One of my most favorite things about the turn of a new year is breaking out a brand new journal to use. As I closed the cover on my 2008 journal, which I purchased at the Walter’s Art Gallery in Baltimore a few years ago (it is black with a rubber type cover which is etched with hieroglyphics), it was easy to pick my next one. It was a Christmas gift from my sister this year and has Owls on the cover and each of the pages within it are decorated in different way, which will keep it interesting throughout the year.
There is something magical and mysterious about a brand new journal. Full of such promise. You never really know where life will take you and what will be chronicled within them. I have a feeling about 2009. As I placed my 2008 journal on the shelf with all of my other journals that have been filled, I realized that it was the tenth one I have finished. The first one having been started in 1997, I have over ten years worth of my life chronicled by hand. It feels like a milestone. It feels like a commitment I made and stuck too. Like my how I am about my family and my job. There is a part of my writing life that I do consistently. I journal.
I took a gander down memory lane, because I had remembered a cute little story from many Christmas’s ago about my Grandma and Grandpa. As I sat with my Mom, Grandma, and Sister for Christmas dinner…our second one without Grandpa...I was trying to remember when I had chronicled this story. Turns out…it was exactly ten years ago. Below is a snip-it from a 21 year old vintage Joy…
December 24, 1998
Today was like something out of a sweet movie from the 1950’s. My grandparents are still the cutest couple I know. The day started off with my Grandpa saying that even though the two of them decided not to exchange gifts – he thought he’d better do something. So I went to the basement to the old chiftrobe and brough an old card he had given her in 1955. It was beautiful – they don’t make cards like this anymore. It basically said that everyday was Christmas with you – so Grandpa signed it again saying that it still is. He also slipped a $50 bill in the card hidden in the back layer of the card.
He was really excited about surprising her. Later in the afternoon he snuck it downstairs after wrapping it in some red tissue paper he found on my desk. As he walked to the Christmas tree, he had hidden the boxed card in his flannel shirt. My grandma stopped him to give him a hug – but he had to turn away because then she would have known about the gift. Grandma was upset by this, but he went back and gave her a hug.
Later that evening, Grandma motioned over to me to help her find a tag and bow for her card to Grandpa and she told me to try and sneak it under the tree so he would not see it. She was so thrilled to death about surprising him. What a wonderful thing for me to be a part of. Such a magical Christmas. It was cute that each of them were telling me about the other and how much they thought the other was slowing down and growing older. Needless to say – when we opened gifts – we saved theirs for last.
Grandma cried and was so sweet about the card - - we had to tell her to shake the card so the $50 would fly out. Grandpa was so shocked about his card too – and was choked up already as soon as he saw Grandma starting to cry. What a wonderful family to be a part of. Grandma gave Grandpa $50 too – so neither lost a thing.
Be relieved…I spared you from the 21 year old mindset of how I went on to write about…oh who I am kidding…I’ll share that silliness with you too. Be warned…there is much youth and hope in the following. Get ready to cringe…here is some more vintage Joy. Remember your early twenties?
I hope that one day too, I will be able to have my soul mate make me cry on Christmas after 51 years of marriage – by simply giving me a card and holding me while we think of our younger days while staring into a fire burning not only between us but in the fireplace as well. You know…the ever famous him.
So…here I am 10 years later. Still wondering who that ‘ever famous’ him is and is he really any closer to finding his way to me? You never know I guess. I wonder if that is why 2009 will be so magical. Or…maybe it is just that I’ll finally finish a novel. I must get back to Lolly Friar. If I can’t find my someone this year…then she surely must!!!