Well, I’ve been working at it for a few weeks now, but it’s time to put things in gear and get ready for the Big Days. No – I’m not talking about Christmas, although I’ve completed my 8th pound out of 20 pounds of peanut brittle to be made, and we’ve been decorating, and discussing the meals for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but I’m talking about the “other” big days in December.
You see, Cheri’s birthday is December 13, a mere 12 days from Christmas. That’s a big enough event, since I have to pry her present preferences, and what she wants as a birthday cake, and what she wants for the big meal that day. I must confess that, for a gal who never met a pair of shoes she didn’t like, to get her to commit about some very simple, yet important items is like trying to find hen’s teeth. You can’t, ok – no such thing! But it sure is hard being given the assignment to do so. We are getting there, but we are also running out of time.
So, Cheri gets celebrated on December 13, but 32 years ago, she spent her birthday in the hospital, being given a present a day early of a second sweet baby boy for our family. That means, of course, that besides Cheri’s work up, I’m also working to get Adam all arranged for what he would like to do. I find it a bit interesting that, where Cheri can’t commit to what she would like to do, Adam has a penchant for a big deal! He’s having angel food cake (which Thor, our Siamese cat, craves like catnip!) and gave me his list of present hopes for both birthday and Christmas.
So, while I am trying to get the peanut brittle ready to get shipped off, I have to wrap the numerous presents for both of them, and prepare the meals, and bake the cakes. At least I remembered to get all the candles we will need. We are up to 93 candles for the two birthdays, and I’ll let you do the math… I also am anti-just-put-two-candles-on-a-cake. I want to put a candle for every year. A couple of years ago, Cheri wanted just a little cake. That was fine, but we didn’t calculate the square inch area and number of candles. When we finally got them all lit, I have photos of her trying to blow them all out, but what she did at first was just fan the flame. I hate smoke detectors. I mean, they are important, but they can’t tell the difference between a real fire, and just tons of smoke pouring out of a blown out cake. It’s like they come late, after the drama’s all done, and scream that something was on fire! It’s done, detectors. Give it a rest.
So this year, at least, we have agreed to make the cake big enough to handle the fire load – and we’ll open some windows, too.
Now, you might ask, “Why make such a big deal out of birthdays?” My answer is “Because they are big deals.” God blessed the earth, and my life with both of them coming into being, along with older son Aaron, and when it is time to celebrate it, we are always going to do it up big, as long as I am able.
And then we have 12 days to Christmas! Food, candy, wrapping paper, secrets, advent candles lit, finish decorating – and more! And I swear to you, I am not going to let any stupid CoVid keep us from having the time of our lives, with silly hats and English “crackers” that pop open with little presents, and more…In this dark time, both physically and emotionally, we are going to lighten things up.
It just takes a lot of work is all! But living intentionally means that you plan, and you execute and you do the best you can. I have a blast, and I love to see people happy and surprised. We can do this, and enjoy the wonderful consequences of our family’s quite busy season. And don’t forget – my birthday comes three weeks from Christmas Eve!... Enjoy your preparations, for whatever it is you are getting ready to do. Always have something in mind that you’d like to accomplish, or experience. Don’t let the world simply control you – take charge, and love, and do surprising things.
Word for the day: ecchymosis. Pronounced ek-uh-MOW-sis. This is a good one. It’s really from Greek by way of Latin. Ek, meaning “out” and kheo, “I pour, and mosi, “the process.” The whole Greek word put together is exchymousthai, which means “to extravasate blood.” To put it mildly, it’s the process of blood escaping into tissues from ruptured blood vessels.
It’s a black and blue mark. Seems like we could have had a better word than either of those, but that’s what we say: Wow – that a big black and blue mark! To which, now, you reply could be, “Oh, this ecchymosis? It’s really nothing…”
After 43 years of ministry, Randy Cross lived his "fourth life" and shared about retirement, living boldly and intentionally in our world. To be sure, there was some North Dakota thrown in.