Thursday, January 7, 2016

White Picket Fences

Christmas and New Year's seems like a months ago already! The decorations are down, except for the tree and wreaths outside and the house seems bare and naked.  I miss our home being all decked out and I miss the anticipation of guests and joyful gatherings. So what is a girl to do? I decorate, on a much smaller scale of course!

The chair is still out of place because my tree is still up-undecorated but up. I have to cut the lights out of it and haven't found time.
Growing up a military brat made me jealous for large family gatherings that included aunts and uncles, cousins and grandparents. I grew up watching The Walton's Christmas specials and the like, earnestly desiring those family Christmases. That way of life was so appealing to me. I dreamed of "one day" when I would have a home for longer than three years where my family would gather around. I imagined candles in the windows at Christmas and white picket fences. 

A transitional vignette from Christmas to winter.
At times, I do romanticize about days when there was no television, internet, or even electric lights! When a candle in the window was really a candle and lanterns were the source of task light at night. Stores did not entice one in at ridiculous hours or on days that were considered sacred, holy or meant for family gatherings. There were no cell phones on dinner tables or relatives texting someone from the safety of a corner somewhere. They were quieter times when  "noise" was made by many voices talking to one another...nice to imagine but not our reality these days.

I still have to have some of the ocean represented so I left the starfish in the cloche with boxwood and a pinecone

I left the greens on top on the hutch. They are dry as all get out but not being bothered up there.
 A few days after Christmas I stopped at Joann Fabrics for thread. I never make it out the day after Christmas in spite of what I try to tell myself. By the time I get out everything is well pick over but this year I found some good stuff on sale! 

One of mom's Thomas Kinkade prints with greens and painted pinecones.


These cute little cardboard houses were meant to be ornaments. 

Cardboard tree ornaments with a little sparkle.
They light up and warmly bathe the houses and the white picket fences with a welcoming glow, bidding the passerby to come in and rest from the cold. 

Simple construction....maybe I should make some...


Don't you want to go inside?
The next aisle over I found glass cloches; ideas were formulating!

Mister is the music minister for our church and each year at Christmas the congregation graciously gives him a gift in appreciation for his work. This year the gifts were attached to a little birch tree that lights up on a timer. I did not know what I was going to do with the tree afterwards but now it was fitting into my plans nicely. 

I couldn't decide to use one or two cloches. I like both for different reasons.
Last Christmas my dad sent a painting that had belonged to my mother. She had found it a little shop up north. It is a scene of a New England village covered in snow. It was painted on an old bread board and I have admired it from the first time I saw it. In the painting are little houses and bare white birch trees and a wooden, picket fence and a quiet stillness that only winter seems to possess.  





I put the elements together: the houses covered by the cloches, the painting and the birch tree along with a miniature Christmas tree strung with lights. and suddenly now my house doesn't seem as barren and I get to hold onto my dreams a little longer. 


At night.
We do not have the huge family gatherings I had hoped for as a young girl. Life has not afforded me those times here in this life. Mister and I both lost our moms to cancer and family is spread all over. I am blessed with great church family, though.  Maybe it is all meant to push my eyes heavenward when one day there will be such a home-coming and family gathering that can never be matched here on earth. Maybe God intends that the hunger for such things cannot ever truly be fulfilled this side of glory. I look at the painting and beckoning lights and dream of the one eternal day when the house of God will be eternally filled with His Light and filled with all his children, finally home...
                                                                      while I linger.

Linking up to these parties:,
Shabby Art Boutique, My Flagstaff Home, Up To Date Interiors, Lambert's Lately, AKA Design, Imparting Grace, Too Much Time On My Hands, The Charm of Home, Craftberry Bush, From My Front Porch To Yours, Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson, Blesser House, Must Love Home, A Delightsome Life, A Vision To Remember, Life With Lorelai, McCall Manor, Olives n Okra, French Country Cottage, Pin Junkie, Chic On A Shoestring, My Romantic Home, The Cottage Market, DIY Vintage Chic, Blooming Homestead, Pieced Pastimes, One More Time Events, Finding Silver Pennies, Thoughts From Alice, DIY Showoff, Coastal Charm, I Should Be Mopping The Floor, Sand & Sisal, Creatively Living, Plucky's Second Thought, Karen's Up On The Hill, Create With Joy, Strangers and Pilgrims On Earth, Inside the Fox Den, The Dedicated House, Cedar Hill Farmhouse, A Stroll Thru Life, Elizabeth & Co, Ladybug Blessings, Our Home Away From Home, Cozy Little House, Kathe With An E, Savvy Southern Style, Blissful Bee, The Newlywed Pilgrimage, Simply Designing, Ivy & Elephants, Crafty Allie, Handy Man Crafty Woman

22 comments:

  1. Jolena: I so love this post! I'm just like you dreaming of a time when life was less "high-tech" and families mostly stayed in the area where they were born. Alas, we have to accept the world we live in.

    I love the painting that was your mom's and all the other components of your decor. It is adorable. I'm sorry you both lost your moms while you are still so young and am glad your have your church family to help with the loneliness. I have been singing with my church's worship team for over 15 years now and find much joy through this ministry and the camaraderie we share. God bless your husband! I know it's a fun, but challenging, position -- especially if your are working with an all-volunteer team!

    Have a great day!
    Joanie (a blog read in Phoenix)

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    1. Hi, Joanie! I am so glad you visited with me today. Thank you for the kind words. Our church family has been an great blessing over the years and we have been abundantly cared for through them.

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  2. Love your decorations and those little winter houses are precious! Thanks for sharing at My Flagstaff Home!

    Jennifer

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  3. What a lovely post. Like you, I always wanted a huge family. As a kid, my favorite moments were when we were gathered with my father's huge family. But, we have a small family, our parents are no longer with us and we have no grandchildren.

    Family is very important and we embrace our smallness. This year for the holidays, we opted for absolutely no gifts. Instead we took a vacation together to Kauai. None of us remember what we received for Christmas in 2014, but we know we will never forget our crazy adventures for Christmas 2015.

    Thanks for Sharing Your Cup!

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    1. What a lovely idea, a vacation will definitely be remembered! Maybe that is what we will do for next year! Thank you for stopping by and sharing!

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  4. Beautiful decor!! I love keeping some out from Christmas for the Winter...that season stays awhile here in the mountains! :) Thank you for sharing with us at the #HomeMattersParty

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    1. Hi, Jamie. Thanks for stopping by and spending some time with me! My mom used to keep one Christmas item out all year to remind her. Winter in the mountains sounds lovely.

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  5. You've displayed your mom's picture beautifully with the little houses under the glass cloches in front and the lit tree beside. Really speaks to me somehow as does your post - a very interesting read and reminds me to not take the large family gatherings I'm fortunate to have for granted. Your comments about "our family gatherings" in heaven also made me think. Well done.

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    1. Hi Lori! I am so glad you could visit here a while. Families are a blessing for certain and the gathering of them is a joy. Thank you for your kind words. I hope you stop back soon.

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  6. Oh Jolena, that last paragraph brought tears to my eyes, how beautifully said. I am right there with you with not having a family to gather with on Christmas. And of course I long for it. And like you, I thank God for my Church family. So sorry you and your husband have lost your mothers. So glad you have that beautiful painting to remind you of her and your precious memories of her. I really like the birch tree and your houses and how they go just perfect with the painting.
    Thank you for blessing my day with your words.
    Sending hugs,
    Gina

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    1. Hi, Gina. I am so glad for your visit and kind words. I am especially thrilled to know that the Lord has blessed you through this blog.

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  7. Everything is so pretty! Wow!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

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    1. Thanks for visiting with me, Jessica and hosting the party at Plucky's!

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  8. I love your winter decor, so pretty.
    Thanks for sharing this at Cooking and Crafting with J&J.

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  9. Beautiful looks! I like the starfish in the cloche! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

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    1. Thanks, Sherry! I am so glad you could stop by. Thanks for hosting the party!

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  10. What lovely winter scenes and a beautiful sentiment! Thank you for sharing on the Art of Home-Making Mondays! :)

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  11. Lovely scene...makes my heart wish for a family to gather around in love...thank you for sharing !! Jayne (CANADA)

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    1. Hi Jayne, glad you stopped by. Thank you!

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