Friday, January 6, 2012

A Merry Charlotte Christmas

Just a quick reminder that Smithellaneous will be off line a couple days starting tomorrow as we make the move to a new hosting site.
If I’m not back up and running by Monday, just assume that I’m in the corner of our bedroom in the fetal position trying to cope with
the sad fact that technology has gotten the best of me.  Oh. And also please send chocolate.

Remember: To get to the new site, the URL will be the same:

I know it’s the sixth of January already, but forgive me if I backtrack a little into Christmas. I just didn’t get all my Christmas writing wrapped up before the ol’ calendar page did its annual flip.

Just so you don’t get the erroneous impression that our recent Christmas visit to Charlotte was made up only of frightening encounters with oysters here are a few happier pictures from the visit.

Nathan and Sarah have been helping to set this table for holidays for a lot of years now and things haven’t changed much.

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After the table setting was completed, Nathan rummaged around in the basement and discovered a little car he used to play with when he was small.  Of course, anything with wheels is an immediate attraction to guys of any age, so he and Steve set off to have a little fun.

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Dontcha love that face?

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And this one?

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Since my interests run more toward things non-mechanical (and since Meagan was ably covering the photography duties outside) I helped Steve’s mom in the house.  In the course of getting things ready for the meal, she showed me a special item she had recently come across--her prom book from sixty years ago. 

I was entranced.

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It was especially fun to see that the last page included a diary where she notes who she has attended the prom with.  It was some fella named, “Kenny.”

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I was amazed by how much work had gone into creating those booklets in a world before computers and printers and paper cutters.  I just love quaint, meaningful items from the past.

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Especially when the people of the past . . .

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. . . turn into the people of my present.  (The modern day “Kenny” and his prom date.)

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Speaking of things from the past, this tray has been in the Smith family ever since I started showing up there 32 years ago.  It has held a variety of items  over the years but on this recent Christmas, its assigned job was to provide a home for the eggnog glasses. 

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Meagan was experimenting with taking pictures where the foreground was clear and background was fuzzy; she took the pictures of the glasses and the pool table and did a great job.  Nice to have another photographer in the family.

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On Tuesday morning when we got up, we found pre-cut grapefruit set out for us on the kitchen table.  It’s a pretty nice hotel that cuts the grapefruit for its guests; I think we’ll definitely want to return in the future.

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Unfortunately, the proprietors of this particular establishment did not have the foresight to order up good weather for its departing guests.  Since Steve and Nathan had left at 4 am for their ski trip,  Meagan and I had to don some interesting rain to protect our hair as we loaded the van without our fellas. (Meagan is wearing a grocery bag; I am wearing a gardening hat.  Try not to be jealous.)

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As we drove away in the cold, pouring rain, we left behind memories of the fun, the food, and the joy that are wrapped up in the celebration of Christmas.  Our entire family’s special joy this year was being joined by Meagan—our brand new Smith family member.

It was truly a merry Charlotte Christmas.

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May I just mention that this is the last time I will need to respond to the comments in a post?
When the new site is up, we can all reply to each other right in the comments area.  How fun will that be? 
I’m looking forward to all the conversations we will have.

And speaking of comments, I want to thank those of you who left such interesting and thought provoking entries on the recent writing I posted by Anne Lamott.  We’ve got some deep thinkers and great writers among us Smithellaneous folks; I love it!

And from other posts . . . 


Kristina said, “The word 'Arctic' should be capitalized, particularly when being used as a noun although convention is changing and it is now usually capitalized at all times. I generally don't point such things out because it makes people mad, but I know your affinity for language and writing and thought you might be one of the few humans who prefers to be told!”

Kristina,  how right you are!  I am definitely one of the few humans who prefers to be told about this kind of stuff—thanks so much for taking the time to let me know.   I now consider my knowledge to be properly Arctic-ized.”

Pam D. said, “Yay for a better blogging platform! I think I have 4 blogs now; I hopped from Blogger to to And photography was the driving reason; Blogger is fine for.. well.. blogging. But if photography is a big part of what you post, it's not so great. Can't wait to see what you end up with (and I distinctly remember when Smithellaneous started... and am proud to have played a small role in the naming thereof!).”

For those of you who may not know the story, when I was looking for a name for my blog almost three years ago, I asked some of my readers for suggestions.  I got a whole bunch of great ideas but when Pam emailed me with the name, “Smithellany” I was hooked.   I changed it slightly to Smithellaneous (since I figured more people were familiar with the word miscellaneous rather than miscellany) and we were good to go.  I have gotten so many compliments on the blog’s name and I owe it all to Pam’s great idea!

And finally, a more serious comment . . .

Katmayo said, “Years ago, when my daughter Jessica was stillborn, I wrote, and wrote and ... I used it to expel the horrid sadness that took my life into darkness. I continued to write until the miracle birth of my daughter Rachael Lynn. I stopped writing, but so enjoyed reading the wonderful writings and artwork of my sweet Rachael. When Rachael died 3/1/2003, I tried to write again, but my ability with words couldn't touch my sadness. I am still struggling, all these years later, to find release. Writing helped me with the loss of my Jessica, but nothing, so far, has touched the pain of my Rachael's loss...maybe someday.”

Kathie,  you’ve been reading here for a long, long time and I’m so glad you’re a part of this circle.  I’m always honored when people share the hard parts of their lives and you have certainly had many hard and horrible things to face over these past years.

I’ve read Rachel’s writings and seen her artwork and I know that the gift of excellent writing runs in your family.   When the time is right, I believe you will write again--to honor Jessica, to honor Rachael and to honor your own voice.  Prayers and hugs to you today.        Love, Becky


13 Had Something To Say (Just click here!):

Sue G said...

Thank you for giving me a few days offline to adjust to the idea of changes.

I don't take change well. middle name.

Just ask my husband. the truth comes out: I am sooooo looking forward to the new format in which we can all comment on each other's comments. I love me some good comments!

Looking forward to the new. (I'd say out with the old and in with the new, but I would be afraid I would be one of the old things that needed to be discarded!)

Have a wonderful weekend and remember: YOU ARE SMARTER THAN A COMPUTER!

Becky said...

Was just catching up this week. Loved that we will still have Wedding Wednesday and loved the target food hat! I've been with you since the early days at carring bridge with Sarah so I guess I'm an oldie. Have a great weekend and look forward to you getting back up and running. Becky - PS - I really liked your funny CHRISTmas photo also

Jenna said...

Hi Becky!
Can I just say how much I love being part of your Smithellaneous community! Even though I don't comment all the time, it is a bright, encouraging, interesting, and lovely part of my day each day. I really appreciate the ti,me and energy you put into your blog. I agree about blogger- it drives me crazy when I try to post photos on my blog! (But, I'm more of a writer gall than a photo gal and so I live with it!)

I really like the name of your blog. You are truly a word Smith.

Also, I was very touched by the honest and heartfeltness of Kathie's comment. I will be praying for her today.


Jenna said...

Hmm.... maybe I not such of a "writer gal" when I look at those typos in my comment! :)

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