Saturday, January 2, 2016

The Blessing Box of 2015

Last year I started with the little box on the right and the journal on the left. We had decided to put in the little blue box slips of paper about good things that happened during the year. As the process evolved, we decided to put in ticket stubs from events and any pennies or coins found on the road. Then I realized thank you notes were a blessing and soon, that little box was too little. So, we graduated to the bigger box but keeping the little one for the small stuff.

The journal is our "Do Good Journal". It is just for George and I to record good deeds we have done throughout the year. I was on the fence as to whether we should do it again, but George said he thought it kept us grounded and more focused on continuing to do good. So, the tradition will continue.

On New Year's Eve, we opened the Blessing Box to remember our past year. Here is what we found:
It was so much fun to look over the contents and reminisce. Due to health issues, we had to postpone a two week vacation that we had hoped to take...maybe this year. But George was so shocked at all we did. He said, "It seems like we don't do anything." Oh, quite the contrary. We do a lot.

It was funny how we even forgot some of the things we did. It was a great reminder. I encourage you to do this. It is going to be a new tradition now. I realize there were other blessings I should have written up as they happened and this year we will be more intentional. Now for those of you Pandora's out there who are more curious, I will let you in to reveal the contents in detail. Those who don't care, can stop reading now.

These are in no particular date order.

We love plays and we went to thirteen together and I went to one without him. For some reason the program for "Thoroughly Modern Milly" is missing but we had the ticket stubs to remind us, as we often found ourselves saying, "Was that this year?" Here's the list:
"Thoroughly Modern Millie" Simsbury Dept. of Performing Arts February
"International Playwrights Festival", Nancy Marine Studio Theatre, October
"Dogfight" Nancy Marine Studio Theatre, May
"Assassins the Musical", Nancy Marine Studio Theatre, September (We took Dad and he liked it.)
"Camelot" at the Bushnell (Tiffany treated me). April
"Two by Two the musical" Goshen Players (one of our favorite venues and went with friends from church) April
"Black Comedy" Northwestern Theatre November
"The 39 Steps" Nancy Marine Studio Theatre January
"I Never Saw Another Butterfly" Simsbury Dept of Performing Arts (This was by accident. We knew Simsbury had a comedic play but we thought it was at the high school. Instead it was at Eno Memorial Hall in Simsbury. This play was at the high school at the same time and so time made us see this one--a far cry from a comedy.) April
"A Christmas Carol" Riverton  December
"Greetings" Goshen Players (with Ben & Jess) Nov.
"It's a Wonderful Life" Goodspeed Opera House (our first time there)  December
"It's a Wonderful Life, A Live Radio Play" Mark Twain House  December
"It's a Wonderful Life, A Live Radio Play" Farmington Valley Stage Company (We thought we would be seeing the same play but with different actors, but it turned out the same actors put it on here. It was still great and we brought Dad.)  December

Not a play, but we went to the Windsor Senior Center's 1st Annual Talent Show and my Dad did a comedy routine. It was great.

Boar's Head Festival January
Home Show at XL Center where friends had an award winning display March
125th Anniversary of the Dedication of the Winsted Soldier's Monument September
Book talk "Connecticut Yankees at Antietam" at Whiting Mills September
Rockcats (June and August)
Star Wars Movie 3D Imax (Debbie with Dad and Ben) December
Bronx Zoo (with Dad and Ben) August
Cab Calloway Infinity Hall (with Kayden, compliments of Tiffany) October
West Point Dress Parade (Senior bus trip) hot day in May
Vietnam War 50th Anniversary Commeration July
The Big E (a tradition for 40 years) September
Timexpo the Timex Museum (which I believe has now closed)
Boston/Quincy Adams homestead Barkhamsted Senior Mystery Trip  June
Lighthouse Cruise Rhode Island June
"War Room" movie August
"Minions 3D" The first movie by myself at a late evening showing almost all alone in the theater July
"Hotel Transylvania" with the grandkids (girls first move) November
An evening with Edgar Allan Poe portrayed by Campbell Harmon in East Granby (fantastic!)
1,000 Islands trip with Barkhamsted Seniors: 1,000 Island boat tour, Singer Castle, Boldt Castle, Canal boat ride in the Erie Canal
Collinsville Hot Celebration July
Colebrook Fair
Suffolks Downs Horse Racing October
4th of July Parade in Barkhamsted  July
Veteran's Day Parade in Hartford  November
"With Charity for All" Lincoln impersonator Howard Wright (excellent!) NCCC September
3rd Annual (1st for us) Cemetary Walk  the "old Burying Ground" Winsted October
Christmas Candelight Service Washington Hill UMC  December
Christmas Eve Service Praise Christian Fellowship  December (and note every Sunday too)
Fort Adams
New Bedford Museum
"Taken 3" movie with Dad and Ben too January
There were other events, but I was not as diligent to put the receipts in here.

We were in three different newspapers this year for three different reasons! One for the Independence Day parade where Ben was interviewed and mentioned his Dad riding with the Veterans. George was interviewed at the Veterans Day Parade in Hartford. I was in for my winning an apple bake off for an apple cake.

The fan was from the Civil War book talk. The orange candle holders I won from a math quiz on our bus trip (and math is not my strong suit!). I also won $50 on a lottery ticket that was given to me for my birthday (biggest ever!). The bags in the picture are sea glass and rocks that we picked up on beaches (his and hers). George won two free meal tickets to the New Hartford Senior lunch. Nine pennies we found. I also have two stones--one from the Cove and one from Soldier's Monument.Won passes to Lake Compounce at the Penny Auction in Barkhamsted.

We received birthday cards, anniversary cards, get well cards, invitations and thank you notes. Emails don't look like this!

Other special events:
Kayden's Baptism
Ben & Jess got engaged
Arielle and Arianna came into our lives
Ashlee's Graduation party
Gracie's 6th birthday party
Lisa's 50th birthday party
Senior Christmas party at the Cornucopia and got to dance with George on the same dance floor that we danced on 40 years earlier on our wedding day.
George's family presented us with a special cake for our 40th anniversary at a family picnic.
Women's Tea at church where we exchanged mugs. With lucky ticket number 13, I received a nice country bear mug from Jaimee.

There were notes of other things that happened...getting Ben a free Craftmatic bed on freecycle. We got a beautiful new black refrigerator. Our car was totaled but and we got more money than we would have if we sold it, so we were able to buy a newer car, the Santa Fe. I was pleased to sell a book that I bought on spec at at tag sale for twenty-five cents in 2009 and finally sold it for $49.99. We had a pretty good year selling books on Amazon, a fun little hobby. Our box also included fortunes from fortune cookies. "As the purse is emptied, the heart is filled." And how about this one: "Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings while the dawn is still dark." I think that is the deepest fortune I have ever found in a cookie. What a great thought to start a new year in. And I have faith that these boxes will be filled by the end of the year. When you focus on all the good that happens in a year, you realize it wasn't as bad as you thought, in fact, it was pretty darn good.

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