Tree’s up

Featured image: One of the angelic host of ornaments that adorn our Christmas tree.

Cogitation 49 Saturday 8 December 2018   Last week we moved house after more than 40 years of shaping, and being shaped by house and home in one place.

The move itself went well–decent weather, in contrast to the blizzard on the day we moved in January 1977. We have warm memories of finding that house, of everyone who helped in the move, as in this one, and of each of our lives over those years.

To make the transition, we looked at our first week here as being on vacation. It reminds me of a postcard we got from the late Lou and Wilma Stealy when they took their children and their spouses to Hawaii: “Sell everything, we’re staying.”  On retirement 10 years ago we said we’d be at Greencroft Goshen by 2018. We’re staying.

We’re grateful to be at home in a new place, a new city, a  new setting in an independent and related continuing care living community, where we can thrive in usual and extraordinary ways.

On Thursday we picked up a tiny Frazier Fir and a small tree stand. How do you assemble a Christmas tree stand? A quiet word of advice: read the instructions; then give the clunky old one away.

The tree is up, lit, and decorated with ornaments old and new. Each ornament evokes a memory of time, place and person. And the reason we celebrate.


A bulletin insert that survived the move

Behind a bookshelf I found a litany published in July 1989. I wrote the piece, A LITANY in Support of Churchwide Ministries in 1990, during the time I served a term as Mennonite Church communications director.

“Generation has passed the charge [of ministry] to generation,” reads one stanza, followed by, “With gratitude to God we remember those who helped us find faith and an active ministry in the body of Christ.”

A prayer concludes the front panel:

“Dear God, thank you for the work of our church. Thank you for the witness of our congregation locally, in our conference, and through our churchwide agencies. With other congregations we commit ourselves anew to plant and water seeds of faith and deeds of mercy at home and abroad. All praise to God! Amen.”

Wander and wonder in LaGrange County

The week included a drive to LaGrange County for lunch with Marty’s sister Doris. I snapped the country scenes as Marty drove. They evoke for me both change of season and, more evocatively, the ever-evolving changes in the agricultural community from those we knew as youngsters.



Warm memories, merry times, real hot chocolate.


4 thoughts on “Tree’s up

  1. We are on the road and will arrive at Ginger’s daughter’s home in Tampa a little after 5:00 PM today! Tomorrow we have just one hour on the road to get to our senior park in Ellenton, Terra Siesta! We are looking forward to seeing our grandchildren tonight!

    Glad your move went well and the weather cooperated, unlike 1977! In Birmingham we stayed with friends and all of us went to Montgomery to see The Legacy Museum which is a sobering documentary about the history of slavery and racial terrorism in our country. There is a Memorial with all the known lynchings giving the names, dates and counties where the murders took place. We will tell you more about it when we see you next!




    1. Ellenton just got two fine winter residents. We can almost hear the harmonizing musicians, family feasting and laughter, the quiet times, the exploration times, good times. See you in the spring.


    1. It helped to get rid of a lot of stuff before we moved. And the tree is small enough that it was a whiz to put up–after I got the stand assembled. Nothing like a live tree. Thanks for your good word.


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