Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Finding the Silver Lining

Sometimes I wonder what you must think as I bare my soul with my writing. I can't worry about it too much, or it will hinder my writing process, but I do wonder, as I share the highs and lows, the ups and downs, the victories and defeats of my day-to-day life. Do I look crazy to you?

Isn't this how life is, though, for many of us? It can't be just me who goes through the occasional storms of life, but still manages to muster a smile, can it? It seems there's always something that makes me smile, even on the worst of days. I might need help finding the silver lining, though. Lucky for me, I have some good helpers.

Take last Sunday, for instance. During the much-anticipated first snow, I spent much of the day feeling out-of-sorts. I was oh, so teary, and desperately wanted to let all of those awful feelings of sadness go, and just enjoy my snow. I didn't mean to give the impression that my life was dreary and dark; it is anything but that. Like they say, 

It's just a bad day; not a bad life.

Chuck and my kids saw to it that I had plenty of reasons to smile. There were patient hugs from Chuck, funny texts and pictures from my kids, and a morning visit from my daughter, thanks to the wonder of Face Time. My husband indulged me in a walk in the snow, and after that we drove through the white flakes, in search of photos.

Throughout the day here in Saint Charles, we sat in the glow of our Christmas tree, and listened to beautiful instrumentals from Windham Hill artists, and we ate good food. Chuck left a camera in the bay window so I could photograph the snowfall, and try, unsuccessfully, to photograph the elusive cardinals in our backyard. Chuck can always make me laugh, even with his corny Dad jokes. So the day was not a total loss.

One moment stands out that made me giggle. 

My kids and I share a love of Christmas movies, and the National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is a favorite. Random quotes from that movie pop up all year long, but especially at Christmas. 

Disclaimer: Chuck says some of you won't think this is as funny as we do because you may not be as familiar with the movie as we are. In an effort to familiarize you all with the reference I am about to use, here's a two and a half minute clip from the movie about the gigantic pine tree Clark Griswold chooses for their living room.

While the snow was falling here in Illinois, our boys in Utah were with our daughter-in-law, hunting for the perfect Christmas tree in Pine Valley. Yes, my boys would be shooting their Christmas tree with a shotgun. 

While I was upstairs, Bridger sent me a picture of the tree they found.

Dylan carries on the long-held tradition of shooting the Christmas tree with a shotgun.

Wanting to join in the fun, I snapped a picture with my cell phone of our big pine tree in the backyard, covered in snow, and sent it to Bridger, with this text: "We won't be shooting that one." 

His response, a quote from Christmas Vacation, made me giggle. 

(Don't see the humor? See disclaimer above. And maybe re-watch the video clip.)

No matter what; no matter when, there is always something to smile about. I'm grateful for the people who help me find the silver lining in the storm clouds of life.

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