Christmas Memories~

Christmas Memories~

23 December 2018

 

Hello everyone,

 

What are your favorite Christmas memories spent with your grandparents? Did you used to bake cookies / other desserts with Grandma or Grandpa? Or do you simply remember being surrounded by them on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, relinquishing the cherished memories of simply being together.

 

This holiday season will be the first Christmas without my grandmother, a wonderful lady who taught me so many things in my thirty years of life. She taught me how to work hard for what you’re most passionate about, never give up, and never stop trying. She taught me that one doesn’t have to have good looks to be successful in life; among other things. Ever since I was a little girl, I enjoyed baking with her. Saturday afternoons growing up, I’d go next door to my grandmother’s house where she had fresh baked cookies cooling on the counter, and always offered to make me some tea. She had a ton of different kinds of tea, so she always gave me my list of options of teas I could choose from. She’d always recommend one, too, and together we’d sit together at the kitchen table, and she’d look over the day’s newspaper or magazine and ask me what I was up to these days, even if she’d only seen me a few days before. My grandma always had her dark hair, no matter how old she was, short and permed perfectly. Her bifocal glasses sat at the edge of her long nose. Her hands were spotted with age, but ones that reminded me of comfort, love, and patience as she taught me how to sew images on dish towels and kneel at the foot of the bed at night before saying my prayers.

 

I’m thinking about my grandma a lot this holiday season, such as how, every year, she created little drops of fudge and divinity for her grandchildren to enjoy. My sisters and I, my parents, and as many cousins as could come, celebrated Christmas Day afternoon opening gifts that my grandmother had given to all of her grandchildren. You could tell, simply by the joy on her face, that she adored seeing the looks on her grandchildren’s faces as they opened their gifts, while being quite humble about her own gifts. My grandma put her whole heart into the spirit of Christmas, and aside from God, family meant the most to her. I so wish I could hear her laugh again, her pleasant voice, and the comfort one can have simply by being in their grandmother’s presence. I plan to one day tell my future children about her and the woman who meant so much to me. I loved her very much.

 

This holiday season, make sure you’re humble within the spirit of Christmas, that you’re more excited to give rather than receive gifts. Cherish the sweet home holiday traditions you share with your families, and study them fondly so that one day, they’ll be rigidly clear in your mind as you think upon what once was. Bake lots of Christmas cookies and candies, even if you end up having to throw some. Buy different kinds of wrapping paper. Find lots of cute little knicknacks and streams to hang around your house, aside from a simple Christmas tree. If, in your head, you’re finding excuses to not go to a certain relative’s house or to visit this person or that person – don’t think on the negative. Because Christmas is about the positive, and sharing the season of giving and sharing with those we love most.

 

Happy Holidays, everyone ๐Ÿ™‚

 

JMK~

 

 

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A Brand New Life – Or Is It?

Brody Jacobson unlocked the dusty wooden doorknob and kicked his new houseโ€™s front door open. Dust greeted him, along with stuffiness.
ย  ย  Thad had told him that heโ€™d left all the furniture, so white sheets covered everything. At least both the electricity and the plumbing worked. Heโ€™d called ahead the day before.
ย  ย  He glanced down at Brooks, who was panting happily. At least he was content with the new home concept.
ย  ย  He had a good ten acres. Several pine trees surrounded the entire house, connected one stall garage, and shed.
ย  ย  Brody removed his iPodโ€™s earplugs. โ€œWell, this is home now, old boy. Better get to work.โ€
ย  ย  So thatโ€™s what Brody the very next day after sleeping on a musty, blanket-covered couch. He cleaned, swept, mopped, and rearranged furniture. Then, after bringing in most of his boxes from the truck, Brody flipped on the television in his new living room with a glass of iced tea, and relaxed.
ย  ย  But as he did, he winced as if he was in pain, remembering full well of why he had really left Ohio. And why he was never going back.

It certainly gives you a creepy feeling, doesn’t it? This man is yearning to discover a brand new life – a new turn for the new, and little does he know what God really has planned for him.

What if, you may be thinking, he doesn’t find what he’s looking for? What exactly will he find in this Maine small town?

The answer is: a timid lighthouse owner lady named Cale.

Now Cale has had her own troubles. Years before, she’d run to this tiny Maine town to escape the trouble of her ex-boyfriend, who was beating her until sometimes she ended up in the hospital.

Abuse is a terrible thing. Abuse haunts you every day of your life. As a victim of short-term abuse in my childhood that was mainly emotional and verbal, but also sometimes physical, I understand why it’s hard for people to let go of abuse in their lives. Their significant other may apologize sincerely with roses and what appears to be true love, but is it really – when he one day raises his fist and starts the so-called “game” again? When children end up being involved? When you wound up in the hospital, inches from death?

That’s what this woman Cale had to live with every day. When she’d broken up with her boyfriend, he’d gotten angry – so angry that it shocked her and scared her – and soon he was dragging her out by her hair or feet, kicking her or punching her and demanding why she refused to stay with him. (Well, isn’t it obvious, dude?)

I think it’s amazing how God places wonderful people in your life to teach you life lessons and show you what true love is, even if it’s only friends and family. Rely on each other and forget about the past, cling to God and His Word, and you will find amazing surprises. ๐Ÿ™‚

Cale was terrified to trust Brody as their relationship gradually thickened in my novella “At Port Clyde.” But in the end, when her ex-boyfriend found her, Brody saved the day and ultimately showed her what true love REALLY was – the kind that touches your soul, not batters it, and loves it deeply for eternity.

And that, my friends, is a true and wonderful happy ending. ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope to be blogging again in the next couple weeks – I have a major knitting project to complete! ๐Ÿ™‚ Wish me luck, everyone. And also: please check out my website by clicking here. ๐Ÿ™‚

Until we meet again, have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving holiday, everyone! ๐Ÿ™‚

JMK~ ๐Ÿ™‚

How a History Class Changed My Life~

“The other class saw this other movie here,” my high school history teacher said, holding up the VCR tape film on the Holocaust.ย 

The other high school class had watched this film. Our class watched a film on some other sort of history in which, oddly enough, I do not remember, haha.

But I eyed the Holocaust tape, and then prayed that the history teacher would let me borrow it. So, the next day, right before class began, I came up to his desk and asked if I could borrow the video for an evening and watch it at home. Reading the back of the movie’s tape cover, I was shocked – because this was the first I learned about the Holocaust – where Hitler exterminated millions of Jews in a variety of death walks, concentration camps, and brutal beatings, shootings – aka, he took care of each fateful woman, man, and child by brutally murdering them in cold blood.

My history teacher suggested I not only take the video home for the evening, but for the weekend, so I did. What I saw in that 2 hour video changed my life completely.

And then, of course, I wrote a book about it, haha ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s called “The Sacrifice.” Basically, since I wrote it in high school and didn’t care about what was “realistic” or not (or didn’t want to care, haha), this was the plot of the book: a young eighteen-year old American journalist named Clara Franklin comes to Germany to investigate the Germans and their police forces. She comes with her strict journalist parents and fun-loving uncle. One day, they hear a knock on the door of the old, run-down apartment they are staying at, and a family of Jews with the famous stars on their chest rush inside, pleading with them to protect them from the outside world.

Little by little, Clara begins to understand the depths of the nightmares hidden outside, and she and her family find themselves forced to keep this family safe. The oldest child of the family is twenty-year old Zebadiah “Zeb” and he and Clara find themselves falling in love with each other.

Well, as you can imagine, the romantic tale turns into a twist for the worst when the Nazi Gestapos find the Franklin family and the Jewish family. By this time, it’s to the point of no return, so the Jews are forced from this kind family – virtually, Clara and Zeb are forced apart.

There is no amount of money or gifts that this clueless American family can even give the Nazis to win back these Jews. Hitler’s orders – they would resume the rest of their earthly life in cruel, brutal bondage.

The Holocaust is now one of my most favorite historical events. It’s heartwrenching to think about. When I watched the husbands being forcefully separated from their wives and children when my husband and I were watching “Schindler’s List,” tears were rolling down my cheeks. I cannot even IMAGINE what grief and misery those women were thinking, fearing they’d never see their husbands again.

Something to think about. ๐Ÿ˜‰

What is your favorite historical time period? What do you enjoy / not enjoy the most about history?

Happy Writing to you writers out there!

Enjoy your week, everyone ๐Ÿ™‚ Hopefully no more snow for us folks in the Midwest! ๐Ÿ™‚

JMK~ ๐Ÿ™‚