One time many years ago after Joan and I had been together awhile she said to me one day, Joe I have noticed that you live a lot in the past. My reply was that I didn't think I live in the past but yes I do a lot of reminiscing.
And you know what I still do. When you make it to the ripe old age of seventy one you sure have a lot of memories. Like every one else my life has had a lot of ups and downs, but lucky for me when I look back the ups have far out numbered the downs. So when I look back when I start thinking of some of the downs I have trained my mind to immediately to switch to the good times and the good things in my past.
I reminisce all year round but come November and December, Thanksgiving and Christmas I really do think back about the good things.
As a kid growing up in West Virginia we didn't have a lot of fancy things. We didn't own our first car until I was six or seven years old. I never felt like we were poor because when I think of people that are poor I think of those that don't have enough to eat, can't pay there bills, etc. That was not the case with me. My Uncle had an orchard, always had a garden, raised hogs and chickens and my Aunt was always canning foods. Lucky for us they shared a lot with us.
My Dad always said there was nothing wrong with wearing patches on my pants as long as they were clean. When I buy a pair of sneakers now days and see how much they cost I think about how I had three pairs of shoes, regular shoes, a pair of dress shoes, and a pair of sneakers, and the only time I got new ones was when I out grew the old ones.
I would get about three things for Christmas as far as fun things go and to this day I can remember my first train set, my first bicycle. By not getting overwhelmed with gifts you could remember what you did get. To this day I still believe the more things children get the less they appreciate them.
So yes, I do think back about the first Christmas in the first home I bought, the first Christmas after Martha was born and then later on as she got older seeing her come down the stairs all excited when she seen the nice things waiting for her.
Thanksgiving and Christmas was also the time to spend it with Family and Friends. Just so many wonderful memories. One year Bubba and I flew up to Maryland on Christmas Day unannounced, I still remember the fun we had when we knocked on the doors of family and friends and the look on their faces, again great memories.
I am one of the luckiest guys ever in the fact that I had an Angel for my first wife my dearly departed Bubba, and after she passed away being lucky enough to have another one, my wife Joan, another Angel.
Bubba then and Joan now both love this special time of the year and go all out to make sure our family and friends know it , the extra special effort they put into it to makes every thing so nice.
Last year Joan spent Christmas Eve and Christmas day in the hospital. She did not let it keep her from enjoying the special time of year. She said how can I feel sorry for myself when Christmas Eve 2002 my beautiful daughter Janet was killed in that tragic automobile accident. Janet loved Christmas so much also. Joan always seems to be able to put life in it's proper prospective.
So I will keep on reminiscing and hope I am around a lot longer so I can have many more special moments to reminisce about.
Actually a few years ago I had gotten a little cynical about Christmas, I would see children that didn't need any thing get every thing, and children that needed just about every thing get nothing and it would bother me. But since Carter came along and now Griffin I see the world through the eyes of two innocent little guys that don't know about all the problems around us and only see the fun and excitement of it all.
It also helps me when I stop and think about the REAL REASON FOR THE SEASON. Dear Family and Friends have a Wonderful Christmas and lets all pray that 2012 will be a happy and healthy year for us all.
The pictures are from one of the Christmas's at my log home and the years spent there are also happy memories for me. The last two pictures are from the family room upstairs and the rest from the great room down stairs.