Reflecftions on the Race

Happy 2018! Time to toast the future of the new year...and a time to reflect on the past of the old. Cheers!

Have you ever seen a video of runners crossing the Finish Line in a marathon? Leaning into the tape, arms flung over their heads in wild abandon, faces flushed with looks of sheer joy...followed closely by gasping for oxygen, bending at the knees, just before falling in a heap on the first mound of grass beyond the pavement. They know that they have accomplished their great goal...and simultaneously paid a price. But the joy and sense of accomplishment will remain long after the memories of "hitting the wall"* at Mile 20, and the oxygen-deprivation and muscle-exertion have faded. At least until they start training for the next marathon, I suppose.

I'm not a runner, obviously...those are just my observations. But, I can relate to the emotions. I feel like we set a goal, we ran hard and fast toward it for more months than we anticipated, we hit the wall, and then we definitely crossed the Great Slo-Mo Relo Finish Line, flinging ourselves onto the GA soil, gasping for oxygen, just before the Peach Drop** on New Year's Eve and 2018 arrived. 



Four Generations of Keatons


Baby M
Christmas is definitely wrapped up in the memories of holidays-past, as we bring out family pictures (like this one, left, of four generations of Keatons: my great uncle Smiley Keaton; my mother, Edith Keaton Lunn; me, Patricia Keaton Lunn Adsit; and Missy M when she was 2 months old), much-loved ornaments (like this one, right, of M's first Christmas), and tried-and-true recipes. But this Christmas, now that we are in our new home, meant we could begin making some new memories.





The hardest part was in not knowing what we still had left from Christmases past: what had survived the Estate Sale last November, the giveaway afterwards at the time of the pre-packing in December 2016, and then the general clean-out when we completed the sale of the NC house in March 2017. This was complicated by seemingly everything being in a different box than what I remembered it being in in High Point.
Nativity Set made by Maryen Adsit
I knew that the Nativity sets that Mr. T's mother Maryen had made nearly 40 years ago were still with us, but I didn't know which boxes they were in (which means you have to go through them one by one until you find what you are searching for).

I knew that our Nutcracker collection had been trimmed substantially by the Estate Sale (apparently a very popular item!), but I also knew that we had saved enough to decorate a mantle (see picture), and that they were all packed together in a well-marked box.

Nutcrackers and Bears...oh my!


I knew we had sold both of our pre-lit trees (a 9' and a 6'), but then replaced them with a 7.5' slim model and a 4.5' tabletop version in the 75% off after-Christmas sale last year (and then just packed the unopened boxes to make the move to GA!).
New 'Slim' Tree


Christmas "China"
I knew that our Christmas "china set" that Daddy gave us in 1987 (when he started working at Central Hardware) had survived any downsizing activities and exactly where it was stored, but I wasn't sure about tablecloths and napkins, etc., to complete the tablescaping (and of course, we would be decorating the smaller "kitchen" table this year since we said goodbye to the larger dining room table and two leaves).

I knew there were a couple of boxes of wrapping supplies in the attic, but I wasn't really sure what we still had because I recall being a bit ruthless in clearing out paper and gift boxes in the great cleanup.
No matter. We still seem to have kept plenty of the decorations...enough to decorate this house and maybe a couple of apartments...:-), lights, and bows and ribbon and tissue paper (but somehow we ditched every roll of Christmas wrapping paper except one!).

So, what did I miss the most from the Great Downsizing Purge? Believe it or not, it's a set of nesting mixing bowls that must have been at least 40 years old. I inherited them from my Uncle Smiley Keaton, who most likely won them as a door prize during his years at District Governor of the Lion's Club...and most almost certainly never used them. And while I rarely used them throughout the year, I always used every one of them at Christmas Time...and I really had to scramble this year to find suitable replacements. You may remember this picture from 2009, showing the very bowls that came up MIA after the move:



What was most noticeably missing turned out to be outside lighting: the 6 long strands of staked lights that we used to edge the property and create what we fondly called The Landing Strip in our front yard. We were also missing a box of twinkling stars that had graced our porch as well as the netting-like lights that we used to cover the bushes near the front door. Oh, and the window wreaths (which were in a box that a previous packer for a previous moving company had marked "Reefs"...and which always brought a smile to our faces...:-) and their red bows. Haven't a clue where the contents of any of those boxes went between here and there.

But our Mens (the hand-made Santa Nutcrackers that have guarded our door every Christmas since Collierville...and which STILL need repainting) showed up for duty, as always, and looked even better when Mr. T aimed the two spot lights on them.

"Mens" Reporting for Duty, 2018
The lighted Mr. and Mrs. Reindeer found their new spots in front of a huge evergreen next to our driveway and appeared to be right at home. The single strand of 5 lighted stars that remained turned out to be exactly right for our smaller front porch. By adding the ancient but still operational candles in the windows, we lit up the cove with cheer every night for 4-5 hours after dusk (depending on the timers).

Our Holidays were made even more special this year as Brother T and SIL LaD visited us from Kentucky...a Christmas miracle, in and of itself.



And then we all trekked up to Dillard, GA to meet Bro J (SIL J couldn't join us this year as she was helping her brother make the transition to home from the hospital following surgery) for our Lunn Family Christmas. We had dinner at the Dillard Inn, where they serve platters of fried chicken and fixings, family-style...another new treat for all.


























But, possibly best of all, our tiny little family is together. Missy M, who has had a few days off from work, spent the night with us so Christmas morning was relaxed and not rushed. We fixed our Christmas dinner for Christmas Eve (and found we liked that change!), so there was no stress on the Big Day at all. How absolutely wonderful!

Christmas Eve Dinner...and Logan


Monkey Bread
Coconut Cake with Pineapple Filling





















So, are you ready for the New Year? I think we are. Here's hoping it will be a great one for all!

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* Hitting the marathon wall” is a much-feared and much-discussed phenomenon in marathoning. Runners speak ominously about a sudden wave of fatigue that sets in at about 20 miles into a marathon.
** Read more about Atlanta's traditional Peach Drop here: 
http://www.myajc.com/lifestyles/holiday/new-location-old-tradition-for-atlanta-peach-drop/YIVyb7LXknZERue97FYNjO/ 

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