all down for me and help me get all the tree branches stuck in the proper holes, and then he would put the box back up in the attic.  He can't do that now -- or maybe he could, but I'm not asking him.  Therefore, I got out my baby Christmas tree and put it on a table.  It looks like half the lights are burned out, but they aren't.  That's all the lights the poor little thing has.

I found a piece of white fabric in my stash and made some pretend snow out of it.  Then I took down the big picture that usually hangs on the wall above the little table, and I hung up a quilt that was given to me by an employee years ago.  In a few days, this area will be covered with wrapped gifts, but here is a BEFORE picture of my little Charlie Brown tree:

While I was running around the house this morning -- making a list and checking it twice -- trying to figure out what I could buy to put in all the stockings, Jerry received a call from his daughter.  She and her family live in California, and we hardly ever see them.  Before Mom's funeral, I hadn't seen her or the kids for over 5 years -- still haven't seen the kids.

Jerry doesn't fret over such matters because in his way of thinking, if she and her family are happy and healthy, then he isn't going to mess with perfection.  He figures if she needs him, she will call.

I'm NOT that way.  I think grandparents should be part of the grandchildren's lives.  I think we should visit them and they should visit us and there should be lots of love and hugs and talks and prayers and forgiveness and understanding and, you know -- a "family".

ANYWAY!  She CALLED Jerry this morning.  She told Jerry that they are coming here right after Christmas, AND they are going to come see us -- well, him -- but I live here too.  I am so excited, I can barely keep it to myself, but I am -- except for my blog, of course, where I spill my guts about everything.  Jerry gets upset if I ask questions about them because he never knows how to answer them.

Such hard questions, like:  When will they come to see us?
                                         How long will they stay?
                                         Will we get to see our grandchildren?
                                         Can we buy them Christmas gifts?
                                         Will they come for dinner?
He always says, "I don't know, Joy!"  So, I'm not even asking this time.  I am really excited though to see our grandchildren -- IF they come -- which I don't know for sure, and I'm not allowed to ask -- and I pray they will remember me and the good times we had when they were much younger.

Have you ever seen those TV commercials about the United States Post Office Priority Mail boxes?  It goes something like this:
                                             "If it fits, it ships, for one set price."

Well, it isn't true.  Don't believe it.  I had to MEASURE my box, and then I had to WEIGH my box, and then I had to pay $40 to ship it!  The box had "Priority Mail Box C" stamped all over it.

I think the "C" stands for COSTLY!

Anyway, before I figured all that out today, I drove 5 miles to the nearest Post Office.  It is a big PO with lots of parking BUT every single parking space was full except for one that was the farthest away.  I parked -- walked around to the other side of the car and lifted the large, 12-pound box off the front seat -- shoved the door shut with my hip -- and headed toward the front door of the PO.

As I was walking, I looked down at the box in my arms and suddenly had the horrible realization that the box had NO LABEL!  I came to a dead stop.  I looked at the box, and I looked at the complete stranger man walking next to me, and I announced to him that my box did NOT have a label!  He looked at me like I must be some poor lady who just escaped the Loony Bin.  He began walking faster and faced the other way so I wouldn't DARE speak to him again!  I turned around -- shaking my head and talking to the unlabeled box in my arms telling it how STUPID I was to not put a label on it --  and walked back to my car.  Perfectly NORMAL, right?

By an AMAZING stroke of good timing, I was able to go online to, figure out with the help of my husband how to buy postage and print out a label, and JUST as I was taping the label to the top of the box about 4:30 this afternoon, our postman walked up to the front door with our mail.  I asked him if he could take the box, and he did!

Christmas lunch for our OKC store is tomorrow at The Cheesecake Factory.  Jerry says he feels good enough to go.  Maybe I'll get some pics.

Hugs, Joy


  1. Dear Joy, to both you and Jerry, Wes and I wish you a heartfelt Merry Christmas. You will have the joy of both your family's visiting - a special time for both of you.
    Love your little tree! It is only one size smaller than mine which is also on an end table.
    Merry Christmas...
    Glenda & Wes

  2. Hey Joy, sounds like you are going to have a lovely Xmas with family visiting.
    I am following your lead and have put up a very small table sized tree and some other candle type Xmas decorations this year. DD has borrowed a lot of my decorations to decorate her office.


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Hugs, Joy