Category Archives: Branson

Back When

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The “Christmas Trees For Sale” sign in the store front window caught my attention.  Fresh pine scent, the friendly “howdy” greeting, footsteps on the squeaky wood-planked floor, and the jingle of the door bells as I enter and close the door into the little gift shop … each liven my senses … bring me to back when.  A little pony-tailed blonde-haired girl.  Cannot wait for the holiday season, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Years.  But all the events leading to those wonder-filled holidays.  Baking, decorating, crafting, wrapping, and for me living on a tree farm, setting up the pine trees to sell.  Always Thanksgiving weekend my Dad and Grandpa brought in a truck and trailer overflowed with fresh cut Christmas trees.  Scotch pine, white pine, and spruce trees planted, trimmed, and cared for by Dad, and any family members looking for some extra $$ pitched in.  My siblings and I included.  We would play hide-n-seek in the pile of cut trees until there were no more to set-up.  Snow, ice, or rain, it did not matter. Wholesome fun. We had the time of our lives back when.

 

A weekend away in Branson, Missouri for early Christmas shopping and a membership inquiry with a vacation club for more of these empty nest long weekends and longer week dream vacations.  Dean and I are local shoppers, whether in our home town of St. Charles, Missouri or while on vacation.  There is something down-to-earth about brick & mortar and mom & pop shops.  Branson has the downtown landing and tourist attractions, but take us where the locals shop, eat, and play, please!  Nostalgic Dicks 5 & 10, Main Street Flea Market, the Classy Flea, and the Farmhouse Restaurant … Back when the Nativity was in every shop, home, and city hall.  The holidays included real pine rope trimmings with bright red velvet bow wreaths and pine cones.  Back when that fresh field-cut Charlie Brown tree was dressed with hand-sewn ornaments, Shiny Brite glass balls, and a collection of heirloom from Germany or England, wherever your family originated from.  Back when home-baked breads were served at every meal with a home-jarred fruit preserves, and your favorite sugar cookies piled on a plate or in a large jar for the eating any time.  But not too close to your mother’s or grandmother’s home-cooked dinner, “not to spoil your appetite”.  The house smelled of a fresh pot of chicken & dumplings.  I imagine my father’s Christmases in the 1940’s.  Filled with joy to have his father, my Grandpa Earl back home from the war.  Grandma Anna doting over the menu preparations.  Two or three simply wrapped presents with his name “Marty” on the tags under the tinseled Christmas tree.  Back when is close to my heart at this present moment in the guest bedroom of our 1940’s house.  My family has been blessed with fond memories and we will make more.

 

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My Words Are Few

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Autumn Leaf in the Rain My words are few, but my thoughts are many this month of October. At the close of the 2013 growing season for our greenhouse and outdoor plants, as well as the close (or the genesis, I cannot tell yet) of the wellness incentive program at my full-time job has brought me to little words. “Exhaustion” would be one word to sum up how I feel. Dean & I took a week off work and visited our Missouri family in the Kansas City and Branson/Springfield areas. Change of scenery did us both good. Still need more time to unclutter my mind for next growing season’s plans and next year’s wellness incentive plans for 4,000 employees.
Dean & I have been deep cleaning. Our trash dumpster has been overflowing for every pick-up this month. And more junk to get rid of. Functional items are going to the Goodwill. How do we collect so much unwanted, unnecessary items? We border on being hoarders, and that habit has been broken this month. We are shedding the old like the trees this autumn. We prepare our house now for the autumn holidays. Gourds and pumpkins replace the color near the front porch as most of the leaves have fallen off our trees and our tropicals are housed inside. The rains come to water the earth this week, with the last of the leaves to mulch the ground underneath. How soon will a blanket of snow cover those leaves? The lyrics of the song, Autumn Leaves written by songwriters Joseph Kosma, Jacques Andre Marie, and Johnny Mercer:

The falling leaves drift by the window
The autumn leaves of red and gold
I see your lips, the summer kisses
The sunburned hands I used to hold

Since you went away the days grow long
And soon I’ll hear old winter’s song
But I miss you most of all my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall