“Winter Rose Poinsettia”–I’d never seen one before this year. It’s beautiful (and I hear they last longer than “regular” poinsettias)!
In typical fashion, I spent the last few days reflecting on 2014, particularly the last weeks of the year. December was unkind in many ways–filled with lots of grays and pale blues and challenges and setbacks and inconsistencies and not-so-pleasant surprises.
But every day there was something that tickled my spirit or brought a smile to my face–silly and proud moments with my little one; a couple of hours with one of my dearest friends at a conference we both happened to attend; the giddy reaction of the adult audience members as my hubby told a story to children; the frog-hop of excitement my son performed when he opened his Christmas gift and found the robot he wanted.
December gave winter rose poinsettias, festive shop windows, the music, lights, and neon glitz of downtown Nashville, teddy bears, and beautiful photographs from friends. [Click an image for a larger view]
“The Nutcracker,” Nashville, Tennessee, 2014
Alvin in the Chipmunks beanie babies make any shop window adorable. Nashville, Tennessee, 2014
“I Came for the Music,” Nashville, Tennessee, 2014
“A Boy and His Honky Tonk Bear,” Nashville, Tennessee, 2014
It gave a colleagues’ pink frog with green eyes that is now featured on notecards I made for her.
“Living the Pink Life,” Cy’s Frog
December allowed me to see beautiful dolls (on display in an Asian restaurant my hubby and I visited for the first time in December):
December brightened my mailbox with photos from Patty, known as Cakers to you–the colorful silk fibers postcard made for a “Hobbies Deserve Photos Too” swap:
“A Rainbow of Fibers,” Photo by Patty aka Cakers
And a calming view of the Atlantic Ocean sent in an email while that same someone was spending Christmas vacation in Mexico with her hubby. I envied her vacation away from the madness, but appreciated her timely gift.
“Cancun for Christmas,” Photo by Cakers, December 2014
December cheered me with a cuddly teddy bear found in an unexpected place–at an academic conference.
“Bringing You Love,” 2014. The bear belongs to one of the vendors at a conference I attended. Her boyfriend sent it to keep her company while she was traveling.
December warmed me early one Monday morning when a shuttle driver sang his testimony to a busload of conference attendees as he shuttled us from our hotels to the conference site. It warmed me again later that day when a country singer serenaded me and even made up a song just for me in an attempt to lure me and a colleague into the saloon where he was performing.
December offered laughter through hilarious ugly sweater modeling and the “Nat King Cole” crooning of a colleague that had the women going wild at the University’s Christmas party.
For these and so much more I am grateful.
I begin the new year looking forward to the gifts hidden in the daily toils, the little things we so often overlook when other matters sap our strength and spirit. I pray that you, too, will search for and appreciate the tiny, everyday joys that make life bearable and pleasurable.
Happy 2015 to you and yours.