Saturday, December 19, 2015

Icily yours












Hello from one of the only places in the country with snow on the ground. We've had a very cold week, with ice and snow remaining from last weekend's storm. Our backyard, on the north side of the house, is in shade most of the day, so the snow can last a long time after it falls. There's still a little snow in the front yard too, and the houses across the street have lots of snow in their front yards. I love the way the Christmas lights look with some snow, like a real winter wonderland!

I'm so glad we've reached the holiday break, which began yesterday. It was a hard week. Everyone is getting sick (again), we had event after event to attend (fun, but exhausting), and the small Bears and I were involved in a minor car accident. Everyone is fine, and my car is too, but even so, it shakes you up. I'm not the most confident driver under the best of circumstances, so this makes me dread driving more than usual. But drive I must, I really don't have a choice on a typical day. So the break is very welcome from that standpoint too.

Really, it's just nice to have some time off. I've just come off a three-week bender (it feels like) of dealing with pharmacies, the insurance company and the LB's kidney specialist on a daily basis, trying to straighten out a medication-related situation. I feel resentful of the hurdles and hoops a patient (or his parent) must go through. I hate to complain - we have an excellent doctor and he's certainly not at fault - but it's just so difficult. Sometimes I feel like I'm screaming into the wind.

Christmas sometimes gets me down, to be honest. I try hard (maybe too hard) to make Christmas a special and happy time for my children. My own background doesn't include much of this; holidays were fraught times and my memories of them are not particularly positive. Unfortunately, some of the same difficulties are ongoing. Distance helps a lot, as does learning to gird myself against other people's choices. Each year, I struggle a bit with this; I don't want to bring any of it into my own home, but I also wish that it could have been different. It's a hard balance between the fixing and the longing. But I've come to look at it as a opportunity, a clean slate for making our own happy times now, a chance to remind myself that I've done important work. 

So I'm ready to relax and rest. I still need to buy all the food for holiday, aside from some things I already have in the freezer. No more shopping to do otherwise; now it's just the wrapping and plenty of it. My own gifts will be fairly spare this year - some crafting supplies, books, candles. I don't need much. None of us does, so we've kept it simple. We're just looking forward to our usual holiday pastimes - games, movies, hobbies, fires in the evenings, egg nog and cookies. I hope this weekend finds you relaxed and calm too.

33 comments:

  1. Hi Jennifer! See? You know how to make a Christmas with your family. Even though memories often push us into some old ruts that became too deep when we were children, the fresh attitudes of children make for a unique atmosphere. A good one. Make sure you sit down now so the kids can join you and you can whisper sweet somethings into their dear ears. Merry Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm sorry you're having such a fraught time, especially so near Christmas. I'm sure once the big day's here, you'll settle down with your family and enjoy the time together, after all, that's what it's really about.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Time is one of the most important things to a child and you spend plenty of quality time with yours so they will have nothing but good memories from their childhood year round. Sit back and just enjoy each others company, the rest is a bonus.

    ReplyDelete
  4. You are so lucky to have snow, we haven't had any here for about 4 or 5 years and the kids keep asking me when it will snow, but we have been having unusually warmer weather then normal and lots and lots of rain so its doesn't look hopeful! Hopefully you can have a much calmer time now and enjoy your Christmas break. Happy Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
  5. "Distance helps a lot, as does learning to gird myself against other people's choices. Each year, I struggle a bit with this; I don't want to bring any of it into my own home, but I also wish that it could have been different. It's a hard balance between the fixing and the longing."

    I know just what you mean.

    Love the snowy shots! No snow here yet. It's just cold.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm sorry you've had such a rough week. I've had issues with medications and insurance for my Dad too. I take care of all his medications and sometimes I want to scream too! I was in a near collision yesterday and although it didn't happen I was shook up too.
    It's crazy that you have snow and we don't It did snow yesterday but then all melted.
    You and Bear are good parents and it's good to know that your small bears won't have the same issues to look back at as you do.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sorry you've had bureaucratic troubles, I do hope they're all sorted out now, it must be incredibly frustrating. I know what you mean about Christmas not always being the best time of year. Such high expectations, it can be stressful. It always sounds as though make a very wonderful time for your children though. I hope you have a good Sunday Jennifer. CJ xx

    ReplyDelete
  8. How I envy your snow. It's unseasonably mild here in the UK at the moment and it doesn't feel right! Sorry to hear about your accident - it's good that you have the Christmas break to catch your breath and recover. Enjoy your weekend. xx

    ReplyDelete
  9. Jennifer I think you are the most wonderful parent to your young Bears, helped of course by the strong and loving relationship you have with the Bear. Christmas can be a tough time and I think many of us breathe a big sigh when it's all over for another year. Have a good relaxing week and enjoy the icy cold. We're still under a damp grey cloud with temperatures in the high teens centigrade, most unusual for the week before Christmas..

    ReplyDelete
  10. Warmer here than with you. Amazing! Although the way the wind is shaping up I think I'm going to be out recovering stuff for the far reaches of the garden tomorrow. I love that picture of the mountain. Have a good week Jennifer and take it easy!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hope you get it all sorted, insurance companies can be such buggers. No snow here, but quite chilly this weekend.
    Families can so often bring us down and even when you live miles away. Some times having a continent between isn't far enough.
    Have a Merry Christmas !!.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I do hope you have a relaxing and fun holiday! I am sure that you make a lovely holiday for your family with your love and thoughtfulness.
    Don't get me started on insurance companies. Unbelievable. We pay so much for our policies -- and then we fight to get the services we've paid for. So sorry that kind of hassle has come up just before Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Dear Jennifer, how pretty the icicles and snow look; so magical at Christmas. You must feel very special, the only area in the country with a white Christmas to enjoy. So sorry to hear of the medical insurance difficulties. We have similar issue here too - they pretend to be there to help, but avoidance seems to be their game. Good luck! I enjoyed your thoughtful comments re Christmas past, and I think we all carry some of those thoughts with us. I know I do. I wish you and your lovely family the most wonderful, peaceful, and special Christmas of all! xx

    ReplyDelete
  14. Sorry to hear about your accident. This country has one of the highest rates of accidents and fatalities in the world. There are times when I prefer not to be out and there are plenty of times when folks have ran into me. No sense of respect on the road, that's for sure. And half of the folks are texting while driving, even the cops. Really crazy! I swear medical insurance is such a scam. They take so much money and then you have to fight for the coverage you are entitled to. Hospitals jack up costs when insurance is involved. I don't know how it is right or fair at all. It certainly seems to me that you make every day special for your family and that's what's really important. The every day, not just a holiday. Take care of yourself. Happy holiday cheer and blessings, Tammy

    ReplyDelete
  15. It sounds like you need a rest. I am sorry to hear you had an accident, however minor they always shake you don't they? What a pain to have to spend so much time on the phone at such a busy time of year, I am sure you didn't need that on your plate too. I hope that now everything has stopped you can enjoy your family and time at home and get the much needed rest you need. Be gentle on yourself Jennifer.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Shut your doors, shut out the world, gather your family around you and enjoy your time together, that is what is important and what the children will remember.

    Sorry you have such a struggle with the insurance and pharmacies, it must be a nightmare, the last thing you need when your child has medical needs. I hope it's all settled now and you have a stress free holiday. x

    ReplyDelete
  17. so sorry about the problems with the medication, and the car accident. I'm so glad you're all ok. Our car had a little accident this week, it came off rather worse in an interaction with a lamp post.... It was getting to me but I decided to try and focus on the positive things ahead and not let all the other stuff going on get to me. Chickpea's words of advice are perfect x take care and relax, you're doing a great job! xxx

    ReplyDelete
  18. Sorry you've had a trying week Jennifer. Your plans for Christmas sound perfect – making your own traditions and memories with your children. Here's to a relaxing, happy time. Sam x PS Your lovely photos - brrrr.

    ReplyDelete
  19. So sorry you have been struggling with things this past week. I wish you calm and peace now, and cosy family times. You and your husband are creating wonderful family memories for your own little bears and that is the most important thing. Sending love.
    Helen xox

    ReplyDelete
  20. Sorry to hear of your accident.. but glad it wasn't worse. I know what you mean about trying to make the holidays a better time for your family. Our Christmases weren't awful or full of fighting or such, but they were not great and wonderful, either. Mom would give us Avon for xmas! So.. that is why I try to make a magical time for my kids. Good for you! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

    ReplyDelete
  21. It really sounds like you need a holiday. I am sorry to hear about your car accident and I'm glad no-one was hurt but still, these things shake you up. At least now you have a couple of weeks to rest and relax and spend time with your best people. And yes, like those wise people say above, shut out the world and hunker down and drink eggnog. :-) xx

    ReplyDelete
  22. I am glad you can now relax, after a trying few weeks. I am also glad that you and the little bears were not hurt in the car accident, it must have been so scary. I don't have fond memories of my childhood Christmas, a mother trying too hard to make her own dreams come true without taking ours into consideration. Nothing much has changed unfortunately. My favourite Christmas ever was the one year when our flights were cancelled due to snow and bad weather and we couldn't travel to Switzerland. It was just the four of us back then, we bought what little food was left in the shops and even found a Christmas tree (on sale!). It was blissful and I still draw strength from this particular Christmas. Unfortunately, such a Christmas is not likely to happen anytime soon. I hope you and your bears are having a wonderful time. xx

    ReplyDelete
  23. I hope everything settles down for you, Jennifer, so you can enjoy Christmas with your wee family.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Very sorry to hear about your accident and the paperwork problems.as well as the difficult memories that Christmas can evoke for you. It can be a very stressful time for a lot of people, so well done for trying so hard to make it a happy time for your family.

    It seems so odd that you have ice and snow in New Mexico, whereas here in the UK it is unseasonably warm (almost 60F overnight yesterday!)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thank goodness you are all alright after your accident, how frightening for you. We're having our warmest winter for 70 years over here! Get as much r and r as you can xx

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thank goodness you are all ok after accident and not keen on driving here either but do....beautiful photos and incredible so cold there and stinking HOT here lol.....may you all enjoy a lovely festive time xoxo relaxing

    ReplyDelete
  27. Oh dear, what a rough ride! I am so thankful your were all kept safe in your accident. I am sure you are creating some wonderful holiday memories for your precious children, I hope you will be able to enjoy each moment of your precious time together this Christmas. The doctor's every day sounds a nightmare! I hope they can get things sorted soon. Hugs xx

    ReplyDelete
  28. Oh dear, what a rough ride! I am so thankful your were all kept safe in your accident. I am sure you are creating some wonderful holiday memories for your precious children, I hope you will be able to enjoy each moment of your precious time together this Christmas. The doctor's every day sounds a nightmare! I hope they can get things sorted soon. Hugs xx

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hey Jennifer,
    Just catching up with my favorite lovelies after a busy weekend. Can I just say that it's a gift to be able to see the world from both sides, in the way that you do. You have an awareness that is healing rather than damaging. I think you are a star, my lovely, and if I don't get the chance to visit here before Christmas, have a marvelous one.
    Leanne xxxx

    ReplyDelete
  30. Thank you for sharing photos of your ice and snow, Jennifer! Mt. Hood has been shrouded in clouds for weeks, but from the photos I've seen on the news I know that the snow pack is deepening on the mountain so that when the clouds blow away Mt. Hood will be spectacularly white! Meanwhile down here in the valley in Boring, Oregon, where I live we are definitely no longer feeling parched...and our ponds are full...and did I mention it is raining...steadily....
    Distance in relationships and in time from some not perfect memories helps me to process life. I benefit from your beautifully written processing in this post. I have had more social activities than usual lately which helps me fight my reclusive nature and I have have some lovely memories for the effort, but this morning I woke up fighting off the cold that some members of my family have had and I guess I will have to reschedule my dental check up scheduled for tomorrow. My granddaughters and their parents were out looking at Christmas lights the other night...in the rain...and they drove through water in a dip in the road that flooded their engine! The car was towed home and is still drying out and we are praying that the engine can be saved. I am so glad you and your family were not injured and can relate to your feelings about driving so much! Gusty winds are blowing our trees around and I just saw a patch of blue sky and some sunshine...briefly...but more rain and some rain/snow mix are predicted for this Christmas week. I am cheering you on in your battle for good medical service and can really sympathize since I have just had to sign up for medicare which I have found to be especially confusing due in part to all the insurance companies vying for my business. I still have cards I want to send, and messages I want to write, and a few more packages to wrap, and a bit more stitching I want to complete, so I had best get on with it. But first, thank you so much for posting and for sharing your life so beautifully, Jennifer. xx PS. I just got a box from my dear friend, Becky, in Saugerties, NY...including Krauss's chocolate!!! Blessings to you and yours, Jennifer

    ReplyDelete
  31. Have a enjoyable wonderful christmas x

    ReplyDelete
  32. I envy you having a snowy backdrop, Jennifer. So far the snow has remained up on the mountains here, which leaves us to look at the outdoor lights through sheets of rain. I'm so sorry you are having to deal with issues in the medical system. I can't imagine having to add that layer of difficulty onto the already challenging job of raising a child with medical needs. I admire you for carving out a new way to be a family, and for making the holidays so special for your children.

    ReplyDelete
  33. You are right - temps are mild this year for most of the country. Even here in northern IL where it's usually pretty darn cold by now and that we'll have a white Christmas...well, not this year. It's been in the 40's and tomorrow will be in the 50's. Lots of rain. But sunny on Christmas day. Just seems so strange. I can relate to your sadness this time of year...some of the same reasons and some different reasons, too. I think I'm going to do a post on a little bit of that today with some hopefully helpful links. I hope that you have an enjoyable Christmas day with your hubby and kids. Blessings and good health to you all! {{hugs}}

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for leaving a comment. It's so good to hear from you! I don't always have time to reply but I try to answer questions when I can.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...