Christmas Letter

No, not another Christmas letter! Really, it’s OK. I don’t really have anything to brag about from the last year. Nothing I did that was extraordinary anyway. Thinking about writing a Christmas letter got me thinking though about what I would feel was important enough to put in one.

Since this past year has been a slump year for me, all my thoughts at first were slumpy ones. I’ve struggled with depression, anxiety, a dry faith, poor health, poorer eating, and other things I’d rather not tell the world.

What can I tell you that won’t put you in a slump too? Slumps don’t last forever. And even in the midst of slumps, there are some really funny moments. The coins come to mind right away.  I had emptied all of my coin jars into an ice cream pail, filling it up. It was super heavy so my husband was going to take it to the car for me so I could deposit it in the bank. He’s very helpful that way. He picked up the pail, I heard him start down the stairs and then heard coin hit the floor. My first thought was that he fell down the stairs.

He didn’t. That flimsy handle he was carrying the pail with, that pretty much everyone would know couldn’t handle the weight of all those coins, broke and the pail fell. And the lid popped off. We had coin everywhere. As I hurried to the top of the stairs, I thought to grab my camera. But standing at the top, looking down at my husband kneeling at the bottom of the stairs with coin surrounding him, all I could do was laugh. I laughed so hard I couldn’t get a picture of my little boy husband holding up the pail showing me that not every single coin fell out, “Look Hon, half the coins are still in the bucket.” “Yes, dear, they are” as tears poured down my cheeks. You can imagine trying to take a picture when your whole body is shaking with laughter. Those pictures were so blurred you couldn’t make out anything except the shine of coins in the light.

What a great 2017 memory.

Or the time I was cleaning the freezer and found a dead June bug loose in it. My little boy husband collects bugs in the summer time and freezes them for winter to feed his salamander “Cuddles” who was named by our grandson. I have never seen a cuddly salamander and I have no idea how Ben came up with the name but that’s what the little lizardy thing is called.

Anyway, I had to have a reminder talk with my husband. He was supposed to make sure that bugs didn’t get loose in the freezer after the grasshopper invasion. They were supposed to be in a container which was then put in a sealed ziplock bag so they had no chance of escaping.

That rule came about a few years ago. I had opened the freezer to get something out only to find dead grasshoppers all over the freezer causing me to have to clean out the entire freezer. How, you may ask, did grasshoppers get all over my freezer? Good question. Little boy husband filled up a frosting container with live grasshoppers, threw it in the freezer, closed the lid and walked away. Apparently when he closed the freezer lid, it popped the top off the frosting container and those little munchers were loose all over, looking for a way out.

Poor things. Imagine their shock. They were swiped from their tasty dinner in our cornfield, smushed into a little frosting container, thrown, then think they have freedom only to freeze their tiny tushes. People, I tried to revive them but apparently my pail didn’t work well for a cryonics chamber. Not a single one came back to life after being frozen alive.

That’s how that rule, bugs inside container, inside the sealed ziplock, came about. When I confronted my little boy husband about not obeying the rule, he argued that the June bug must have flown into the freezer when the lid was open. For sure!

Another funny 2017 memory.

At our family reunion in September, the organizer family had a fishing contest. You had to cast and get your bobber into a pail or something like that. Well, I have been fishing in my lifetime. I have even caught a few fish. I even, while closing my eyes, hooked a worm or two for my kids when they were little so they could fish. Granted, I don’t like fish, I don’t even like the way fish look, I think they are some of the ugliest creatures God put on this earth for us. But I was up for a casting contest at the family reunion because there were no worms or fish.

The fishing pole I got had a weird kind of fishing line winder thing though. I had never used one like that. Every time I tried to cast my bobber, the line just came out after my cast was over. I would have this big cast, the bobber would be at the end of my pole yet, I would lower my pole, and the string would unwind all over the place. I was pretty puzzled on what I was doing wrong. A kind person gave me a different fishing pole, thinking that might help. Meanwhile, it took him about an hour to fix my first pole. Sorry, Jerry!

That second pole had the fishing line winder thing that I had used before. Only it had been a really long time since I had fished. I had all kinds of people telling me how to cast that bobber. Really, it didn’t matter at all that there was no hook on the line. Because the line never went farther than a foot or so off the end of my pole. No matter how many times I was told what to do, or how many people were laughing at me, that line just stuck like glue to the turny thing. Of course, the more I cast, and the more that bobber didn’t go, the more I laughed, to the point of tears. I turned around at one point to see what was happening behind me and there was a whole line of people wiping tears from their eyes. Must have had too much sun in their eyes!

Great 2017 memory.

Finally to my point, in the midst of great struggles, or small struggles, take out those funny memories and play with them again. They will help you endure the slumps until the sun comes out again. And it will come out again!


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