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This year I’ve traded paper and pencil for digital pages and keystrokes.  Everyday life is now carefully preserved in the blog that Kyle encouraged me to begin last Christmas. There I rewind and hit pause to really see and listen to everyday life — it keeps my days from slipping into a sea of lost memories.  I find peace by anchoring sleep-robbing thoughts to a line of words — to write is to mutter sleepily to my worries, “Now stop your whining.”  Deeper thoughts and feelings lie beneath the easily spoken words of, “We’re doing fine.” —  which are resurrected through writing, from the depths of unconsciousness.

To pull up a post from last January is to again see two gorgeous standard poodles frolicking in the snow.  I smile as Maddie and Max, coated in icy rhinestones, make their own snow ice cream — all from scratch.  A story in February makes me laugh at my own Lucy Ricardo moment.  Once again, I stand trance-like in front of the oven watching Kyle’s 21st celebratory birthday meal go up in smoke, while nearby, Don remains his unflappable, supporting self.  Much smarter than Desi Arnaz, Don knew no amount of “splainin’” would avert the dinner party crisis staring us in the face.

The food that doesn’t burn up in the oven continues to set the stage for everyday life.  The blog is becoming a repository for all our favorite recipes.  Recorded are recipes for comfort foods such as Oatmeal Cherry Cookies, Potato Soup, Sure Shot Rolls, Meatloaf and Firehouse Chicken Enchiladas. All recipes are prefaced by a story of the recipe’s origin; the first names of friends and family always receive screen credit.

The joys of everyday life are there, like the stories from last March, born from our trip to Las Vegas for Kate and Glen’s wedding.  Downhill days, including the five weeks in late April and May when Don worked in China, live here also.  While Don kept close watch over contract negotiations for Dow, I kept my own watch over Dad’s sharp decline in health.  After four ER visits and two hospital stays, Dad now lives in a nursing home.  Every Tuesday afternoon, my brother Jon and I share our lives with our greatly diminished father.

And on and on everyday life goes.  The boys will soon graduate.  Kara and Joe settle into married life, shaking wanderlust from their systems.  My list of “grands’ has doubled with Kate’s remarriage.  Yet importantly, we count each and every day a miracle.  To wake up to the sounds of Don brewing his morning cup of tea makes me thank God for the life we share together.  And with our supporting comedic cast of three dogs, including a new Scottie I call our holy terror, it sometimes feels as if Don and I animate life in a cartoon.

Everyday stories are sacred.  It’s ironic that we remember the days where certificates are handed out – like for marriage, the birth of a child, a college graduation or some other milestone – yet forget that the best of real life is sandwiched in between.  Don and I are better people for knowing and sharing everyday life with you.  Even now, we carry you within us.

It is good to celebrate life while we can.  And there is no better way to celebrate than with a good old fashioned face-to-face visit.  Facebook may do in a pinch, but when I can’t have the “real deal”, I like the good new fashioned visits which come through my blog — my front porch to the world.  Here I welcome old friends and new.  I tell my story and my guests share theirs.  And sometimes… life slows down enough… so that we can really take in… a “long loving glance at the Real.” “Meet Me in Mesta Park.”