Here I Sit

Merry Christmas from my heart to yours – may this season bring you the opportunity to simply sit and watch the beauty of the moment.


Here I sit, gazing at our tree.








Here I sit in the home of my childhood. Some things are different; the bathroom has been redone,  ceramic tile has replaced the original terrazzo, and a big screen TV sits upon the huge wooden console model that my daddy refuses to retire; however, even with changes so much has remained the same that each visit is a bit like stepping back in time.

Here I sit, a few days before the 25th, celebrating an early Christmas One with the Roberts’ tribe before spending Christmas Two with just us in our little home before having a late Christmas Three in Georgia with the Veatch clan.  Such a busy time should find me exhausted, but being here, here in this house, fills me with a sense of calm.


Plaid Is The New Black

Plaid – The New Black

Here I sit, watching my daddy. Each visit finds him moving a bit slower. While the rest of us sweat in shorts, he feels chilly and wears his flannel shirt to guard against the whirring of the AC. This is his 87th Christmas; his stories from Decembers long past seem crisper than those of last year. And yet his voice is clear as he talks with my boys about lacrosse or shares his disbelief that Nathan’s driver’s license cost $42. His permit, procured at the age of 16—1942—from the Manatee County Court House, cost nothing and didn’t even require a test. Nathan laughs at the thought.



another year . . . another puzzle

Here I sit, watching my family work on a jigsaw puzzle, a Christmas tradition. This year’s is a Nativity scene. A card table is slap-dab in the middle of the den, blocking the TV that is currently airing a Hallmark holiday special. No one is really watching, but the slightly muted voices provide a comforting hum in the background.  My sister is full of activity, tidying up the little things, busy as always. Her gift of quiet service makes family gatherings tick along. Papa is gathering up the newspapers to place them in the recycling bin. Mama is mixing her famous potato salad. This year’s early Christmas feast is take-out barbeque—it’s just too hot to cook—but only mama’s potato salad will do as a side.

The girl.

The Girl.

Here I sit, watching my son as he watches a girl, a girl named Heather. I watch Sam touch the small of her back as he guides her to the table, I watch him pull out her chair as we sit to eat, and I watch him delight in her delight. I watch her meet our Papa for the first time and listen as Papa asks the questions of who and what and when and where and how. He wants to know her story. I am awash with emotions as I observe something wonderful unfold. I watch and my heart is full.



Christmas in Kenya, circa 2003

Here I sit, knowing time is a blur and realizing once again that this moment, this moment right here, this one, is the only one that exists. This moment is eternal. The blur of Christmases past—my childhood holidays in this very room, later seasons spent in strange-to-me places, remembrances of our sons’ early years, their young eyes wide-with-wonder at filled stockings and twinkling lights—all of those moments have led to this one, this very moment. Christmases past are precious memories, Christmases to come are illusions, but this one, this one is real.

Here I sit. I close my eyes and treasure it all, the sights, the sounds, the smells. I wonder how I could ever think this wasn’t sufficient – those self-absorbed times when I’m tempted to believe there is greener grass in a different pasture, that I need something more than I have. I do not. Grace is this moment and it is more, more than enough.

Here I sit, and there is no where else I’d rather be.


Filed under Conversations

25 Responses to Here I Sit

  1. Julie Perez

    Loved this, Sheila. Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes about Christmas: ” Christmas isn’t a season. It’s a feeling.” Love you, Jules

  2. Haley

    I love this! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  3. Kathy Linn

    I’ve done it again, when I’ve told myself not to – read your post while I’m at work and now I’m trying to dry my eyes before anyone sees me crying! Such simple observations, but they tug at the heartstrings, especially when so much of what you describe is gone for me. My parents passed on many years ago now and my childhood home no longer even exists. My brothers and sister are scattered in various directions and this will be my first Christmas with one of my sons elsewhere! Life is good and Christmas will be wonderful with my husband and my older son and his new wife, but I can’t help but long for Christmases with big family gatherings!

    • Kathy – sorry for your tears, but so encouraged that my words touched you. Thanks for letting me know! I recognize that I am really blessed to not only still have my parents, but my sister and brother are nearby as well. Life changes, people age, and it’s good to simply rest and embrace the now. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  4. Susan

    So sentimental and sweet – it’s the little things that mean the most. May the Lord continue to bless you, your beautiful family, and your gift of writing in 2014. Merry Christmas!

  5. Peggy Sammons

    “The girl”…she really does seem to be the one.

  6. Deb

    Loved this.. Here I sit in Mont Albert with our daughter, Melanie, and her family, after just just coming in from watching our two oldest grandchildren sledding, lots of “awesomes” and “totally wickeds”…Treasuring these times too..
    Love your posts, Sheila.. They are always “awesome” …love to all of you at this magical time…

    • Memories abound. I’m actually heading to the beach to read-it’s low tide and 80′- then we’re feasting on chicken enchilladas while watching classic Christmas movies. It’s all good. Merry Christmas to you and your dear ones!

  7. Pat

    I grabbed my Sonic sweet tea, and put my feet up, to sit with you for a few minutes. So beautiful, I read it twice.
    Your writing/ story telling never ceases to amaze me. It makes me feel ad tho I am right there with my Florida cousins.

    May all 3 of your Christmases be Merry & Bright

  8. Patty

    Dear Sheila, So much I would like to say in response and cannot seem to find adequate words. Thank you, for expressing so beautifully-on behalf of those of us, who feel deeply, see what you see. Who desire as well, to savor and celebrate this very moment. Merry Christmas(es)….One, Two and Three!

    • Patty – the older I get, the dearer the moments come. It seems like sometimes I’ve wasted days, weeks, waiting for something, all the while missing the moments that were right there all along. Hope to see you a moment over this break. xxxooo

  9. Ilinke

    Beautifully written….so well said. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  10. Dee

    Sheila ~ you are always such an inspiration and I love to read your stories. So encouraging. As I remember back over the years, so much has changed, especially with family scattered all over and the loss of loved ones. But sweet, sweet memories. Now we’ll cherish each moment we have with those that are together this year and make new memories. Thank you for your insights and please keep the stories coming. Merry Christmas

    • Dee – thank you for loving my stories. Thank you for loving me. Yes, this busy life means things don’t remain the same. I saw a photo of you and Alton and your kids and grand-kids. Beautiful. xxxooo

  11. emily

    I love this. I love you.
    I wish I could sit with you…..
    Thank you for the reminder to embrace what is.
    I am inspired to post about our Christmas as it is….. 🙂

  12. Erin F

    Beautiful writing again Sheila. Thank you for allowing me to take a moment to reflect on past Christmases and how special this one is for me. Merry Christmas to you and your family!!

  13. Pat

    Reading again <3

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