Don’t worry. T2 and I are still committed to sharing the last cupcake, but my lack of resolve had to translate to something good. Or at least funny. And on that note the Monday funnies edition of my cartoon Picking My Battles is back in action.
I’ve been making cards for a Holiday craft fair in December. I started making cards with flowers on them after creating a few pieces for family members and then kept painting flowers — get well cards for humanity.
Then I added a few cards for Christmas and Hanukkah since it’s a holiday fair, but, as an atheist, I felt a little funny at first. And I wondered, for the umpteenth time, if it was hypocritical and why we celebrate those holidays at all.
This year, health issues are changing our Thanksgiving celebration, separating us from family members. We still have so much to be thankful for, but being separated from family on this one holiday that is sacred to me helped me understand why the religious holidays of others are still celebrations for us.
There are the rituals and the memories. But there are also the holidays themselves. Hanukkah and Christmas and other religious celebrations that occur concurrent with the winter solstice are often celebrations of light at the darkest time of year. They are celebrations of miracles against all odds and of physical and spiritual growth even in the coldest winter. They are perennial demonstrations of communal good will and of hope.
Right now the world is in a dark place. It sometimes seems like the bomb throwers (literal and figurative) are everywhere. If there were ever a time to celebrate light in darkness – to celebrate and nurture hope and good will in those who want it, this is it.
I don’t have any illusions that the bomb throwers and disrupters in the world are going to come to our house and sit down for Thanksgiving dinner to solve the world’s problems over a bottle of wine. I do, however, look at the very existence of these holidays as unscientific proof that in our species there is an innate, inextinguishable desire for peace and even good will that is as vital as our competitive and destructive natures. That desire is something I am willing to work for wherever possible.
As an atheist, a belief in an inherent desire for peace not only gives me hope, it gives me faith (something I guard closely and try to nurture) in the future of humankind. And I’m happy to celebrate it by lighting candles, stuffing a stocking, or simply sitting at a table to acknowledge the good in my lives and hope for good in the lives of others.
This is a really exciting post to write.
It’s Veteran’s Day, so T1 and T2 are home. Naturally I headed to the country store for a little liquid courage (don’t look at me like that – it’s Diet Soda. Which might be worse than a bottle of wine when I think about it) and snacks to keep the troops anesthetized and quiet while I work.
T2 and I walked in to find Nancy Tschorn, the Ma half of the Mom&Pop store, wearing a mischievous grin. Oh and her uniform. I specify that because we have walked into find her wearing a cow costume and a little Red Riding Hood outfit (it was Halloween of course) and a mischievous grin which should tell you how good her blog is going to be.
Did I mention she was bubbling over to tell me about her blog? that I’ve been suggesting she start for sometime because she is a cauldron of creativity and not only that, she has thousands of stories.
She told a few of these stories a few years ago in a book – Wayside Country Stories – that she self-published on her own to great acclaim from the few lucky people who got to read them (please join me in badgering her to make an ebook out of them). A member of a now-dissolved but legendary and scandalous writing group (that’s as much as I can say, but don’t let our bifocals fool you – we were all very, very scandalous), she read some of these stories to us, but we knew she was just scratching the surface.
Today she started her blog, Wayside Country Stories, and opened the vault.Her stories are full of humor and humanity, and I’m so excited to add it to my Blogs I Love page. Check it out. You’ll be happy you did.
Thing2 is a little subdued today.
Most mornings by 8 am, he’s chirping with the birds outside, doing a sock-footed slide from room to room hoping to “accidentally” wake the sleeping thirteen-year-old giant in the room near the end of the hall. By 9am, he’s tapping at the door. At 10am, the giant has breakfasted and retreated to his cave and Thing2 dances outside the door with a soft mischievous smile on his face.
“MOOOOOOMMMMM!” usually reverberates through my office no later than noon as Thing2’s latest attempt to “play” with the giant backfires and the accusations fly. The tears dry quickly and round 2 begins shortly after the afternoon snack.
Today,the giant is away at computer camp for the next two, and the house is eerily quiet. The only chirping is coming from the open window. Thing2 has his nose stuck in a book or his head bent over the iPad. We’ll find something special to do this afternoon, but this morning, there’s no dancing or yelling through closed doors. There’s no “he started it”, and it’s too dang quiet.
Our little corner of Vermont is still getting plenty of showers, so this month’s Common Thread Give-a-Way is a much needed punch of color.
Jane McMillan, is this months artist. She’s giving away a felted fruit pin cushion – and you get to choose from the collection above. With the exception of the Strawberry cushion, all the cushions are filled with crushed walnut shells which keep pins sharp. The Strawberry is stuffed with polyfil.
To win a fruit pincushion of your choice, just leave a comment at Jane’s blogLittle House Home Arts.