- charlotte fletcher@roma land woodcrafts
- I LOVE to design and to paint whimsical items that will put a smile on your face. Each day I share my simple life with you as I try to encourage, to inspire and sometimes JUST to make you smile as I recount my life growing up on a dairy farm! I've never had many material items in my life, BUT I have been blessed beyond words with love and encouragement from WONDERFUL Parents who instilled in me WHAT was important. I have had EVERYTHING that I needed and WAY too much of what I wanted. I am slowly learning to be a better person each day through my interactions with my friends on Facebook. Some day I hope to be as good as people seem to THINK I am! I am BLESSED! Welcome to my little corner of the world...Please stop by and visit often!
Monday, December 22, 2014
On the TWELFTH Day of Christmas, Monday, December 22, 2014
I made it 12 days in a ROW…WHEW…thanks for the kind remarks and support…I’ve enjoyed taking a walk down memory lane and yet, there are more trails to follow, but TODAY, I have saved the REAL MEANING of Christmas for last.
I don’t know when it started, but it was a LONG time ago. Our Church started having Come-and-go Christmas Eve Communion. Families were invited to come to the church and take communion (The Lord’s Supper, The Eucharist). The Sanctuary would be lit with the Chrismon Tree and Lights/Candles in the window and Christmas music playing.
We would enter the Sanctuary and sit and wait until it was our time to go to the Altar to take communion and to pray with our Pastor. While the people who were with us changed from year to year, SOME things remained the same. Mother would immediately begin to silently pray and CRY as I am sure she remembered the events of the past year~~the friends lost and gained, trials and tribulations, milestones, Praises…Daddy and I would sometimes look over at her as we both would look at the room and reflect on the year past.
Mother was a woman of GREAT FAITH. Her prayers were beautifully recited and VERY Specific. I was blessed to have a praying Momma…I am SURE that many times when I was where I should not have been, or with people I should not have been with or doing things that I should not have done, it was BECAUSE of her prayers that I was safely returned home.
In the early days of the Christmas Eve Communion, we would attend with good friends, David and Dana Moore, the former pastor of the Church (Central Christian) that was formed from where Daddy attended as a child, and their children. We would go and pray and then on to my house for the Adults to have Oyster Stew, Daddy’s FAVORITE Christmas Eve treat, and LOTS of snacks for the kids. I can remember hearing the Adults chattering and laughing as I and the other kids would sit in the front room, with the lights turned off as we just sat and looked at the lights on the Christmas Tree…THAT remains one of my most favorite past times EVER…to just BE STILL and listen and to reflect.
As I got older, it became only Daddy, Mother and Me and we would do our BEST to arrive BEFORE the Nicholson’s and the Earheart’s arrived with their HUGE families so that we could get back home and finish cooking, wrapping and cleaning BEFORE the family arrived for Christmas Breakfast.
When Daddy died, Mother and I still attended, but it was never the same. Nothing has ever been the same.
Today, as I sit and reflect on memories, much of my heart is sad for what was and I miss it terribly, BUT that does not in any way remove any of the JOY I have for how I was raised and the values I was taught~~NOT by words, but by the actions of my Parents. We were surrounded with GOOD people. We were taught the importance of family and friends. We were SHOWN that GOD was the head of our family and Church activities always took precedence over anything else.
AS an adult, it made me sad to realize that so many people did not get to experience the family that I had. We had little money, but we were surrounded by friends and family to help us during the hard times.
Charcoal (my 10 month old black lab) and Barney(the stray cat) and I will spend the day as we always do~~letting the cat/dog in and out, throwing the rawhide bone, picking up pieces of paper that Charcoal shreds, possibly painting or sketching~~ BUT I will take time to REFLECT on the reason for the season and the GRACE that continues to cover my life. I BELIEVE in the MAGIC of the Season and I will do my BEST to keep the magic alive through the New Year as I continue to search for my place in this world and HOW I can be a better person, friend and citizen. I have no legacy to leave that will make a difference in the world as a whole, BUT I hope that somehow I have made a difference in the lives of those that I come into contact with and that I will BE A REFLECTION of the LOVE of Christ and the LOVE of my parents…
I wish you more BLESSINGS today than you can count…~charlotte♥
2 pints (approximately 32 ounces) small to medium-sized raw shucked oysters with their liquor* (adjust amount according to taste)
4 tablespoons butter
3 cups milk (a little added cream may be added to make it richer)
1 or 2 dashes Tabasco, optional (Mother did not add any)
Salt and pepper to taste
Minced parsley, sliced chives, or sliced green onions (your choice) (Mother did not add any)
The most important factors in preparing Oyster Stew are do not boil the milk and do not overcook the oysters. Be careful to avoid overcooking oysters, which causes them to become tough.
Drain the oysters, reserving their liquor. NOTE: I like to strain the oyster liquor with a fine strainer to remove any sand.
In a large pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add oysters and simmer very gently for about 2 to 4 minutes or until the edges of the oysters curl.
While the oysters are simmering, in a separate saucepan over low heat, slowly heat the milk, cream, and oyster liquor (do not boil).
When the oysters are cooked, slowly add the hot milk mixture to the oysters, stirring gently. Season with Tabasco, salt and pepper.
Remove from heat. Serve in warm soup bowls and garnish each bowl with parsley, chives, or green onions and a generous pat of butter. Serve with oyster crackers!