My sons were shooting skeets (clay pigeons), and the grandkids were watching them. My daughter-in-law and I were cleaning up the kitchen when she mentioned that she wanted to see the new Wal-mart in town. Now, I don’t like this behemoth of a store, but shopping in a small town is limited, and where she lived had even less choices. I’d bought some Christmas lights that I didn’t like and wanted to return, so I said, “Hey, let’s go. You can shop and I can return these lights.” ...more

Remembering Christmas

I was raised in a large family---a lot of love but not much money. Extravagant gifts were not an option. We had to find other ways to make our holidays merry and bright. Now I find that many of the things we did are right in vogue as people look for ways to consume less, enjoy more, and live more gently on this earth. ...more

Happy Chinese Christmas

It's amazing. Go to the store and look for Christmas decorations. Find something you like. Then look at the tag to see where it was made. Odds are 99-1 that it was made in China. I find it frightening. I'm not a "close-all-our borders-and-patrol-with-guns" fanatic. But even if I didn't already know it from listening to NPR, it's evident that a lot of what used to be "made in America" has shiipped out to Chinese factories and workers. ...more

Thanksgiving and Iraq

Today I shopped for Thanksgiving dinner and the weekend to follow. My grocery cart was full and as I pushed it to my car, another woman shopper stopped at the car next to mine. She surveyed my full cart, then her own. "I sometimes wonder if Thanksgiving is worth all the trouble," she said. "I've felt the same way sometimes," I told her. "But this year one of my sons is coming home on leave from Iraq, so it is well worth every bit of trouble to me." She stared a moment, then nodded. "You're right. It's worth every minute." ...more