Friday, December 23, 2011

The Gumdrop Bush

The Gumdrop Bush
by F. Hendrix

     Many Christmases ago in a tiny community of folks in southern Georgia, lived my little family of humble folks in a humble home that was cold but adequate. We didn't have much, but we did have each other and we did share the true meaning of what the Christmas season was all about. Mama always made a huge fruitcake in an old warped dishpan. It was filled with fruit of every color and hue; pecans from our grove and baker's ingredients that she would horde for months anticipating this special day. We always had a monstrous bowl of ambrosia. Living near Florida, we were blessed to have citrus on hand. In it were all manners of fruit, juices, nuts and coconut, my favorite.

     It wasn't always easy for a family who lived from week to week, but we had love and we had one ritual that I always looked forward to. It was the adorning of the Hawthorne bush. Some folk called it a Hawk Haw but no matter, it was a branch from a very thorny bush that grew wild in the swamps there. It had tiny, brilliant orange fruit that we ate as soon as they turned. Mama would send me to get a branch. I remember vividly tearing my arms to shreds with the thorns, but it didn't matter, it was a job that I anticipated and my part would go on so that we could all share in the joy of the treat.

     Mama was a simple woman with a hearty laugh and beautiful eyes that would slant when she smiled. She got as much joy from this decoration as anyone. She would take the branch and rinse it off at the well, then she would plant it in a mason jar of black Georgia dirt and wrap aluminum foil that she had washed, folded and saved for just such an occasion. Next, she would find an old piece of red curly ribbon from many Christmases ago, carefully ironing it smooth and wrapping it around the rim of the jar and into a beautiful bow. Now it was time for the gumdrops. Spiced gumdrops - oh the joy of Christmas- was the candy of Christmas to me! Each thorn on the bush would hold one gumdrop and when finished she would proudly display it in a prominent place in our home.

     As the candies were eaten, she would lovingly replenish them. Everyone who came to our house went straight for the gumdrop bush to admire its beauty and to celebrate the Savior's birth in this season. Life was slow then, the simple decorated bush was glorious and brought our thoughts back to the simplicity of Christ's coming.

     Mama went to live with Jesus many years ago and another gumdrop bush has not been erected until today, December 13, 2011. Here it stands, anhomage to my beautiful mother and her love for her son, a tribute to the Savior who bore the thorns on His head and whose sweet blessings are represented by the candy on...The Gumdrop Bush.

Merry Christmas to you all and blessings beyond your wildest imaginations.

F. Hendrix

Friday, December 9, 2011

My last photo shoot…

… of 2011 !!  It sure was a busy fall season for photo shoots for me, but it is ending just at the right time! I don’t have another shoot until spring and after the very hectic past 3 months, that works for me. I love my job ~ meeting so many wonderful homeowners, seeing such amazing homes, traveling the by ways, highways and back roads with a dear friend to do just that, but it doesn’t end when I pack up my gear and head home. There is a lot to it once I get home from a shoot. I still have so many photos to sort through from the fall and now I will enjoy doing that work on the cold winter days after Christmas in the comfort of my home. The cameras, lights, umbrellas, tripods and extension cords will stay packed away for awhile!

For this shoot, Audrey and I stayed pretty close to home, heading to Sutton, MA.  Once inside Cheryl’s home, it was if we had taken a step back in time!  Her home is believed to have been built in the mid 1700’s and it was fascinating seeing the wonderful antiques she has collected over the years and how well they fit in her period home.

I took plenty of close-ups for you to enjoy since this will be my last sneak peek for awhile!!























And look at this sweet little guy who kept us company all day. He wanted to be in every picture!! Audrey certainly got plenty of snuggle time with him. I think she wanted to take him home!














Thank you Cheryl for opening your wonderful home to Audrey and I so that we can share it with our readers!

Looking at the list of homes we have lined up,  I just have to say that the 2013 Holiday issue is going to have a wonderful mix of prim homes ~ something for everyone!!


It’s not often we have time to do anything else on the day of a shoot but being so close to home, we decided to make a quick stop a local dairy store, driving through the beautiful New England countryside to get there. Old homes along with fields and pastures bordered by hundreds of years old stone walls is such a common sight here in New England but it never gets old for us. 

We found the dairy store after a slight detour by more old homes. Audrey is such an animal lover ~ she found a few friends outside just waiting for her!!  Although they seem to be confused as to whether they are cows or reindeer, Audrey didn’t seem to mind!


It was just another wonderful day on the job!!

Until next time ~ prim blessings and hugs, Linda

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Sneak Peek – Christmas in the Catskills

An early December morning rose bright and unseasonably warm as I headed for the home of Janice & John Elderkin. My trip took me thru the scenic Catskill Mountains of New York, only a hop, skip and a jump from my own home. Janice and John greeted me warmly as I stepped into their beautiful place all decorated for Christmas! John lit the home’s 3 fireplaces while Janice showed me around and I unpacked my equipment. There was lots to do so I got busy while Janice eagerly told me about all the changes she and John had made to their home over the years. Lunch time came before I knew it and Janice treated me to a delicious soup, bread and 2 delectable desserts set out on her beautiful kitchen table. Christmas trees were lit and  decorated all over the house, with Santas peeking at me from around each corner! As the sun was setting and I was packing up, Janice and John presented me with a beautiful wooden candle sconce that they had made! I was so touched! It was a great day and so wonderful to meet 2 new friends!  Please enjoy a few sneak peeks into this gorgeous home!


















Thank you Janice and John for inviting me and the readers of APP & CJ into your home!

Until next time ~ prim blessings and hugs, Karen

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