Every year, we share some of our Christmas goodies with our friends, neighbors, and family. We moved to Texas and back to Missouri a few years ago, and we are not as connected to the people in our current neighborhood as we were to the ones in our old neighborhood.
We were very well connected to all of the neighbors in the subdivision where we lived before moving to Texas. We all built our homes at the same time. Many of the families had children with whom our kids became friends. There were also a lot of empty nesters and retired folks. It was just a nice mix of families at various stages in their lives which we loved because we have always felt it was important for our kids to know older and younger people – you know, the cycle of life and all that.
The three little girls with Art and Mary.
We delivered some Christmas cookies to Art and Mary. They have been married for over 54 years. The girls took Spanish lessons from Art when they were in elementary school. He has been a grandfatherly figure to them which was an added bonus since they have never known a grandfather.
Art still takes classes at the local Community College and takes care of Mary who is struggling with mobility issues. Art is of Mexican descent and was raised by his grandparents in San Antonio. Mary is of German descent.
They adopted two children – a son and a daughter. Their daughter died at a young age, and they have never had grandchildren. They would have made wonderful grandparents, and they are a very interesting couple! What I love the most about them is that they laugh and joke with one another.
The three little girls with Ed.
Ed, and his wife, Marie, lived three doors up from us. He is 89 years old and fought in World War II. He was involved in the D-Day landing on Day Three. Most of the kids in the neighborhood have interviewed him for school projects involving veterans.
The girls on our street would all shovel the snow from Ed and Marie’s driveway and sidewalk during the Winter. Ed and Marie were married for over 60 years. She went to heaven in 2008, and Ed misses her dearly.
Ed was “grounded” by his daughters this year. They are also talking to him about moving into assisted living. Ed is a very outgoing guy who is still very strong, both physically and mentally. We talked about this transition in his life to which he seems resolved. He was pretty grumpy when we saw him last year, but this year he seemed much happier. He told the girls that he knew they would come to see him and that he was really looking forward to it.
I think seeing our “older” friends aging and dealing with these life issues are valuable lessons for us all – both for our kids and for us. It helps them to understand the struggles that one has in losing independence, and it helps us to understand that we need to have plans in place for this time in our lives.
Katy and Jacci also got to spend some time with their friend, Lauren, who goes to a different high school.
We also exchanged Christmas goodies with some of our friends from Cross Country and Track.
Laura and I share a love of cooking and baking. The husbands and kids – well, they love to eat our cooking and baking.
Christmas in our house was loud and chaotic. There were lots of gifts and food and drink. But the best part of the holidays for us is spending time with friends and family – old and new.