The Happiest of New Years.
There's a lot of stuff in the picture, and I don't know if it all can be called a blessing from God. But my, my ... what blessings the stuff reminds me of.
- The stockings on the mantle: They hint at the family we're blessed with. Sons, Grandchildren, Great Grandchildren, and even a Granddaughter's sister and her offspring. We were all here, celebrating Christmastime, a couple of days ago. And it was an absolutely delightful mess! Plus, the fact that the 15 of us all sat, talked and played, opening presents, in our Living Room, tells me what a blessing we have in the home we own.
- The little stuffed doggie on the hearth: 20+ years ago, when Mom died, I inherited her 15 or 20 stuffed animals. Subsequent to that, Peg would buy me more, to add to my collection. I even featured the doggie in a blog post, many years ago.
- The cars on the shelves over there: Our younger son, while traveling to 49 states in his job tending to bank computer programs, used to bring me 1:18 scale car models from all over the country. A result of that is a collection of about 100 (mostly) Ferraris and other exotic cars.
- I bought a few of those models, myself. Several from the local Sharper Image store, which that younger son's wife managed. One, I bought during a tour of the Audi Factory in Ingolstadt, Germany, and one in the BMW factory in Munich ,,, during visits with friends there in Germany. And they also remind me of the visit to the Dachau Prison Camp, Hitler's Kehlsteinhaus ... The "Eagle's Nest" ... and the Nazi Documentation Centre at the foot of Kehlstein Mountain in Obersalzburg.
- The little read stool/bench with the Alabama logo. I made it from the last remaining wood from the big cabinet housing dad's Wurlitzer Home Theater Horseshoe Electronic Organ. It had quit working, was not practical to repair .... especially considering that a $150 Electronic Keyboard can now do a lot more than the Wurlitzer could when it worked ... so I dismantled it and kept the bench. I also made similar stool/benches with Auburn and Braves colors and logos, and the 3 are reminders of the times Dad and I spent together, playing stuff in an accordion/organ duet. Plus, the Great Grandkids routinely sit on them when playing with toys on the big tables.
- The bald eagle painting on the fireplace: A reminder of how Dad loved the nation and its symbols. Especially so the Eagle. I'd mentioned that to my friend Tom Kimbrough, whose wife was a painter. As a result, she sent Dad a print of her Eagle painting, which Mom gave me after Dad's death. And if you can see it, there's also a little statue of the Eagle, atop the shelves with all the car models, which was also Dad's.
- The toys in the plastic boxes: they are there primarily for our Great-Grandsons. But the three neighbor kids from across the street, come over occasionally to play, because they know they're welcome and we have lots of toys! And ... their mother is from Enid, OK, and her parents are members of Emmanuel Enid, where my good friend Wade Burleson serves as Pastor.
- The fireplace itself, which really grabbed me when I first walked into that living room. And the recesses on each side, with all those plants growing there. Reminding me that only God can give that increase. Also, hanging in those recesses, are ceramic birds from Cancun and bells from Latvia and other places we've visited. And one set of bells was brought to use by a wonderful young lady from Latvia, a friend who came to visit us here, a couple of times.
- And, saving the best for last, my wife of 59+ years, talking to her sister in Indiana. We'll have been married 60 years on next March 13th .... yes, we were married on Friday the 13th ... and without her I would doubtless be in a Homeless Shelter. Or in Prison.
And how He loves me.
If this doesn't make for a Happy New Year, nothing ever will.