Advent is the four weeks before “CHRISTMAS” – a time to reflect and give some thought about the “BIG” event about to take place. This is the four weeks to think seriously – as to what you will do – something that will put you in the correct and right frame of mind – since you will be receiving a most important person – the new born babe, “Baby Jesus!”
This was a time for us “KIDS” – to start doing acts of kindness – even if we might think – “Being nice to the NUNS and the other children would kill us – but to be extra nice – was going to be our “GIFT” to “JESUS” – and even if nobody noticed – we really were trying to be the best child – but – just for the sake of “JESUS!”
Some of the older “KIDS” – who were in the Orphanage – for quite awhile – and were more set into their own way of doing things – just for themselves – had another solution to this time of ADVENT! Here is their special plan – they would “FAST” – do without the candy and sweet treats – that they were offered. To start this special “FAST” – they knew that “TODAY” would be the best day to start.
On the 1st Sunday of Advent – the GREYHOUND BUSES would be in the entry drive of the ORPHANAGE – and all of us children would be dressed in our “SUNDAY” clothes – as well as the “TEACHING NUNS” – all these buses took us to the downtown, Saint Louis “FAMOUS BARR STORE” – and were we ever “HAPPY!” We would sing all the new songs that we had recently learned and we would behave – so that we would be invited the next year, too!
As soon as the bus was in the right location – we left the bus and entered into the “FAMOUS BARR” entrance area for us as well as some of the other ORPHANAGES and HOMES for children – getting on the escalators – floor by floor – till we arrived on the 9th floor, where they have an auditorium – and we were guided into a section for ST. Vincent’s Children – to be seated. A most wonderful “SHOW” and “LIVE PERFORMANCE” – just for all of us kids was presented. For the seven years that I was at the Orphanage – we were always invited – but letters were sent out – and of course – we were told about – the unsatisfactory behavior of some children – which meant that they would not be invited – in the following years. My guess is that the children at St.Vincent’s heard that message and knew that the “NUNS” meant business – who likes losing the very few privileges one gets – anyway???
Over and above this – extra special trip to the downtown – SAINT LOUIS – the part of this trip that meant so much to us “poor” Orphans – was the “GIFTS” we each received! There were some of us who never ever had any “VISITS” from “Parents – Relatives or Friends of the Family” – so this must have meant even more to them! I was one of the “LUCKY” kids – my parents came every SUNDAY and even any other time that they felt like coming out – just to see us – no matter the trouble some of the NUNS would give them???
As we exited the Auditorium – we were directed – boy or girl and by age to a line and you would follow though – there were volunteer store employees dressed as “SANTA’S” helpers – and from a small area in the wall you would receive a “CHRISTMAS” wrapped gift – and you were directed where to follow for your “GROUP” to stay together – and then down the escalators – to the main entrance.
And the best part – you waited for – as you were ready to leave the “STORE” you were handed a “STOCKING FULL of CANDY” – out the door of the best store in town “FAMOUS BARR” – follow through to your bus and your seat – behave – sing songs and start to day dream – “CHRISTMAS” is coming!
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“HIP- HIP! HOORAY!” “3 CHEERS – for the COOKS!”
Sure hope that you remembered to say “THANKS” for whoever made the best of meals this year – and you were there to enjoy and have lots of “FUN!”
This picture was taken several years ago and this senior chef with her very helpful assistant – the two of us pulled off another big feast – for everyone to enjoy???
In this picture you can see – that – it does not pay to wear something ” all white” – and then – stand near the refrigerator??? This is not the best of pictures, since it is a copy and I will have to locate the original – just to see who’s – who and what’s – what??? This is a quick item – since we are still doing things with the last of the turkey!
Sometimes “Turkeys” can last longer – than you want – but they do make good sandwiches – in a hurry! Hope that you are also – enjoying the last of your “Turkey! – TOO???
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The day after “THANKSGIVING” – are you asking yourself – “Did we get too much Turkey – since we had to go to several homes for dinner – and we were expected to eat as if – we were really – ready for a full- course feast???”
That’s the way is goes each year – Sometimes – you are invited for a “SUNDAY Thanksgiving Dinner” – and then on “Thursday – Thanksgiving Day” – you are expected to be at three (3) more homes ! You have to put on your “HAPPY” ready to eat lots of “TURKEY” face – and you are feeling so “STUFFED” – You just don’t know – ” where do I put” another dinner???
Here’s the solution — the month before start doing without “LUNCH” – and see if you lose a pound or two – and if you are not losing – try a few liquid meals! – Need to do something faster – just eat an “APPLE” cut in very thin slices for one meal ! Next day make it two apple meals – your cut-up and very thin slices of apple! An “APPLE” a day keeps the “DOCTOR” away and you will be regular, too !!! It will be for a couple of weeks – and you will start looking so good and fit – – – that you may want to do the “APPLE” a meal thing – even after “Thanksgiving” just so you can look and really begin to feel – like the active person you know you can be – only if you want??? The main idea – is to be the “LIFE” of the party at each dinner – enjoy what you are doing – take part in everything – everyone will love your company — guess what – they will ask to come back – next year!
“The name of the – GAME – is to have “FUN” and share – it is also – called making “MEMORIES!”
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The greatest “GIFTS” that we have – can not be bought with money! These most wonderful “GIFTS” are given freely to us from Almighty Yahweh! And I’m betting that we do not see these GIFTS – and forget to give “THANKS” – and the true way to really give your “THANKS” – is to give your “LOVE” with your utmost “KINDNESS!”
The above photo is “ME” with the greatest “GIFTS” that I could have ever received – there was never – a way for me to have even thought to ask – because – what I received – is abundantly – more than I could have dream possible for me to have received. Thanks – Almighty Yahweh – for the “GIFTS” of Grand-children – Alyssa – Alan – Jaime … surrounding me – – – like… shinning “STARS!”
In the above picture – you can see that I am looking a lot better than yesterday’s picture – which was taken shortly after being in the hospital The difference is having received lots of “LOVE” with the greatest “KINDNESS” that an old Grandma – could ever hope to receive!!!
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When you are in your “70’s” and have – just had two major surgeries – within a month’s time – – you can see how terrible I look – – I’m guessing that I’m here and on borrowed time – but all the big “SMILES” – are so encouraging – they are giving me strength – to carry on with whatever the Almighty wants for me to do – before I get my “CALL” to come home!
This is the “TIME” of year – to remember to give “THANKS” – for all of your “BLESSINGS” – especially if you are not in the habit of giving Thanks – daily??? I feel that for all of the Thanks – that I remember to give – that – that is why I feel that I am continually “Blessed” – way far and beyond – what I could really – even think that I should receive? It is in the “BIBLE” – You will receive way more than you give – so that is one reason to be extra generous!
Since this – the above picture – has been taken with my son, Al’s family – over-looking – SUNSET PARK – an at SUNSET time – my health has improved and I feel – that I also look better. “With the Almighty – all tings are – possible!”
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Thank You – Almighty Yahweh” – for putting me with this earthly family – that You knew – that I would be very satisfied with – for all of my “LIFE” here – and for me to be a part of Your Family – for all eternity! I do not know nor understand how all our living – working here on earth – it is a “Mystery” – not ours to reason why – but to learn and – to obey Your Commandments and follow Your word in the bible – Your Manuel – which has so many nuggets of information – for us – if we but decide early in “LIFE” to seek You!
This picture is taken in front of the “German St. Vincent Orphan Home” in the 1940s – I am taking this picture – I feel that this is a very good picture of “MY FAMILY” – and I have always been very proud to be a part of the “McClarren Family!” (L to R) – Tom, brother – Denny, Sr., my Father – Denny Jr., brother – Marie, My Mother.
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