Christmas time in the small town…sat on the tool box of the old red Glover pickup last night to watch the Christmas parade go by…drank a free cup of hot chocolate from a local church…drove around looking at “holiday houses” and small town Christmas street lights…admired Baby Jesus and his family on the dry hillside in Langdale…viewed the “horsey-go-round”. While having dinner with a friend this week we discussed our love of this town, actually Valley area. She and I live in two separate towns. We can get anywhere we want in about 10 minutes unless there’s a train-for me. We know most of the people we bank, church, shop with and we see most of them again at church . She grew up here but I didn’t.
I first came to this Valley in the late 70s to see a boy whom I’d date a little at Alabama. His parents made me feel welcome. The youth at Lanett UMC did the same when I attended the Lay Witness Mission weekend. Forty years after our first date we are still together, Veasey Creek was where we got engaged, and we’ll celebrate 35 years of marriage on December 20th. We are now in our 6th month of both of us living together as retired people. “How is that working out? “The most asked question when we run into friends in Walmart, Kroger, church.
My Advent devotion this morning was how most of us keep asking God to forgive us for the same old sins. So true…retirement is about the same old sins. However, this week Donnie aka Dukeboy, has engaged in some new behaviors. He’s been assisting in the assembly of a wooden swing set for our most precious twin grands in the world. Today they are assembling the twisty slide. His partner in this effort, the man with the tools and experience in construction, has decided to not make a career of swing set assemble. Dukeboy is retired and plans to stay that way. Good thing he loves those grands which is motivating on this 32 degree day to show up and assemble the twirly slide. Prayers that it will come together beautifully. We, the family, would like to have a big reveal for the grands today. They love their yard and have missed their play place aka construction zone.
My new retirement behaviors are…vacationed for a week with girlfriends, gave up gardening due to the drought, did grow lettuce in my pots out front which is probably frozen this morning, called about piano lessons…no teacher yet, trekked to Tuscaloosa twice for football games…this is one more than we usually attend. (We picked a good year to go twice. Roll Tide.)
While I write this I’m looking around my house at my Santas and Baby Jesus Boys. It always make me smile to unpack them. Lugging the boxes up the steps is not as entertaining. I walked four miles last Friday carrying boxes back and forth. It was such fun though to see the grands looking at each one and asking to hold them. I do have a “holdable” group. My prayers for you this Christmas are that you are part of a holdable group that keeps you smiling and enjoying the warmth and love of this season. Peace from the Valley…and West Point, Lanett and…..