Sunday, December 22, 2013

Baby Jesus

Today, while visiting a friend, I saw the most beautiful Baby Jesus.The artist who painted the face of baby Jesus must have been inspired by someone in heaven. When my friend told me the story of her nativity scene I realized the story was just as beautiful as the figures in her set.

She told me that when she was five years old, 40 some years ago, her Mother presented her with baby Jesus. She does not remember what was said only that the tradition of the Acostadita should never be forgotten. Every year, her Mother celebrated Christmas by choosing a Godmother. On Christmas Eve the Godmother brings baby Jesus to the Nativity and places Him in the manger. Family and friends gather for the ceremony and sing songs and lullabies to Baby Jesus. After her Mother passed away, the tradition continued. During the year, the Baby is dressed in fancy outfits made by loving hands but on Christmas Eve Jesus lies naked in the crib.

What I found strange about this Baby Jesus were his eyes. They are so realistic and as I looked at the face I felt as if the doll was alive and conveying love through his eyes. My friend said she feels the same thing when she looks at her Baby Jesus.

She carefully undressed the small figure and I noticed her face full of tenderness as she undid the gold cincture and removed his crown. When Baby Jesus was naked except for a blue diaper, she placed him in a small basket covered with an embroidered cloth. As she placed Him in front of Mary and Joseph she said, "These figures are called 'peregrines' (pilgrims) and they were given to my Mother by the Mother Superior of the Dionicio Conde Catholic school in Puebla, Mexico."

My friend recalled how every Christmas the figures took their place of honor for the Christmas celebration. She is happy that her sister gave her the wooden figures that belonged to her mother and my friend continues observing the Acostadita. "I want my daughters to know and understand this beautiful tradition so even though I am now in the United States, they will also know how to celebrate the birth of Christ. 

The figures are made of wood and the arms and legs are hinged enabling the figures to kneel or move their arms. When St. Joseph broke his arm, they took the figure to a doll repair shop. My friend was told that the figures are unique and that the carpenter that made them was probably a professional craftsman. The spike stand is primitive and looks dangerous, but it holds up the figures when they are standing.  I collect different Nativities but I have to admit that this is a very impressive set.

After seeing the figures, a thought entered my mind that the carpenter who made these special dolls was way ahead of his time because he put "leggings" on Our Blessed Mother!
 


"The reason for the Christmas season"  is a perfect slogan as we celebrate
the birth of Christ!


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Novelas vs. Bollywood

During a period in my life, I could not get enough of the Latino novela. These were dramas with humor and tragedy...mostly tragedy. I would rush home from work to begin watching the first novela at six and ended up with the third novela at eight. If for some reason the story was preempted by another program, I was extremely disappointed.  Week after week the stories ended at an important part, so the following week would find myself in front of the television to see what would happen. The actors became part of my life and I wanted to see how many twists and turns their lives would take before the series ended.  To see children, men, women and everyone in the story with wet faces from tears they were shedding for one sad episode or another, is common in novelas. Humor is thrown in but the theme is mostly of love gone wrong. It seemed as if many Spanish speaking persons also watched the novelas because no matter where I would be, traveling on a plane or in line at a grocery store, I would over hear people discussing what they thought would happen next in the story.  Many times, even though the person talking was a stranger, I joined in with my point of view. We were a "clan" of novela watchers!

After seeing Slum Dog Millionaire I became fascinated with films from India.  Netflix is the perfect tool to receive every Indian film imaginable, from drama to musicals to comedy.  I find most of the films entertaining, a bit corny, yet, with a plot that makes me think.  I am getting to know a few of the leading actors and look forward to seeing them in each film. I used to think that Bollywood meant the singing and dancing at the end of a film but have found out the name was given because of where the films are made. Even though some of the films may have some English spoken, there is a lot of Hindi spoken and I have to rely on sub-titles to follow the story.  The good thing is that the three and a half hour long films can be watched at one seating and not as a daily serial!

I laugh, I cry, I am sometimes bored, I get upset at some of the antics, some scenes are ridiculous but still I find myself fascinated by the films. Yesterday, I watched Kal Ho Naa Ho (Tomorrow May Never Come).
This is the blurb on the envelope:

Ever since a family tragedy turned her world upside down,
Naina has been overwhelmed and feels as if she's 23 going on 50. 
Enter Aman, who like a breath of fresh air, moves into Naina's
Indian neighborhood and helps others resolve their problems. 
Aman and Naina fall in love, but he refuses to marry her and 
instead pushes her toward another man.  What secret is he hiding 
that is preventing him from being with Naina?

Ever since I watched the Latino novelas, I have never seen so many tears. All the actors cry, not at the same time, but at one time of another tears burst from eyes and run down cheeks! Because there is always music and dancing in (what I think) are inopportune times it doesn't appear such a tragedy. I love the different colored costumes and I enjoy watching the dancing before the story returns to the plot and the sadness of the story.

I have never watched the American soap operas so I can not compare them to the novela or Bollywood type of story. If I were to pit the novela and the Hindi stories against each other, Kal Ho Naa Ho would win out. There were plenty of tears in this movie. I do not know if I enjoy the Latino novelas more or if I prefer to watch the Hindi films, yet, I would say it is a toss up between the two when it comes to emotional scenes!

 Regardless of what country,
 human beings
all have the same problems
with money, relationships, or life
and try their hardest to solve them.
E. Moscoso


Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Creative Tree

Today at our annual book club Christmas luncheon, one of the members mentioned she had seen the most unusual tree made up of books at the Standley Lake Public Library in Jefferson County. Immediately, I liked the idea of putting a picture of it in my blog.

After the luncheon, I drove to the library and limped all the way to the rear of the building to see the creative and different tree.  It was smaller than I had pictured it, yet the idea of using red and green books was quite clever. Tiny lights were draped around the books and a few decorations adorned the book tree! A star at the top completed the tree!

I couldn't help but think that only persons who love to read would appreciate the different tree. At the luncheon, someone said, "Aren't we lucky that we love books!" All the members of the book club agreed as we discussed Truman Capote's A Christmas Memory!


"He who has not Christmas
in his heart will never find it
under a tree." Roy L. Smith

My quote would be:
 "She with Christmas
 in her heart 
will find it in a tree made of books!"

Merry Christmas

A broken ankle has kept me from doing my usual decorating for Christmas. What do you do when you cannot put up a Christmas tree, drag lights and ornaments from storage, decorate the inside and put colored lights on the bushes outside or bring out Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, wise men, shepherds, and different farm animals for my Nativity Scene? The only thing I did manage to do, with help from a friend, was to hang a wreath on my front porch. My house remains dark except for the lone wreath but I can see the beautiful lights, flashing on and off, in my neighbor's yard.

Receiving Christmas cards has been extra special this year because as I look at the cards I think about the sender and give thanks for the many friends that took the time to write a message.  

I also solved the problem of having something to give me Christmas cheer by buying a box of ten Christmas jig-saw puzzles.  As I sit putting the pictures together, I think about Christmas. I completed nine pictures and enjoy looking at them when they are done. For me, this year, the puzzles are bringing me Christmas cheer!   The last puzzle I will do after Christmas in the year 2014.


"I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year."  
Charles Dickens

Monday, December 16, 2013

Gone But Not Forgotten


 "Even though I walk through
the valley of death, I will fear
no evil, for you are with me,
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me."
Psalm 23.4


I belong to a group called Young At Heart at Spirit of Christ Catholic Community. I officially joined the caring and fun loving group about two years ago. Since I have been in the group, two persons I knew have passed away. One was a member of my book club and today, I heard, was the funeral of a past President of the group, Jerry Greenwood. I would see him and his wife, Janet, at different YAH functions and I found them to be an interesting and friendly couple. When I planned a trip to New Mexico for forty persons, they signed up to go and I thought I would get to know them better on the trip.  As it turned out, his health prevented them from going and then I fell and broke my ankle and I did not get to go either.

His wife, artistically creative. heads the Crafts for a Cause group which meets every month. At different gatherings or meetings when she was not present, others mentioned that "she could not attend because he was not doing well." This past weekend I heard he had passed away. My thoughts and prayers are with Janet during this time and if I could have attended the mass I would have been there to show my support.

It is always sad to hear about some one dieing but when you know the person it seems much sadder. All that a friend can offer are prayers. I pray that Janet gets help from God during her grieving process and that the empty spot in her heart will soon be filled with all the wonderful memories they had together. It is such a cliche to say that time takes care of everything, but I know that it is true.  We just have to be patient while the pain of losing someone subsides.
Last time I saw Jerry was at the YAH Board appreciation luncheon!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Our Lady of Knots

In the past, somewhere in my blog, I wrote about the many titles given to our Blessed Mother. Today, I heard of a new name for her.  Mary Untier of Knots Or Our Lady of Knots has been around since the 1700's and I found it interesting that as a student in Germany, Jorge Bergoglio, returned to Argentina and composed a prayer to Our Lady. Little did he know that years later he would become Pope Francis! He brought her to Latin America, especially to Argentina and Brazil. She is also known in Germany, Poland, England,  France, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Hungary.




Our Lady Untier of Knots
Holy Mary, full of God's presence during the days of your life,
you accepted with full humility the Father's will, and the devil
was never capable to tie you around with his confusion.
Once with your son you interceded for our difficulties
and full of kindness and patience you gave us example of how
to untie the knots of our life and by remaining forever Our Mother,
you put in order, and made more clear the ties that link us to
the Lord.  Holy Mother, Mother of God and our Mother, to you, who 
untie with motherly heart the knots of our life, we pray to
you to receive in you ( mention name)
to free him/her of the knots of confusion with which our enemy
attacks. Through your grace, your intercession and your example, 
deliver us from  all evil, Our Lady, and untie the knots that prevent 
us from being united with God, so that we, free from sin and error,
may find Him in all things, may our hearts be placed in Him and may
serve Him always in our brothers and sisters, Amen
By Pope Francis before he was Pope

Mary, untier of knots simplify our lives by undoing knots in our ribbon of life.   During the Year of Faith, which was devoted to Mary the Mother of Christ and the Mother of the Church, our Mother, "The knot of Eve's disobedience was untied by the obedience of Mary, what the virgin Eve bound by her unbelief, the Virgin Mary loosed by her faith." (Adversus Haereses III 22, 4.)

Another prayer to Our Lady of Knots.

Oh Virgin Mary, faithful Mother who never refuses to come to the aid of your children;
Mother whose hands never cease to help, because they are moved by the loving
kindness that exists in your Immaculate Heart, cast your eyes of compassion upon me, 
and see the snarl of knots that exists in my life.  You know all the pains and sorrows 
caused by these tangled knots. Mary, my Mother, I entrust to your loving hands the 
entire ribbon of my life.  In your hands there is no knot which cannot be undone. 
Most holy Mother, pray for Divine assistance to come to my aid.  
Take this knot (mention need)
into your maternal hands this day; I beg you to undo it for the glory of God, 
once and for all, in the name of your Divine Son, Jesus Christ.  Amen

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Good and the Ugly

In less than an hour, I was exposed to something that made me feel happy and good and then bad and sad.


Kindness, when not expected, comes as a pleasant surprise. Standing in line at the post office, the clerk called out "next."  I struggled with a heavy box I was mailing while pushing my walker. The only way I could move the box was to shove it along an aisle counter until I could reach the clerk. I pushed my walker in front of me, gave the box a shove, and slowly made my way to the clerk. Even though my ankle has not yet healed from being broken, I had to get the package mailed.. A lady in line, seeing my struggles, left the line and came around to my side of the aisle counter. "Here, let me help you get this box over to the clerk." She picked up the box, carried it over to the counter and placed it in front of the postal clerk. I thanked her, though I am not sure that the lady knew how much I appreciated her help.  A random act of kindness goes a long way.

Carry out a random
act of kindness,
with no expectation of reward,
safe in the knowledge 
that one day someone
might do the same for you."
Princess Diana


After getting my package mailed, I hobbled to my car parked in the handicapped zone. I backed out and a car blocked my exit.  A large SUV was trying to get into the lot. The driver, trying to get into the post office lot, had a white beard and a red shirt and he looked liked Santa Claus. How appropriate, I thought. I smiled at the driver, hoping he could see that a car was blocking me and I could not move, but his face turned into an ugly sneer as he mouthed something at me and rolled his eyes. I could tell whatever he was saying was not pleasant. When I was finally able to move, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a hand gesture. How rude, I thought, if he is pretending to be Santa, he should practice being more patient and loving!

"People who fly into a rage
always make a bad landing."
Will Rogers 

I am convinced that the world would be a better place if there would be more "ho, ho, ho" and less "bah-humbug!"

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Our Lady of Guadalupe



Tonight at midnight, many Mexican singers and movie stars will gather at the Basilica to greet our Lady with song. Every year I try to stay up to watch the programs honoring Our Lady but have only watched about five shows.  Sleep over comes me and I am not able to stay awake to see the celebrations. Maybe tonight I will watch the whole program.

I have visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City four times and each time I was impressed by the devotion of the people. The first time I saw the original church it was in a large plaza and people walked on their knees along the rough stones. I was told it was for a promise granted, to give thanks or for penance. At that time, part of the church was sinking and I was told that a new church would be built.

The next time I traveled to visit the shrine, the new Basilica had been completed and it was a huge circular building that could hold 50,000 persons. On that occasion I traveled with Archbishop Chaput and about 250 other persons. Because the group was so large, pilgrims were housed in different hotels, each bus was color coordinated and people from other various parts of the United States joined the Denver group. During the month of December, around the 12th, I was fortunate to take two separate groups to celebrate the feast day of Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe in Mexico City.

What amazed me were the masses of persons traveling from all over Mexico and the world. Those coming from far away would rest where ever a spot could be found. Many rested near the doors and in order for my group to enter the Basilica, we had to step over the many bodies resting near the entrances. Some Matachines, Indians in costume, danced to honor Our Lady. The constant beat of drums could be heard all day and night along with the rhythmic bells tied around the Matachines' ankles.  There was no need to walk because the momentum of the people moved everyone along until we reached two moving sidewalks that passed in front of the original tilma (cloak) with the image of Our Lady.  People would fall to their knees when ever the spirit moved them.

I wish I could have the kind of faith that I saw among the many persons visiting the Basilica. She is the Patroness of the Americas and some day, maybe I will have the same strong devotion that I saw in Mexico.

In addition, I did stay up and watch the program which began in Chicago, Illinois where it looked very cold because everyone was bundled in blankets. When the program moved to Mexico City, the singing was beautiful and everything looked pretty much as I remembered it. People carrying decorated pictures or statues as they moved slowly through the Basilica.  The exception, which I found a bit strange, were the many persons holding cell phones above their heads. Somehow, it seemed disrespectful!

Am I Being Sent a Message?

My fat ankle looks deformed and one side has gone from looking like a baseball to resembling a golf ball.  The swelling greets me every morning and even though it is not as large as it once was, it does not seem to go down. I spend a few hours with my leg elevated and iced trying to make the left ankle look like my right ankle. All of this comes from a fall on the stairs where I broke two bones in my ankle.

Speaking with a friend one day, I mentioned my swollen ankle.  He said, "The best thing for it is putting a cream on it called Arnica. You should see how swelling goes down with that cream."  I told him I had never heard of it and he said that when he was a small boy his elderly aunt would put it on for her arthritis and swelling of her feet. I did not pay too much attention to his advice because the word Arnica was not in my vocabulary. He also told me he had slipped on the ice and hit his head, back and legs. He said, "I flew up in the air and landed flat on my back."  He told me he had problems getting up but managed to get into the house where he rubbed every sore spot with Arnica. "Would you believe, when I woke up in the morning I was not sore and am pretty much back to normal.  I really do think the Arnica helped me because it was a bad fall."


Four days later, another friend came to visit and I showed her my fat ankle. She said, "I am going to bring you a gel that you can rub on your ankle and it helps the swelling." I couldn't help thinking how everybody had their very own healing potions.  But, when she said, "It is called Arnica and you can take it orally also." I said, "Did you say Arnica?" She nodded and said she has always used it.

I thought it was odd that in less than one week two separate people had mentioned Arnica to me. I happened to be reading a story that takes place in France called Peaches for Monsieur le Cure by Joanne Harris and when one of the characters in the book gets assaulted by thugs, his friend patches him up with bandages and puts Arnica cream on his wounds to keep the swelling down and to help the healing.  Very strange that this was the third time I heard the word Arnica within a week.

Homeopathic remedy for muscle, pain bruising and swelling is how the internet refers to Arnica. I learned that the plant is from the sunflower family,  is used by professional athletes, and has been around since the 1500's. Evidently it comes as a gel, cream or pills and I am beginning to believe that one of those three Arnica medications should work.

In less than a week I heard about Arnica from three different sources. Is someone trying to tell me something? Could this be a sign from God? Is God wanting me to use Arnica on my swollen ankle? Just in case,  I am going to buy some of this Arnica gel to see if it really works!

Returning to the Scene of the Accident

I have a stair phobia. I didn't used to have one but lately (after my fall) steps scare the heck out of me. I guess it is because of the fall I took that left me with a broken ankle and after three and a half months I am still recuperating.  Every day I am able to do one more thing. Today, I went down those infamous steps and I was happy that I could do it. Now that I could handle the stairs, my next move was doing my laundry.  Up to now, I have had a friend doing my laundry for me and only God knows how much I have appreciated her help! When my California family came to visit for Thanksgiving, my daughter did four loads of laundry which left me with lots of clean clothes!

Two and half weeks later, my favorite clothes were ready to be washed again. My occupational therapist gave me many pointers on how to do certain things around the house.  Her laundry instructions were to put my dirty clothes into a pillowcase and throw the bag down the stairs. "If you use a plastic bag it may pop open and scatter your clothes and under no circumstance should you try to carry your laundry down stairs," she said. I followed her instructions and for the first time in many months I did my own laundry!

It is tedious going up and down the stairs. One foot at a time, hanging on to the banister, using my cane, and moving slowly. Bringing the clothes up the stairs presented a problem. I do not recall how she told me to bring my clean clothes upstairs.  I used to
put my clothes on hangers but if I did that now there was no way to bring them up. I could place clothes into pillowcase again and fold them after I got upstairs. Or, I could place in a basket and try to move the basket up the stairs.

Now it was even slower than ever. I placed the basket on the second step. I hung the cane around my neck. I stepped up with my right foot (as I had been taught) and in that way I slowly moved up the stairs. I repeated the motions until I reached the top of the stairs. My wheelchair was at the top of the steps and I was so thankful to see the chair waiting for me!

Placing the basket on my lap I wheeled myself to my closet where I can either hang up my clothes or not. No one knows how simple chores are magnified when there is something wrong with any part of the body. The good think is the pride I feel when I accomplish one more thing!

"The reward of a thing
well done is having
done it."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Conchas

Conchas, in Spanish, are sea shells or a Mexican sweet bread. A friend came over today with lunch for me. Little did I know what a tasty and delicious lunch she brought me until I ate a bowl of her hot green chili, some corn chips, banana bread and two conchas. Not only was the food delicious, but her visit cheered me up. My ankle was broken in two places in September and ninety-nine days later, my ankle was hurting more than usual.  I was feeling a bit blue because it seems as if every step moving forward I then have to take two steps backward as I recuperate!


My friend's visitor, who is visiting from Puebla, Mexico, is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of Mexico, and is vacationing in Colorado. She told me that he speaks Spanish, English and French. When my friend left to come visit me, the chef got into her kitchen and baked banana bread and the conchas. I wish he had been here when my granddaughter was visiting me for Thanksgiving. She is also interested in the culinary arts and they could have shared ideas about their common interest.

The conchas had a taste of homemade bread with a touch of sweetness. By looking at the two plates below, it did not take long for me to polish off the delicious sweet bread!


Before
After










"Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that proceeds
from the mouth of God."
Jesus Christ

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Mother Bear Protects Her Cub

"If you're a Mama Bear, everyone
knows you mean business."
Author Unknown


Weather report for today is that we may get snow this afternoon and tomorrow.  I debated whether I should go to the grocery store to pick up a few things before the storm arrived. Bananas were all gone. Strawberry jam jar had about a spoonful left. I had no veggies and with my handicap permit I could park close to the entrance. Hobbling would be good exercise so I opened the garage door, got into the car and had another debate. Should I go to King Soopers where I know where everything is located? Or would Sprouts be easier to get in and out.  I decided to go to KS because it is closer to me than Sprouts.

I drove around three times and the eight handicapped spots were taken. I found a spot mid-way from the entrance, picked a grocery cart, placed my walker in the cart and began the slow walk to the store. It seemed as if I would never get to the entrance. When I finally entered the large doorway, I knew I would not be shopping.  My ankle throbbed and even my knee was beginning to hurt. What to do? Return to the car and forget shopping? I was not even sure I could make it back to the car. I stopped a clerk and asked if someone could do my shopping for me and she said, "You know we have electric carts." I limped to where I had seen the carts but not a one was to be seen. Another clerk, seeing my expression of woe, said, "Let me go look on the other side, maybe one was dropped off there." Before long she arrived in a cart and I got in. I don't know where she found the cart but the seat was like sitting on a block of ice! A cold rear was better than trying to walk so I began my shopping.

Practicing going forward and backward almost gave me whip lash. The electric cart would stop with a jerk and then lurch forward.  There was no smooth way of moving through the aisles. I know I scared many persons as they saw me jerking toward them! Some shoppers gave me a wide berth while others got very close and I was sure I would run them over. They may not have been worried, but I sure was! On one aisle, as I attempted to turn around, I backed up too far and struck my head on a shelf. I expected to hear cans come crashing down but lucky for me, they didn't. On another aisle I almost knocked a display down.

The irony of the whole thing was that three weeks ago all the merchandise had been moved from where I remembered and rearranged in different aisles. It was like shopping in a brand new store. What I thought would be a quick trip took much longer. By the time I reached the cashier I was exhausted and she kindly asked a bagger to go with me to my car so he could return the cart back to the store. He placed my walker and my groceries in my trunk, wished me a good day, and off he went with his apron flying.

At home it took a few trips from the trunk of my car into the house and because I carried the heavy bag on one side, the walker wanted to tip over. I wrestled with the bag and the walker as I opened the door to the house.  When a pancake box slipped out of the bag,  my hurt ankle sought protection behind my good leg.  It reminded me of a mother bear with her cub.  I would do anything to protect my injured ankle.

I am now ready for snow.  My pantry is full and even though my ankle is swollen, I believe I can weather the storm and I may even hibernate.




Monday, December 2, 2013

A Readable Package

I like to write
bits and pieces
of my life.
Why do I do it?
I am asked.
Gives me pleasure,
I say.
Someday, if my
grandchildren wish to
read about what
went on in my
life. they can.
And some day
when I am old
and looking 
through my 
blog books
it may help me
remember who
I was and what
I did.
In my past
I wrote
in a journal
and notebook
after notebook
held my daily
doings.
Now, I type;
get a book,
nice and neat
of my life
condensed into a
readable package!

E. Moscoso
December 2, 2013

One Hundred and Nine Years Old

December 3, 1904, my father was born in southern New Mexico. I wish I had listened to more of his stories about when he was growing up, but I didn't. He did love to tell stories but I was too busy with my own life and never had time to listen. Now I wish I had paid more attention because when I began working on genealogy I needed to know what had gone on during the era of his growing up. My advice to young people is to listen to the stories your elders have to tell because their life is so different than yours!

Tomorrow he would have been 109 years old but he left us on June 14, 2001.

When I look at this picture, I wonder what he was thinking. He was so young and still able to have fun by having his photo taken. I remember giving him a few birthday parties and he acted as if he enjoyed them, until he told me he did not like them. So I stopped with the parties!

Where ever you are, Dad, I wish you a Happy Birthday.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Giving Thanks Today and Always

It has been eighty-three days of waiting for my ankle to get better. It is a slow process but even though
there is a lot of swelling and pain, I am doing more than I used to do a few weeks ago. Slowly, I have moved from sitting in a wheelchair to hobbling with a walker, using a cane and the latest mode of transportation was an electric cart at Walmart. A very handy machine that only has a forward and backward switch and moves slowly but it saved me from having to shuffle down the aisles with my walker.

A heavy boot was my constant companion until November 25 when my therapist told me I could use my own shoes. I exercise twice a day to strengthen my ankle, yet I still cannot walk normally. Things I would not have dreamed of doing I can now do, with some help.  I went to a movie, I drove from the airport, I went shopping, I can use a regular toilet, I can limp with my walker to the mailbox at the end of the driveway, I can go in and out of the house, I can shower by myself, I can do a few stairs, I can get in and out of the car, I can drive, and I can do light house cleaning. It may not seem like a lot, but when you cannot do anything but lie with your leg elevated, each thing becomes a big accomplishment.

My California family came to visit for Thanksgiving and everyone pitched in to help me by doing odd jobs around the house, shopping for me, taking me out, doing laundry, and cleaning. One day we went to a movie to see Lost Vegas and my daughter rolled me up the ramp. I enjoyed going out to eat and the most fun was having my granddaughter push my wheelchair at a store. When we stopped to look at something, she would massage my shoulders! In the mornings, the older granddaughter would prepare breakfast for me and serve me. Because the California family is either vegan or vegetarian, my granddaughter prepared yams and a Quinoa salad with corn to take to their other grandparent's house for Thanksgiving dinner. I prepared a veggie dish in the shape of a turkey.

 Every day I improve a little bit more and I give thanks for each new thing I can do!

A special treat for me was seeing my son's daughter join us so that the cousins could spend time together. As I looked at my three granddaughters, my heart filled with happiness and joy!  I would have loved to have my grandson join the girls, but at seventeen, he does his own thing with his friends! 2013 was a truly Happy Thanksgiving.

Cousins from the beginning, friends till the end. Anonymous