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Christmas Countdown 2021 Day 8 <3

Last night we fulfilled one item on my personal bucket list.

Russ is always asking me if there is any concert I would like to attend. This year when the Amy Grant/Michael W. Smith concert dates were announced I googled locations and none were close to us.

I went ahead and told him about it in case he was up for a longer road trip and lo and behold by the time he googled it they had added concerts and one was right here in the Lou. 

So being Russ, he bought us tickets and made a hotel reservation and we made plans to meet up for dinner with this one…

who seems to have passed along her photogenic skills to Miss Thing. Like Tia – like Caroline <3

After a nice dinner and visit, we headed over to the Fabulous Fox.

Let me tell you…it’s easier to get on an airplane than into that theater.

We had to show vaccination record and a photo ID to even enter the building. Which makes sense because the room was pretty much filled, and I don’t care where you stand on it the reality is we were at least somewhat protected and able to enjoy this beautiful event.

During Covid lockdown, I was so thankful for both of these artists and the way they provided free music concerts on YouTube each week or kind words offered through social media to bring encouragement.

They were so natural and fun and the whole concert was good for the heart and soul. 

At one point, Amy shared a story about preparing for Thanksgiving this year and as she worked alone in her kitchen the memories of her childhood came flooding in. She thought of family members who are long gone and realized these people who played such an important role in her life never even met her children. 

She said she shouted into the air; “You don’t even know them!!!!” to the faces of family that were not even there and had never gotten to interact.

If you have ever listened to her talk, it’s like she’s sitting across the table from you at Starbucks having a coffee and chatting. She laughed and said she was picturing her children’s faces as she voiced the heartache that these two precious generations had only her to share the memories.

She urged us to hold onto those memories and share them and remember.

Amy also pointed out at various times that families are messy and love is hard work, but we celebrate the effort and thank God He knows all that as His own Son’s family line had some mess in it, too. 

As I sat there in my padded seat, breathing my own air back into my lungs, I now had tears dripping down into the cloth…the downside of masks.

I felt understood because this is what this whole series has been about.

Me…holding tight to my heart the memories of people who we have loved and who have loved us. 

Today is the anniversary of my own mom’s passing to Jesus.

Two days ago, we marked the birth date of Russ’s precious mom.

We often say what a kick these ladies would have gotten out of our grandchildren. We laugh to think that Graham would now be about as tall as my mom and can picture her grimacing when he patted her on the head as he invariably would have done….much like his Uncle John did at a similar age.

So with all that introduction, we are on….

Day 8

This little exotic shoe made its way back from Europe as a gift for me one year when my maiden aunt took one of her many trips overseas. 

Laura Elizabeth Ploch worked as a secretary for the General Electric Company and took care of her parents through her father’s stroke and death a few years before I was born and then her mother who passed when I was a sophomore in high school. 

She paid the bills, took care of house and car maintenance, got my grandma where she needed to be and hosted my sister and I each for a separate week in the summer. Lizzie would take us somewhere special every evening when she got home from work. 

Faithfully we received cards for every holiday…gifts for birthday and Christmas and just because.

Her ability to talk without taking a breath was as legendary as her typing skills…which were impressive. 

She had taken her parents and then her mother to see relatives and on nice vacations her whole adult life and one day she announced that she was going to take one of those organized tours to England.

My grandma came to stay with us for ten days and we sent Aunt Lizzie off on a grand adventure. 

Her first trip she took the suggestion of a well-traveled friend and packed only red, white and blue clothing so she could mix and match a few items. We met her at the airport all dressed in red, white and blue; because theme-life runs deep in my gene pool. 

I will never forget seeing her exit that plane in the brightest pink dress you have ever seen, exhausted and transformed.

She got sick of red, white and blue and had purchased some new colors to finish the trip. Travel opened her world and she enjoyed several more trips across the pond before she found true love in her 60’s. 

My parents introduced her to a widower from Vermont and the two crazy kids fell in love and spent what was left of their journey traveling and taking care of each other until Arnold beat her to Jesus and she finished out her years talking and praying and loving us well. 

Who’s left a legacy of love in the branches of your tree? 

Tell someone today some of the stories…keep them close in your heart…bridge the generations so the ones coming behind can know a little bit about why you are who you are <3

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