Notes from Jan

Hankering for Home

November 23, 2021

It’s been awhile. Almost two weeks. In between blogs, life happened. Heather and Basil flew in for a visit, an early cause for thanksgiving. When I was young, time moved sloth-like. Not anymore. Blink and yesterday’s tomorrow.

Sometime this month, the days shortened, temperatures dropped, and the newspaper bulged with ads. Printed reassurance that some goods escaped those container ships. I don’t know. Maybe it’s because I’m older, I find myself longing for less, not more. Oh, don’t get me wrong. As a kid, I wished for a certain doll, new crayons, and marzipan. As a teen, I hoped for my first pair of high heeled shoes. And even now, I still wish and hope. But mostly for people, not packages.

Last Saturday marked seven years since Jud died. A few blinks back we married, “for better or for worse.” And we shared an amazing, imperfect life together. Still, every day delivers opportunities to choose for better or for worse. Which is why I love Thanksgiving and Advent, a focus on gratitude and hope.

As a kid this period came laden with sounds and smells. Presence. More holy than I knew then. Mama’s cardamom laced Julekake, Norwegian Christmas bread, filled the air with that seasonal scent baked inside loaf after sacred loaf. Mama’s manna. Because she knew family, friends and strangers hunger for something money can’t buy.

So, after the family left last Saturday, I settled into the calm of remembering, missing, thanking and hoping.Then I put on some Christmas CDs. That alone tells you I’m old. I listened to parts of the Messiah, then sang along with Silent Night and ” I’ll be Home for Christmas.”

Jud’s Home.

Life is good, still.

Thanksgiving day we’ll gather with friends and family to say thank you to the God who provides. To love the least among us. To share manna, with or without cardamom.

Still. Especially when we’re still, many of us will hanker for Home and hunger for something, some One, money can’t buy.

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