This morning I was transported back to my childhood and the traditions passed on to me by Mother ...without speaking a word about what I should or would do as I grew into adulthood. There are multiple layers of tradition in this picture and, my heart like an onion or artichoke, harbors many layers. The stronger and sweeter the memories as you peel away to the heart.
The needlepoint manger scene on the mantle was made for me by the wonderful choir at FUMC Somerset and I believe there is love in every stitch. For many years when our furnishings were sparse, it was displayed year 'round.
On the table is a card file full of addresses of life-long family and friends, the same way my parents kept the addresses of esteemed friends at their fingertips. The table, handmade by the late Orville Harner of New Vienna, Ohio, was used many times in my parents living room for just such activities. Yes, my folks had a fireplace and that was where my Mom hovered in the winter because she was always freezing COLD. In her later years, she would be bundled up in 3-4 layers and gloves inside the house!
A few of the Christmas cards I used this year were ones that my Dad had crammed into the furniture before shipping it to Georgia. While not necessarily the sentiment or picture I would choose, it surely reminded me of my Mother ...who had definite ideas of what the cards should look like and what the sentiment should convey. One of which was that Christmas should be fully written, never abbreviated, especially as "Xmas".
Lastly, the rocking chair, my very favorite part of the picture. The rocking chair, pictured, and its matching straight back are my most prized possessions. They belonged to my Mother's parents and sat in my own parents living room for as long as I can remember. It is my hope one day to restore them through some tender loving care to their original 100+ year old glory---at least that is what I estimate for their age. In my imagination, Lucie is rocking her baby of three children, my mama, in that chair. I remember seeing my own children rocked there by my Mother.
One day I dream of having my own grandchildren and being able to rock them in the same chair and tell them of their great grandparents and great, greats. If that rocker could speak, oh, the stories it would tell! In the meantime I will keep the tradition of writing Christmas cards to friends far away (I don't send local cards....go ahead, call me "Scrooge"....but that is another tradition my Mom kept). As I write, I take a moment with each to remember the best of memories. Then I say a prayer as I seal each envelope, that God would enfold them in His loving care. He surely has enfolded me with His blessings, many of which began long before I was born.