Happy New Year

Happy New Year Graphic. Balloons. Stars. Flowers.

This was an unusual Christmas for the Miller family as we were not together with all our kids on Christmas Day. Some of us live 100 miles apart, with two others about 300 miles from us. One of our sons from Austin came to our place with his wife and two young girls. Then we all went to the Dallas area on Christmas Eve to share a meal with the other sibs and their families, then came back to have Santa with the girls here.

That was a high point of the Holiday for me. Christmas morning is made for little children who eagerly look forward to Santa coming. Of course, I was the first one up on Christmas and had to wait for the girls to wake up. I told them I was up early to feed the animals before we started, and they actually believed me. I also told them that Santa took some hay out of my barn for his reindeer and they believed that, too.

I love little children.

It seems like just the other day we were bidding farewell to 2010 and here we are about ready to start 2012. I remember my grandmother telling me how the years fly by as you get older, but she told me that when I was just 12.

I had no idea what she was talking about.

Thinking about how quickly the days and weeks and months hurry on their way, makes me realize that the best resolution I could make for this year is to stop and savor moments in each day instead of letting it end with me thinking, “where did it go?” If I make a conscious effort to literally stop and smell my roses, how much better that will be than simply walking by them.

That goes for stopping to appreciate other beautiful things in my life – like family and friends.

Heading into the end of 2016, I say good riddance. It has not been my favorite year with my unwanted guest, Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, who just doesn’t seem to want to leave. My wish upon a jillion candles is to go to bed tonight and wake up in 2017 with no more neuropathy.

Along with a regime of meds that help calm the very angry nerves in my head, it has helped the last few months of this year to have things I can do to distract myself from the pain. So I am making a list of things I can look forward to in 2017.

One of those things is playing on stage again at the Main Street Theatre in Sulphur Springs and working with an amazing young director, Triston Pullen. We are doing String of Pearls, a drama in the style of theatre I really enjoy. It is written by  Michele Lowe for a cast of four women to play 27 characters. Our production will have more players, but we all will fill multiple roles. I am really looking forward to challenging myself to assume different personas in the same show.

This certainly is going to be a New Year for me as I leave this place that has been home for nearly 16 years. In so many ways this plot of land and this house has been more than a home. It was the fruition of my lifelong dream to have some acreage where I could play farmer and have some critters, large and small. I had a horse, Banjo, and several sheep and goats, the last two being Marie – the Barbados sheep – and Lucy – the goat.

Pasture scene with a horse, a goat and a sheep. Pine trees in the background.

Saying goodbye to them has been hard.

Young girl with short dark hair and glasses, standing at the open door of a marron truck.

But on a deeper level I realize that saying goodbye to this home and this land is the final goodbye to my husband, Carl.

That realization hit me as I watched my granddaughter drive off the property a few days ago in the truck that had been his. It was hard for me to sell it, and I was truly delighted that she wanted Grandpa Carl’s truck, but I had no idea how wrenching it would be to see it leave for the last time. It was almost as if I had some unconscious thought that as long as the truck was here, he might magically appear behind the steering wheel one day.

Sigh… the silly mind games we play sometimes to deal with tough situations.

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