Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Lamppost and the Leaves

I'm fascinated with the trees here on the Monterey Peninsula. Sometime I'll post pictures of all my favorites. Today though, I'm writing about a new discovery - I just found out that one of my best friends (and neighbors, who sees the same trees I do every day) shares that same interest. Yesterday she pointed out a tree I've passed by daily but hadn't really seen before, at least not the way she had. And it's really cool.

It's not so much about the tree itself, but about the lamppost and the leaves. She pointed out to me that all the leaves have long since fallen to the ground - except - the leaves right around the lamppost. They're even still green for the most part, at the end of December. It must be the light from the lamp at night that is keeping them alive.

I love analogies and I think there's a good one here! In fact, these lyrics came to my mind as I thought about the power of that light:

Thou gracious God, whose mercy lends
the light of home, the smile of friends,
our gathered flock thine arms enfold
as in the peaceful days of old.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809 – 1894)

This was a beautiful reminder that in this past year, His mercy has brought me the light of home, the smile of friends, and deep, inner peace as I've felt His loving arms gather me in. Like that lamppost, His light has given me the extra strength I've needed to keep holding on through long, dark nights. May this strength and peace fill us through the weeks and months ahead. Wishing you all a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It's Christmastime in Carmel-by-the-Sea

I love living in such a cool place!

My morning, in pictures:

I could never get away with using this purse, let alone afford it, but isn't this creative?

More of my endless fascination with the flora of California's Central Coast. Looks like Christmas to me. (Red, green, and shiny!)

We turned off the main row of shops and art galleries and found this sweet, peaceful haven. Inside the pipe organ Christmas carols and stained glass windows filled me with the reverent spirit of Christmas. I could use a stop here every day.

And I could use a stop here everyday, too!

May your days be merry and bright.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Let it, uh, B

So this is what we get for turning the ornament hanging over to our 6 and 9 year old boys... the paper tag labeling one of the parts of the artificial tree becomes a decoration! It is rather special since both of their names start with B. I think this is hilarious - guess we'll see how many years this shows up on our tree!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Silver Bells and Sunshine

This morning our boys reminded me it was time to break out the chocolate advent calendars - can it really be December already?

You have to understand that I'm asking this for more than the "where did the year go?" reasons that we all have. Here in Monterey the weather is sunny in the mid-60's, and the trees and grass are lush and green this time of year. It feels like Spring. (But not the "Spring" we had here last year - the kind of Spring I'm used to!) Having lived in places with four distinct seasons my entire life until one year ago, I feel really displaced seeing Christmas lights on neighbor's homes while deciding we really don't need our jackets as we head out the door. Displaced, yes. Ungrateful? Absolutely not!

Displaced and ungrateful was me this summer while I was wearing sweaters (and a jacket) and could barely see through the fog day after day.

But now that it's gone, I'm over it. It's December, it's not going to snow here, and I'm grateful. And it might be the only December I can ever confidently say that again. So I put on the silver jingle bell earrings my youngest son gave me last year and I'm going to be grateful all month long. (And I'm putting this on my blog to be accountable to it!)

Happy December and may this be a month filled with blessings and sunshine! And maybe a chocolate advent calendar. : )