From The Life Of Riley: Dec 2015
From The Life Of Riley: Bad News Getting You Down?
The Life of Riley is a blog by Dana Thomas Weber which allows us the reader to transcend into her Life through her words so we get to live a little of the Life Of Riley she is attaining to.
Here is her post from December 6, 2015, we hope to bring more soon.
Outward displays of glistening, perfect, commercial beauty is easy to find this time of year. Finding the true heart and soul of holiday spirit proves to be a little harder. I was delighted to unexpectedly discover it a couple nights ago.
Friday night was Emlenton’s Light-Up night. We walked to Main Street from our house under a sky filled with sparkling stars with our neighbors, Ron and Donna Louise, to reach the majestic pine planted so many years ago. We went for the kids and ended up receiving our own dose of Christmas Spirit. Colored lights were hung and awaiting Santa’s arrival by fire truck. The modest crowd gathered around the tree and an impromptu chorus of Christmas carols broke out. A moment of silence was suggested for Paris and San Bernardino. The sweet voices of young and young-at-heart surely lifted even the darkest of moods. You could feel the goodness in the hearts of all the gentle souls who stood together that December night. Afterward, all were invited to the town firehall for ornament making, pictures with Santa Claus, a magician, hot chocolate and cookies, and almost-extinct small town community bonding.
This is the kind of town where you know your neighbors. The kids play outside until well after dark and residents still take time to talk when passing by. Community churches welcome regular, peaceful congregations. The seasonal events are simple and lack trendy, commercial appeal or crowds and that’s just fine by me. To catch a glimpse of pure joy in the kids’ eyes as they hunt for Easter eggs at Hughes Park, strut around the block in Halloween costumes, wave American flags during the parade of fire trucks on Independence Day, or catch that first sighting of the best Santa Claus you will find (the general consensus is he’s the real deal) is priceless and captures what authentic living in America is all about. Not the America shown on television or movies. Why would anyone want to keep up with that Hollywood standard? Nor is it a downtrodden America our own media goes out of its way to portray.
Lately, we as a global society have been bombarded by bad news. Add that to the season’s silly societal pressures to spend, spend, spend, and rush, rush, rush, to buy so-called perfect gifts, it is enough to make Scrooges of any of us. At some point we all succumb to the distractions. Shame on us. This should be a time of quiet reflection and devoid of stress. If not, there’s a good chance it’s our own fault.
The bad news has always been there and always will be in some form. If you’re watching it non-stop, you’re making yourself crazy. Turn off the television and laptop. The focus on merchandise has reached epic proportions. Take control of the season’s pressures and celebrate December the way you decide. Grinches abound – protect your happiness by ignoring them.
Let’s do ourselves a favor and find the simple joy and peace in our own little part of the world. It will be the best present we ever give or receive. Set aside time (not money) to help lift the spirits of those who have been saddled with bigger burdens. The real magic will occur when we are able to hold onto that peace throughout the year.
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The Tallest Timbers by DANA THOMAS WEBER
Is the simple life so simple?
Lacey Williams is a driven and disciplined Annapolis real estate agent who has created success from scratch. It is, however, a life she has become disenchanted with. Yearning for a simpler way of life, she follows her heart and lesspractical intuitions for the first time in order to seek out her version of a fulfilling life.
There is no turning back once she sells her home, walks away from her career and moves to a rustic cabin in upstate New York....
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