January 22, 2015

Strange words like New Paltz and Esbat

This scene from the New York thruway greeted me at a rest stop.  In our teeny tiny VW car loaded to the hills with dogs and kids and clothes I dug around for my camera.

I tell you, New Paltz, New York had me screech to a halt that evening and look around.  For the following few days my mantra was "if there is beauty found even at a New York rest stop, then life can't be that hard to handle."  And no offense to you, New York rest stops, but I've never previously found you to be so gorgeous.  I'll be looking harder from here on out.

Anyway, that sunset was helpful to my journey because once again, the theme is TEETH.  I'm not even gonna link here, but if you've read here or know me, you know of "the teeth saga".  These particular rounds involve extended visits to Pennsylvania for certain treatments.  Not the worst gig, not the best.  What's something in your life that you need a happy sunset for?  I'll share mine or better yet, head on up to New Paltz, New York if you have the time.

Extra traveling means we are adjusting our home life accordingly. This week we completed our family winter celebrations- they've kind of lingered around incomplete due to house guests, travel, Champ being gone for grad. class... any number of reasons.  It was high time to gather together as a family and complete them, especially since in my mind if we aren't in sync as a family then our life is spinning at way too high a frequency.

  The boys created pinecone birdfeeders to put on our "After Christmas Tree".  We threw handfuls of goodies all around the backyard for our winter critters.  They seemed pleased with our efforts...

The Boxing Day piggy bank was tallied and gingerbread houses smashed.  The house smashing is a ritual initiated by Bear last year.  It doesn't have any significance except that it also uses a hammer, and makes Bear rather proud that he came up with his own tradition.  For those reasons and the fact that it is a method of clean-up, I willingly keep it on the docket.  Ha!

We finished up our mega winter celebration by acknowledging this month's Wolf Moon.  I have much respect for Wicca rituals in that they center so firmly on nature and it's elements.  Sure I'm Catholic, but there's lots of mutual ground within our beliefs!  I loosely follow Esbat ceremonies to help with establishing our own monthly traditions centered around nature and God.

As wolves live in packs, January's moon is a time for celebrating family.  I read (I have this in book form, but it's photocopied and I have no idea of the author) that a simple activity to do is create a family apple wreath, so we sliced up 2 red delicious, sprinkled them with cinnamon, and put them in the dehydrator overnight.  The next day I hung them on a wire and we prayed:

Apples of love, plucked from the tree
secure this family's harmony
bind it fast and make it true
thus remembering God loves you.

For the remainder of the month this apple wreath will be front and center at our dining room table.  To remind us of God's love, love for family, and love for...skillful dentists.


Mama Zen said...

I love the idea of doing an apple wreath!

T.J. said...

and it smells delicious!!!

Emmy said...

How fun to smash the gingerbread house! We just throw ours away. I think my kids would think that is hilarious. Your post almost made me wish for a moment I live in a snowy place. :)

That sunset it amazing!!

smalltownme said...

Gorgeous sunset! My son was in New Paltz last weekend (his girlfriend goes to school there).

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