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Posts Tagged ‘Scrooge’

My mother-in-law was dead, to begin with.  There is to be no doubt about that or what follows will not be as phenomenal or paranormal.  I’ve written about my late great mother-in-law and her visits and little ways of helping.  I may have written about the times youngest son has visited with her in our kitchen.  He is unfazed by this and not scared by it.  He just tells me about Grandmom being in the kitchen and asking him how he is doing.

Well, time to add a new visit.  My father-in-law just got both his knees replaced and was in the hospital and then rehab for the past several weeks.  He came home today, which is a joyous event.  I’m very proud of him and the work he did in rehab to get home.  When we stopped by to see how he was doing, he told us that the kitchen television wasn’t working.  Now the only person who has been in the house for the past few weeks is my hubby and he knows not to touch a television set-up.  He even watched a bit of telly one night and it was working fine.  I offered to take a look at it because usually I can figure out the problem.

This problem was simple.  Every cable except for the power and exterior coaxial cable had been unplugged from the cable box.  But the cables were still plugged into the telly.  There was one cable plugged into the telly but not into anything else.  The audio and video cables had all been unplugged from the cable box and were buried and tangled as if they had been that way for years.  Then, the HDMI cable that was plugged into the cable box was not the same HDMI cable plugged into the telly.  Now, I don’t think my mother-in-law was the type to set up a telly and cable box and deal with the input and output cables, but I truly do think she had some fun randomly messing with the television set up in the kitchen.  Once the set up was fixed and the telly was getting the signal, I wondered if Mom had done it.

I went up stairs to just make sure no one else was in the house.  I knew no one else could be in the house-the alarm hadn’t been tripped, but still I had to check.  As I got to the top of the stairs, I walked into my mother-in-law’s spirit.  I smelled her.  I felt her energy.  I went into every room upstairs figuring they might still smell of her, but no.  Not even her walk-in closet.  That actually smelled stale.  But at the top of the stairs, when I stepped onto the landing, I walked through her.  Her scent was so clear.  I felt a force of energy outside of me.  It surrounded me and then passed through me.  It was wonderful and creepy.  A good creepy, but still creepy.  Hairs on the back of my neck and on my arms stood up.  The air was colder.  Then as I went down the little stairs off the landing, the air was warm and stuffy and stale again.

I’m curious now to see if she visits us here tonight.  If the office door opens and closes at midnight, I’ll know who it is.

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Tonight we saw A Christmas Carol.  Not just any A Christmas Carol.  This one was adapted from the one-man version that Charles Dickens performed in England and America about 160 years ago.  Tonight it was performed by his great-great-grandson, Gerald Charles Dickens.  The whole story, 28 characters, one man, one and a half hours.  The  boys loved it and laughed throughout the play.  I realized how much this story has been a part of my like, without really ever knowing it.

As this very talented actor made me laugh and cry just a wee bit, I mouthed many of the lines with him.  Scrooge is such a part of  cultural references, not just at Christmas time, but year round.  I suppose this would make Dickens very pleased since Scrooge said he would keep Christmas in his heart year round.  The whole concept of the story as a one-man show is amazing and works because each character is easy to relate to.

Mr. Dickens (the great-great-grandson, not the dead one…Marley was dead to begin with) stays afterward and signs autographs and poses for pictures.

He signed programs for each of the boys, my copy of A Christmas Carol, and even signed the boys’ copy of Muppet Christmas Carol.  A  very charming man and very proud of his heritage.  If he ever comes near your town you really should go see the show.

I will keep Christmas in my heart year round, I will live in the past, present, and future.  Come in, and know me better, man.

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My six year old said during dinner this evening, “I can’t resist food…it’s just too good.”  Monday night is pizza night.  It used to be on Friday nights, but I don’t mind making dinner on Friday night, I have the time.  Monday night is chaotic, so we switched pizza night.  They truly couldn’t resist.  They polished off their pizza and started attacking the parents’ pizza.  They also ate half the bread sticks.  He was right, he can’t resist.

And now a question.  (It’s an interrogative statement seeking knowledge, but that’s not important right now.) Who is Coupon Suzy and why must she invade my world so often?  They are awful commercials.  Highly annoying lady.

Charlie Brown is on and memories of childhood come flooding in to my mind.  “Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you’re the Charlie Browniest.”   The cartoons of today don’t seem to have the staying power of the old ones.  The classic Christmas shows are on every year, but I don’t know that the Shrek one will last for forty or fifty years of annual showings.

The classic is, of course, The Year without a Santa Claus…Heat Miser and Snow Miser…I’m too much!

The Peanuts gang is tackling some serious issues.  Phobias, depression, the need for real estate, the over-commercialization of holidays.  Plus they pepper it with historical references (the Red Baron, no, not the pizza…Baron Manfred von Richthofen).  You know how they balance all the world pressures?  Their deep appreciation for culture.  I dare you to watch them dancing to Schroeder tickling those ivories and not stand up to join them.  Love the way they dance mostly because I can dance like them.  It’s a very free dance style, when one didn’t care about how one looked while dancing.  It’s like the way Phoebe ran (see the Friends episode).

No matter what religion you have faith in, even if you don’t follow religion, one thing about Christmas-time is universal.  It can bring out each person’s childlike wonder in the world.  It can help each person to remember to simply be nice, every day of the year this is possible, but somehow each year at this season, it seems a little easier to do.  Yeah, it’s the Dickens in me.  Yes, it is a wonderful life.

Winter is a time for shedding the old and looking to the future for a new way.  Perhaps you do live each day in the past, present, and future.  If you do, you can renew your energies during the winter season, flowering in the spring with nature.  If you don’t live each day this way, you can start.  Winter is such a reflective time, the days are shorter and darker and colder.  You can turn inward as you stay indoors.  You can let go of your past yet keep it with you to remind yourself of where you’ve been and where you’re going.  Don’t live for or in the future so much that you miss the moments you are in.  Cherish the present as it truly is a gift.

So as my sons can’t resist pizza, I can’t resist putting my thoughts down, pen to paper, or at least the digital version.  I know most think being called Scrooge is an insult.  But think about it.  Think of how the story ends.  I wouldn’t mind being called Scrooge.  Bah humbug-not to anything-it’s just a fun phrase.

 

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Can anyone guess what these three things have in common? Moses, Wham! and Shawshank as in Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. I’ll give you a moment to try to figure it out. While you are thinking, let me tell about a funny thing that happened in church Sunday morning.

Throughout the sermon I had the song “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” running through my head. Awfully difficult to keep a straight face with that tune streaming through the mind’s mp3 player. The sermon was about how to craft a meaningful and purposeful life. This is something I struggle with daily. I listen each day for the path I’m supposed to be on and overall I think I follow His guidance pretty well. The major mistakes in my life were always chosen by me and usually very clearly opposite the answer I received after thoughtful prayer. But oh how humans love to exercise free will. Although in many ways free will is how organized religion manages not to be cult-like so I suppose it is a good thing.

But I digress. A meaningful and purposeful life. What makes a life fulfill those two qualities? Is it career choice? Is it 15 minutes of fame? Is it healing others? Is it family? For me, that’s the answer. My family fills me with meaning and purpose each day. Even on the days when my young sons seem unable to hear me or understand the plain language I use when asking them to complete a chore, my family is my meaning…my purpose. My husband is my best friend and everything else I hoped for in a husband. Being a wife and mother are extraordinary experiences. For me, nothing else beats that. I have learned truly about patience, compassion and unconditional love.

So what does all of this have to do with Moses, Wham! and Shawshank? They all tell us to choose life.  In Deuteronomy 30: 15-20, Moses says “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.  Choose life….” Thousands of years later the words “Choose Life” are printed on fashionable (at the time) t-shirts in the “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” video. Shortly thereafter, Red tells us in Shawshank to “get busy living or get busy dying.” He chooses to get busy living. I choose to live life. The friendly message in today’s sermon reminded me that I can choose to live a whiny life or make the most out of everyday. I can choose to live compassionately. I can choose to live each day as a post-epiphany Scrooge. I choose life, not bah-humbug.

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