I know I talk about the weather a lot here. I talk about the weather outside of this blog too. But, can I just say? Again. How absolutely beautiful our weather this year has been? Our summer was hot. Very hot actually; but hey, that's summer right? It's supposed to be hot. But last spring was perfect and our fall is perfect. We're still sleeping with our bedroom window open and we've had just a few fires in the wood stove to take the chill off the house. We've had a few frosts here and there, and the days have been spectacular! Simply fabulous in fact! Sweater and jeans days and a light jacket in the mornings only. *sigh*
We don't even have mud in the pasture yet! O. M. gosh...that's one for the record books.
I feel slightly guilty about exclaiming the virtues of our amazing weather when down south of us, so many people and animals have been displaced from their homes. Again. All I can do is keep those in distress in my prayers. And I have been doing that. Prayers for all in peril. It's utterly devastating and unimaginable to me how an entire town of roughly 27,000 people can completely disappear. But that's exactly what's happened in Paradise, California. So tragic! My sister's husband's sister and family live in Paradise - or did live in Paradise. Everything is gone. I've seen one picture of a house surrounded by devastation completely untouched. That particular house is owned by a relative of a lady who attends our church. Wrap your head around that if you can. If you have any doubt that God protects, I hope that convinces you. I pray that He sends rain to put those fires out. Soon.
It's 25 days and counting until we fly out to Miami for our cruise. It's gettin' real folks! I am so excited! The bags are packed, arrangements have been made for the care taking of our beloved animals; horses, dogs, cat and chickens. We've educated ourselves about the fine art of cruising, determined what is free and what is not free when onboard ship, decided on which excursions we'll be participating in, and which beaches we'll be lounging on...snorkeling the Mesoamerican reef and soaking up the rays. And yes, I do realize the sun is quite intense that far south, so we've plenty of sunblock and bronzer in tow. Cause I can only imagine how pasty white I'll be by December. Suntans just don't last long enough, do they? Oh, and lest I forget, where and for what we'll be shopping for! New flip flops are in my future! And since I lost the main diamond in my wedding ring over a year ago, I will be perusing the jewelry stores for a possible replacement. If they're more expensive than I am willing to spend, then I certainly am not resistant to another gem stone. My ring is gold, so no Turquoise. :( But there are so many other pretty colors to choose from!
And, since we're so close to Christmas I can use that as the perfect excuse to shop a little more. Hoping to find some unique and fun little items for family and friends. Okay, enough. But you get the gist - estoy emocionado, pero solo un poquito! :) Well of course I've been practicing my Spanish! It's been years since I've been anywhere to have the excuse to speak it. And I am soooo rusty! That old saying? If you don't use it, you lose it. So true.
We're getting so very close to my most favorite holiday of the year. Thanksgiving! I love that it's a day devoted entirely to being thankful for all that we've been blessed with. A time to express that gratitude to God for His infinite blessings and comfort. A time to sit down with family or friends and enjoy delicious food, have good conversations and laugh. Oh how good it is to laugh with people you love! There's no rush with Thanksgiving. It certainly hasn't been overly exploited by the retail industry to the point of obscenity, like Christmas has. It's all about the gathering, the enjoyment of simple pleasures and the people we love. The perfect day to tell those people in our lives, just how important they are to us, and how very thankful we are for the presence of them in our lives. *sigh* Thanksgiving is the ultimate feel good holiday!
Speaking of Christmas, I've been watching a fair amount of YouTube videos lately (where did you think I got my education on the fine art of cruising?) and happened upon a young French lady named Justine and oh my goodness, I just love her! She's inspirational, entertaining, educational (she's in the fashion design business), real, humble and oh, so French. I watched a video she did last Christmas on how her family celebrates Christmas in France. I actually cried tears of emotion and joy because those are the kinds of Christmases that I reminisce so fondly of, from my childhood. It's so vastly different than today; at least in my life it is. Christmas isn't spewed at you from all angles like it is here. It hasn't been transformed into a giant money-making excuse of a holiday and thrust upon the world in all its' gaudy glory in every retail establishment in October like it is here. It's quiet and respectful, traditional and spiritual. There's lots of beautiful, seasonal music with Christian inspiration and family traditions revolving around food, drink, music, beautiful decorations and yes, some gifts. I'm not anti-gift at Christmas. I just don't like what I refer to as the pre-Halloween "christmas crap" that I see displayed at big box stores and parents over-indulging already spoiled children with so much cheap junk. Gifts should be thoughtful and conservative. That's how I would want to raise my children anyway, not about expecting to get, but in the giving; in the choosing of the perfect gift for that someone special - and the heartfelt joy of the "giving". Maybe I need to at some point in my life, visit Europe at Christmas. A quiet, snowed-in holiday in the Swiss Alps or a little chateau in the south of France perhaps? Oh my...just dream a little dream with me, won't you?
Just in case I don't find the time to post before the holiday, I wish for you and your families a very, special old-time Thanksgiving. I hope you spend the day with those you love the most. May you enjoy good food, good conversations and lots of tear-inducing laughter.
May you be thankful for it all; and may you give thanks to the One responsible for all your blessings in this life.
Lorie and all of us at C-ing Spots
Hasta que nos encontremos de nuevo...be well!