Friday, December 10, 2010
Friday night and a wave of gratitude floods my heart...
Last night I attended a very special Holiday program with four different kindergarten classes performing their hearts out for the loved ones in the audience of the Newark's Cherry Valley elementary school system. As I gazed around the full room ...generations were united for s short moment of time in the sentimental childhood memories revisited in the selected musical selections. Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Christmas carols filled the room accompanied by small jingle bells held tightly in small tiny hands. I had heard about Hannah's best friend Natalie for the last couple of years ... and to discover she is the only child of a young man who grew up down the street from my home on Audrey Drive. Trevor and his wife (Natalie's parents) came over after the concert and we shared admiration for the dedicated ongoing friendship of two small girls. What a small small world united by two little girls hearts.
Tonight I went to attend a very special meeting of a mother's group and the anticipated visit from Santa Claus. This special man shares the true spirit of St. Nicholas ...he takes each child individually and holds a small intimate chat about the upcoming Christmas eve visit to their homes as they have all been such incredibly good little children. From the smallest of new infants to the older children...the photos can better describe their impressions of this kindly old man in a jolly red suit and a soft flowing white beard. There was plenty of delicious food treats and even reindeer cupcakes ...they delighted the sweet tooth in this big girlie. I was honored to be there in this loving, supportive circle of young families creating heart felt memories for this next generation to carry in their hearts forever. Each child patiently waited to open their gifts from Santa ... except for Grandpa Ken who helped Morgan open her puzzle a wee bit early. Luckily the rest of the room graciously waited ...and they were too busy paying attention that every child received their gift from the big red velvet sack. Grandparents and parents alike were careful to dress each child into their new pajamas ...Christmas pj's of course ; for a few last Christmas photo opportunities. The tree only tilted once in the whole evening of planned activities. I think there were at least 5 new infants since last Christmas and Brandi is expecting her little girl on New Year's Eve. I was tired on the drive home back to Newark and saddened that I did not get to hold my little Lyndon Allen...but listening to the radio's carols I felt tears stinging my eyes ...just a little bit...because of the people who were missing in the room tonight. I reminded myself and my heart to be patient and listen with my heart for my whispers and echoes of those who have loved me over the years. I began as Jim and Rosie's little chubby daughter who once waited to hear sleigh bells in the clear star lit skies on Christmas Eve.
Today in the studio my friend Chris Lang delivered her hand felted Christmas ornaments for my tiny studio/gallery. We hung them immediately on my small golden tree frame with the glee of a small child. Michelle picked up another quick sketch commission for Mr. Fred...a very distinguished looking Lhasa Apso...dressing in his festive red bandanna for his "close up". The Card party ladies joined us for their monthly card party and a warming lunch of delicious soup and sandwich. For a couple of hours they rejoice in their friendships over the past decades and I delight in being privileged to hear their giggles and laughter. At the end of the afternoon they came in to see what I had been busying myself with for three hours. I had just finished my Christmas card commissions and they were very amused to watch me problem solve a stuck Snowman punch...I used my trusty hammer to tap it to release the punch from the festive paper. I am pleased as punch when the table is full of ribbons and papers and glue and glitter... glitter... glitter. Brian Miller came in for his first visit and he decided to buy Chris Lang's treasures for his tree in his home. I also shared some of my stencils for him to play with his Sunday school class. I gave him some extra glitter for his small charges to experience in his Sunday class. I need to get ready for tomorrow...I have a student or two coming in for their Teacher gifts this week. It is so hard to believe Christmas is only two weeks away...the whole year has disappeared like the sun setting over my hillside in the evening. Thank you for reading my simple daily journeys...I love the fact that I take the time even when I am tired to recognize how many gifts I have received on this special day...a Friday living my dreams in Newark, Ohio. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart