Winter weather, where art thou?

November 28, 2017 | My Jottings

It’s hard to believe that on November 28th, the temperature was fifty degrees. Any snow we’ve had has melted, the frost is coming up out of the ground, and I’m still wearing my Birkenstocks. I remember Novembers of long ago, and it wasn’t unusual to have three feet of snow on the ground and sub-zero temps. No one is complaining, but everyone is commenting on how weird the weather is everywhere.

We are looking Christmas-y in our cozy home, in spite of the lack of winter weather. Sara gets the bug to decorate for Christmas right after Thanksgiving, and I thought I’d share a few pictures I took today with my phone.

Is there anything better than a tartan plaid throw on a neutral colored couch? Well, maybe a piece of See’s candy, or a trip to Switzerland, or a hug from a grandchild… but plaid throws are pretty high up on my list of wonderful things.

Our tree, full of more red this year than ever before:

We have three small hanging lights over our bar in the kitchen, and Sara ties ornaments to them every year:

This stocking, with my mother’s name on it (Virginia) is about 65 years old. I hope it passes down through many generations to remind our family of that woman who loved us so well:

Mendelssohn the Moose is sporting some jingle bells to keep his mood merry and bright. From what little I know about the moose population, they could use some help with this.

This red and blue plaid pillow was an early Christmas gift from Sara to me — she knows how my heart thrills to anything plaid:

And she has decked our deck flower boxes with fresh greens, birch twigs from Bruno, Minnesota, and huge plastic ornaments. These look stunning after it snows:

A reindeer (I’m assuming) and a cardinal, existing together quite peacefully on the handles of my kitchen hutch. The wool cardinal was a thoughtful gift from my friend from church, Julie:

Sara thought our plain mantel needed some over-the-top Christmas festooning this year — isn’t it pretty?

And a view from the front:

As I sit and type this at 4:00 p.m. on this Tuesday afternoon, I’m already in my nightgown. Community Bible Study was this morning, and what a joy and privilege it was to gather around a table with women young and old, and dig into even the book of Exodus! We find God’s beauty, compassion and mercy there, and He feeds us with His Word each week.

Once again, I have tried to write about the recent heaven-going of my tenth grandbaby Hannah Joy, and I just can’t seem to do it. I hope I’ll be able to share soon. As we sat around our Thanksgiving table last week and each commented on what we are grateful for, Hannah’s name was mentioned several times. She lived on this earth for less than two hours, yet her perfect life impacted our lives with such power and longing there aren’t really adequate words for it. She brought an exquisite beauty into our midst that has marked us forever. We are trusting Jesus with her now.

Aside from my regular foster care provider job which I have done in my home now for seventeen years, I have been busy with a new friendship. I’ve shared a little before about a man I met about a year and a half ago, in a grief support group for seniors who’ve lost spouses. A group of us have lunch together twice a month, and it has been a wonderful blessing to fellowship with people who truly understand this kind of loss. Mr. L. and I see each other two or three times a week, and since he lives a ways from me in a cabin he built in the woods, when he comes into town we tend to spend the day together.  We walk as much as we can, have Cobb salads for lunch at The Duluth Grill, take tea together while watching the shipping traffic on Lake Superior, and watch Doc Martin episodes on TV as the day draws to a close. Last week for the first time, it was too cold to walk in the cemetery as we usually do, so we drove to the mall and joined the early morning walkers there. They let the walkers in early before the mall opens, so we put in a couple of miles and I snapped this picture of Mr. L:

Other shocking things that have happened in the last months: my oldest grandson (age 15) is now 6′ 5″ tall. My oldest granddaughter (age 15) is now 5′ 11″ tall. I flew to Florida and spent a few days at Walt Disney World with my daughter Sharon and her family. I bought a new car. I have only read two books. And I am thinking about retirement.

One of the two books I’ve recently read is by Brennan Manning, recommended by my friend Ember, and it was a comfort to me. Click here to see. What are you reading that you could recommend?

Even though it’s still November, I’m hoping that your Christmas season is lean on the shopping and all the running about, and full of peaceful family times, quiet contemplation on the goodness of God, and heartfelt rejoicing that unto us a Savior is born. All my hope rests in that.

God bless and keep you all,


  1. Elizabeth says:

    I am so very sorry about the loss of your grandchild. My heart is hurting for you. May God comfort you and yours.

  2. Ganeida says:

    Blessings, my friend. Our weather is weird too, more like Autumn than nearly summer. I am glad you are enjoying your time with your friend.

  3. Nancy says:

    Glad you have written again in your blog. Loss at any age is never easy, but someone young even more so. I’m currently readying an author I’ve read often Paul Theroux’s book Deep South. About his travels to that region of the US. Wishing you and your family (and Mr. L) a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

  4. Just Julie says:

    Elizabeth, Ganeida and Nancy — it made me smile to see you three here. Thank you so much, and God bless your weekend. xoxo

  5. Tauni says:

    I Love You, my DEAR FRIEND.

  6. Just Julie says:

    Forever and ever, dear friend. xoxo

  7. Ember says:

    Waving! Glad you liked Brennan Manning. x

  8. Just Julie says:

    Waving back to you, Ember. I loved the book — what else would you recommend? 🙂 xoxo

  9. Margaret McMahon says:

    I say to everyone
    you all Must read all the Narnia books
    and anything by J.R.R Tolkien!


  10. Margaret McMahon says:

    (I’m in Sharon’s family)

  11. Just Julie says:

    And in my family! Love you Moo! And I couldn’t agree more about the Narnia series and J.R.R. Tolkien’s books!

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