Monday, November 24, 2014


Well, I've made a decision.  
I've taken a few shortcut steps..and I hope you are sitting's not that big a deal, so you can stand..but this die hard "has to be a live tree!' has decided that this will be the very last year. 
So I am giving up a tradition.  I won't go out and search the Christmas tree lots for that perfect tree..or as of late, just a good fresh tree of the right this year.  I ORDERED my fresh tree of the right size over the Internet!  Yes!  I did!

It will be delivered fresh (they say) shipping out on the 8th of December and arriving on the 12th, right to our doorstep from the East Coast.   
It's okay.   It's time.

Pumpkin cookies by my Maryalice.

The pumpkins on the porch are not gone, but the other Autumn outdoor decor will stay until after Thanksgiving.  

I am having guests for several weeks that will be staying with us, Or I should say WE are, so I have begun to ready the inside of our home for the Christmas holiday.  No, no decorations..just deep cleaning.. and furniture arranging, deciding where to put what.
This will be a special Christmas because my best friends from childhood will not only be with us, but it will likely be the last time they will come to California.  She is 78 and he is 80.  I know this logically, but my heart won't accept it.  We all double dated in high school.  Yes, all four of us.  Patrick and Mick  graduating the same year, 1952, and Neddie and I two years later. 1954.

I won't cry.  I won't shed a tear.  I must only think on this with happiness and not let tears blur this happy occasion.  
The story of our two families, my seven and her five, could be a book.  Our trials and times.
Ups and down.  Laughter and tears. The times things were bad and we all lived together in each others small homes.  Not for long periods of time, once for six months, but until whoever was having difficult times came through and were back on their feet.  We had each others back!
My dearest friend Neddie and I.  Winter 2006  Because of Ned, I finally got the courage to let my hair go white.  Now we match. 
Our children, we found out later, thought they were all cousins!  They were shocked to know this was not true and the day came when the story of our friendship was told and cleared it up that we were not related.  They knew we had been friends through school, but still thought we were somehow related.  I remember the day when they came home from high school one afternoon and said " Mom, just exactly how are we related to the Walkers??  
Sort of like the day they found out there was no Santa.
We filled the "Santa" truth with love.  Santa was symbol  of  the love of parents for their children.  I was also the one that explained to the Grands.  

However we put it, it worked.
Telling of our children of our "two family connection" was much the same.
Love and friendship that lasts a lifetime.
The value of this.  The blessing.
We all knew that such friendships are not most folks will say "Oh, we could NEVER live with anyone like that!  I mean, how in the world did you cope with all those children in one small home.  
All I can do is smile.
Those memories are some of the most precious of our lives.
When they moved to Arkansas after their children were grown and gone, we were devastated, but we  coped.  They wanted to be near their children.  We understood, but now we know that is not always the best thing.  They bought a home and settled down..only to find that their church was becoming more and more their family out of necessity.
So...I wanted them to come home for Christmas this year and they are coming. We will be together this one last time.
No, Pat isn't here, and he was Mick's best friend.  We all went through high school now one of us is gone.  I remember one evening we lightly talked about it.  I remember trying to get promises that none of us would leave the other.  I don't think it ever occurred to us that eventually one of us would be the last.  It was unthinkable.
Thankfully they were in California visiting us when Pat had a massive stroke and died suddenly just ten days later on December 15th, 1997 at 6:30 in the morning.

I have photo's through those years but they are in albums and many packed away and besides, they would have no meaning to anyone but us.   

Thus you have it.  The last real Christmas tree and the last visit.  
But, where there is life, there is hope.  *smile*

P.S. (Seems I always have a post script)  Mick and PH have bonded and are great friends.  I've been blessed.  We all have.  


  1. sounds wonderful to me, and you have the tree under control. enjoy your friends

  2. Mona, It will be wonderful for you to be with your old chums from H.S. I wish you all a glorious time. Now as for that tree. I hope it's not too big..That is not a lot of time to decorate. LOL. Blessings to you and yours thru this thanksgiving time. xoxo,Susie

  3. what a wonderful story! none of us know when the 'last' thing will happen. it is wonderful that you will get to spend this holiday together. there is nothing like fresh tree. i don't think i could ever have a fake one. i miss you! write to me!

  4. Oh Mona . . . How wonderful this will be for you and your dear friends . . . Please take scads of pictures of "you two giggling white heads!" It is going to be Simply Wonderful!

    Would love to know where you ordered your fresh tree . . .
    Amazing, how perfect!

    Love and hugs . . . have your ears been ringing . . . I have been thinking of you for days!

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, PH and your families!

  5. I am so excited to see your "mail order" tree...who knew you could even do that...not me! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy the visit with your old friends....hugs...

  6. How exciting!

    Enjoy your visit.

  7. I never knew you could order a tree online and have it shipped. What a great idea!

    Have fun with your friends. Laugh a lot. Don't think of it being a "last time". We don't know what the future holds. Take lots of pictures and enjoy your time together.

  8. I love this post!! Such beautiful friends! You are, indeed, blessed!
    I hope this tree will arrive in perfect condition and be THE most beautiful tree you have ever had!!!

  9. Oh Mona, how great to be able to visit with your life long friends.Enjoy your visit.
    Your tree sounds great, looking forward to seeing it.
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Mona, with your family.

  10. Of all the wonderful things you've mentioned in your post, the thing that warmed my heart the deepest...that PH has become friends with your friends, too.
    The past is a wonderful thing, full of memories, but, to me, it's the present time that we are in that really glad your friends will be there and your husband can enjoy them, too.
    Love, bj

  11. Mona I have heard some lovely thanksgiving stories over the years, but this is one of my favorite. You make each of us feel like we are part of your family when you share the precious stories of your life. The bits of your life that are shared bring that time in history back like nothing else can and for those of us who are younger it is a glimpse into a time that is like a fairytale. Those values no longer exist. For those who share that time with you, I can only think that you bring back sweet memories as hearing a song like "I'll be seeing you".
    I wish you the happiest of
    Thanksgivings and a wonderful visit with you friends.

  12. How wonderful that you have had these friends for so long. Sure there will be tears remembering your Pat. But you will have sweet memories. Have a great holiday. Enjoy that tree.

  13. Blessings to you. Thank you for sharing your beautiful life with us. I am also a grieving mom and understand how difficult this time of year is for us. Enjoy this visit with your dear friends and have a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas. Hugs, Lucy

  14. There is nothing like sharing a Christmas with special friends...enjoy your visit, Mona...who knows, this may not be the last time you are with your dearest friend.
    Wishing you and Howard a very Happy Thanksgiving.

  15. Oh Mona Neddie is going to enjoy this visit as much as you are. Concentrate on the time together and never think about the saying goodbye. There is nothing better than having a friend like that. Enjoy every moment. Enjoy that tree I think that is a very smart idea. Hug B

  16. How wonderful to have your long life friends visit through thanksgiving and christmas - I do remember some of the stories you have told in past posts and enjoyed them very much. Enjoy your visit, love and cherish each and every moment and I am sure you will have new stories to tell us in the New Year. OOh, and you can mention to PH that he can put away that mirror till spring. I am so happy for you Mona - I can feel the sparkle surrounding you. Have fun honey n talk to you later. Love to you n PH.

  17. What dear memories. Yes, you have each been a life blessing to each other. Some never experience friendships such as these. I so with you a lovely Thanksgiving. I know it's going to be very special. Hugs to you Miss Mona.

  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

  19. What a great story of your memories. I can relate to this as well. All I can say is where did the good ole days go.
    Have a wonderful day my special friend. we have never met but I feel as if I have known you all my life. You are such a special friend.
    Barbara in Florida

  20. The love of friends is a gift! I know that you all will enjoy every single minute of this visit! Have a blessed and beautiful day dear friend, HUGS!

  21. Wonder post. Enjoy your time with your friends and your live Christmas tree. Have a blessed day. Madeline

  22. what a great story of deep friendship and love how you have stayed together in heart all these years. going to be a great holiday season for you!

  23. Your life story is like a Hallmark movie! I can understand how a large family can live in a tiny home..I grew up that way! When love is there, it all works out. I'm so glad your friends can make it out one more time. I hope it's a great visit and a wonderful Christmas present to have them with you and PH. As far as the tree goes...good job! I know it will be lovely and I know you'll enjoy it all more knowing it's the last live one. I can't wait to see the decorated finish. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  24. I hope you have THE BEST CHRISTMAS ever with you dear friend.

  25. Morning Dear heart...Aww...let's not say it's the last anything. Go with the flow...enjoy your lots of turkey...and pie....and watch for that Christmas tree! The Man upstairs will decide when it's the last anything for all of us! Bigggg hug!

  26. What a wonderful life, of friendship. Rare, I'm sure.

    You must certainly be looking forward to a lovely Christmas Season.


  27. an amazing story of real friends.
    and your post script was so welcomed to hear...
    i was wondering how ph fit into it all... and i see that he will be right there enjoying the love shared along with all the memories.
    you are simply wonderful.
    and i LIKE your hair silver!!!

  28. A wonderfully touching story Mona and you are so right about long standing friendships and never knowing what the future holds. Like others, I too have lost dear friends, and there are ones who thoigh close friends of mine have come to accept Pat as well and he too considers them our friends now.


Thank you SO much for sharing your thoughts! Your comments are very important to me.