The first day of Winter, a new season, a new home and the ongoing story. On this day I think of all that. Christmas is such a nostalgic time and we tend to long for days gone by. We pull out the decorations and hang the old ornaments on the tree and we remember. This year we are in a new house. Now I realize for many people changing houses is no big deal. Some have made several moves and find the packing and purging a fairly simple task. I am not one of those people. On December 17th , 1988 Burton and I moved into our not quite finished home. We had been building it for four years and finished or not we were spending Christmas there with our three kids. We’d been living with my parents for five months, the kids sharing a bedroom and Burton and I sleeping next door at my grandparents. The fall had been a challenge and I know I felt it then but when looking back I remember taking it in my stride just fine. We do tend to remember certain things with rose colored glasses. That fact gives me the assurance that I will look back at the challenges we have faced this fall with the same perspective. Now even with the challenges, I have felt a huge amount of gratitude and joy. But along with those emotions I have felt stress, exhaustion and sadness. A huge change has occurred and a much different chapter in our story is being written. Change is hard and requires a lot of positive self talk and kindness. The job is not done even though I wake up every day loving our new surroundings. There is still packing and purging and letting go to do and I find myself a bit envious of those who have done that regularly instead of accumulating thirty four years of stuff. But along with the stuff are the wonderful memories of raising our four children and welcoming our five grandchildren under that roof. We now get to see our youngest son and his fiancé write their own story in the house we built. The rest is just stuff and clutter and in the end the story will be a victorious one of love and fortitude and those stories are the best kind!