Happenings in Christine's World

Short stories of life, thoughts, and feelings


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Experiencing the Seasons of 2012

Since the beginning of this year I have set the goal to consciously take in every possible moment I could of each season. That meant taking the time to notice the white clouds floating across the pale blue sky; little green specs turning into green leaves and watching cherry blossoms bloom. I inhaled the fresh scent of lavender lilacs. I saw the return of robins, bluebirds and yellow finches. I saw my lovely red, yellow and pink rose bushes bloom. I took in the scent of the wild honeysuckle that grows on my wooden fence. 

During mid-summer I witnessed butterflies fluttering over my butterfly bush and my corn flowers. Soon large bumble bees appeared as well as funny looking bees that looked like some sort of humming bird, but learned it was a type of moth. 
In late summer my morning glories and moon flowers bloomed on a daily bases. I loved looking at my morning glories each morning to see how many bloomed and in the evening I looked for moon flower blooms. 
Soon the summer eased into the fall and leaves began to turn a golden yellow, burnt orange and burgundy. The color of the leaves seemed to be more vibrant this year, but maybe that’s because I didn’t take as much time to admire them in years past. Soon the rain came and the wind blew and the leaves were gone. This autumn we got to see how devastating Mother Nature can be with Hurricane Sandy when she hit the northeast coast of the United States and wiped away shorelines leaving many without electric for days, but worse, she demolished homes from her strong winds and high waves and took lives. 
Snow did fall once prior to the official start of winter, but since winter officially started on December 21 snow has fallen three times-giving the area in which I live a white Christmas – just like the song sung by Bing Crosby. 
Fortunately, I was able to capture many of these seasonal events in pictures and video. 
My hope for 2013 is that I will once again take the time to consume each season and find peace in the moments. 
Wishing all my family and friends a happy 2013 and be sure to take in as many priceless moments as possible. Once they’re gone – they are gone and no amount of money can buy them back. 
Love and hugs.
PS – I will be posting photos to my Picasa photo site.


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Winter Solstice is Joined by a Full Lunar Eclipse

The NASA website says “For 72 minutes of eerie totality, an amber light will play across the snows of North America, throwing landscapes into an unusual state of ruddy shadow”.
The “ruddy shadow” begins at 1:33 a.m. EST on December 21 (first day of winter), with eart’s shadow taking a “bite” out of the lunar disk. The “bite” is dark red and will completely cover the moon at 2:41 a.m. EST and will last 72 minutes.
According to the NASA website, the best time to view the eclipse is at 3:17 a.m. EST when the moon “will be in the deepest shadow, displaying the most fantastic shade of coppery red. 
First Day of Winter
With the longest day taking place on June 21st, the shortest day is usually on December 21st, but does vary. This is when days begin to become shorter. This is good news for those who suffer from the winter blues. The day is best known as the Winter Solstice.
For thousands of years this day has been celebrated by several different cultures. In Norse legend  the day is referred to Jul. Old Europe referred to the day as Yule and to the western world it is known as Christmas.
The Circle Sanctuary website states that “Most of the customs, lore, symbols, and rituals associated with “Christmas” actually are linked to Winter Solstice celebrations of ancient Pagan cultures”. 
 The Winter Solstice celebrates the birth of the new solar year. Some of the rituals are: 
  • exchanging gifts with family & friends 
  • decorating your home with lights of green, white, & red 
  • hanging a Yule wreath on your front door and a mistletoe indoors in a doorway. 
  • spread sunflower seeds outside to feed the birdsgreet 
  • at dawn ring bells
 As you can see, many of the celebrations are very much what we do to celebrate Christmas.
For more information on how the Winter Solstice is celebrated see Celebrating the Seasons.
According to guardian.co. uk the last time a total lunar eclipse occurred during winter solstice was in 1638.