Snipitz - My Christmas Wish for YOU!

Tucked away in a folder, are some of my most treasured possessions.

They are Birthday cards from my Grandmother Sharp. A woman that epitomized what it meant to be a Grandmother. I remember spending time with Grandma and wanting to See Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. The only prerequisite from her was that I had to watch General Hospital first, and so I did.

I remember her making fresh, hot peanut cookies. Fried bologna with sauerkraut, but most of all I remember the love and tenderness she showed for her family and for us grandchildren.

Grandpa was a very elderly man by the time I was born and my memories are vague. I do remember his face, and his voice still rings in my head, distant and somewhat faded by time but still there. He was a carpenter who labored with his hands and built a strong family full of love.

I loved them very much and they were gone all too soon from my life.

My Grandma and Grandpa Melton where very instrumental in making me what I am today, and sometimes what I wish I could be.

Grandpa was a baker that turned into an orchardist. He loved rolled oats every morning, got up way too early and went to work out in the orchard. He made cinnamon rolls for us when the baking bug would strike him, he told wonderful stories and liked to tease us. He was quite possibly the kindest man I ever knew and he taught me about work ethic and being on time (I still struggle with the last one). He had a wonderful sense of humor and he loved his grandchildren very much. It took a lot to make grandpa angry, except when the apple packing equipment would break down. A curse word or two would slip from his lips but he spelled most of them if he knew we were around. My wife worked for them early in our marriage and Grandpa would STILL spell the words, to which she replied..€Grandpa, We do know how to spell now€ to which he blushed and went back to work. A smile firmly planted on his face.

Grandma was the BOSS, we knew it. Grandpa knew it too. She was a good business woman and taught us all so many things about life and people. She made the BEST French toast. Dip your bread in an egg and milk wash, fry it in bacon grease and add enough pepper to make you sneeze. Then butter it, drizzle honey and eat€€€€.excuse me for a moment,... .. salivating.

She was a no nonsense woman that would tell you to suck it up and deal with it, but with a tender heart and love. She would take each of us grand kids on a birthday outing every year. A little birthday shopping and then lunch, Michelle (my cousin) and I always had to wait. Our birthdays were during apple harvest, so we had to be patient until things would calm down and then we would go. We loved that time with her. It was OUR day and it made us feel very special.

Every Christmas she would buy us socks€.as kids its, €œOh€ socks€ Thanks Grandma€ as we became college age it changed to €œTHANKS GRANDMA!!!!!!!€ and now, sitting here with a few tears in my eyes€.I miss the socks, and everything that went with it.

I share these brief snippets of life with you today as I remember all the places and the faces that were home to me. Places like Selah, Washington, Yakima, Kennewick, and Walla Walla, Wa. Parkville, Orrick and Independence, Missouri.

My Parents raised me, gave me a home and taught me right from wrong, who taught us how to be a family and who love me an only parent can, and I love them.

My sisters, Laurie and Judy, taught me a competitive nature, laughter, music, joy and what it is to be brother and sisters. My mind is flooded right now, with memories that are going to make some great future reflections.

This will be the 21rst Christmas that I have spent away from them and I miss them very much.
My family here in Missouri has made each Christmas we are together a wonderful and memorable experience. We have formed our own Christmas traditions and blended some of my families in as well. One of the many is my learning to like Sausage in my turkey dressing and for them to enjoy apples in the stuffing too.

I love my family and I enjoy every minute we are together.

Our blending of traditions, our memories of family past and present, near or far is part of what makes us family. No matter where you are and where you are going, as a family our memories mean we are never far from home.

As I wrote this last line, I was reminded just how small this world really is. At a store next to the ATM here at KCI airport. I ask the service man using it where he is going,

€œWashington€ he says.

€œOh, DC?€

€œNope€ he replies €œthe State€

€œWhere about?€ I inquired.

€œYakima, well actually a little town called Selah, youve probably never heard of it€ he says

A smile spreads across my face and a tear glistens in my eyes. I am NEVER far from home.

And now I would like to address those of you whom I am blessed to call my friends. This has been quite a journey we have traveled together this year. In this short time you have touched my life. You have shared your life with me, and I am happy to share these reflections of my lifes moments with you and I am equally blessed that you read them. I am blessed also, that we are going to share our FIRST Christmas together. You are all a long distance from my family in physical miles but you all have a home in MY heart.

So, you all are never far from my home either, because I hold you all close to my heart.

I wanted to get this out to everyone this day as tomorrow will be so busy.

Here is my CHRISTMAS WISH for you.

Where ever you go this Christmas and whatever you do. Treasure your moments together. They go by to quickly. Tell your family and your friends that you love them. Extend a helpful hand and a kind word. Know with assurance of Gods love, Gods grace and Gods comfort.

MERRY CHRISTMAS to ALL my family!

MERRY CHRISTMAS to ALL my friends near and far you are now all honorary members of the family. LOL

Remember that I LOVE YOU ALL.

Be safe as you travel, may Gods love warm your heart and may you and YOUR families continue to be blessed as you have all blessed me.

Remember, Your NEVER far from home.

The song for today is from Jimmy Buffett €œMerry Christmas Alabama (Never Far From Home)€
Merry Christmas, Alabama
Merry Christmas, Tennessee
Merry Christmas, Louisiana
To St. Barth's and the Florida Keys

Merry Christmas, Mississippi
Where I started this wild and crazy run
Such a long way from that first birthday
Merry Christmas, Everyone

And Merry Christmas, Colorado
Though far from you all I have roamed
"Tis the season to remember
All the faces and the places that were home

"Tis the season to remember
And to count up all the ports of call I've known
And to thank his mercies tender
For I'm never far from home

Merry Christmas to my saints and guardian angels
Who protect me as I roam
All the faces and the places that were home

Guess my life's moved at near light speed
Since I started this wild and crazy run
Such a long way from that first birthday
Merry Christmas, Everyone

"Tis the season to remember
That we're never far from home

Merry Christmas, Everyone

A link to the Christmas story €œThe Man and The Birds€ by the late Paul Harvey.

Do not include honorifics.

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