Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Treasures on the Tree - Cobwebs AND Chats on the Porch

I met my 'soul sister' quite a few years ago. It was uncanny, but the first day I met her I had a feeling that she and I would be very good friends. That turned out to be true. Then... she moved away. Gosh darn... isn't it awful when someone has to move because they need to get a job to earn money?! We try to visit each other once a year, taking turns going through the hassle of air travel.

Several years ago it was my turn to visit. My friend lives in Michigan and she decided that we would go off for a girl's weekend to Frankenmuth, MI. Frankenmuth is called Michigan's "Little Bavaria". It's an enclave of German ancestry that shaped their town to encourage tourism when the Interstate diverted traffic years ago. Now the town is known for quaint German shops, the largest Christmas shop and chicken dinners. We had a wonderful weekend. We talked... and talked... and talked some more. We shopped a bit. We somehow missed the famous chicken dinners, though!
While we were in town we visited Bronner's Christmas shop. Because I spent so much on lovely Christmas goodies I was given this cobweb ornament as a gift. 
Of course, there is a story behind cobwebs on the tree. In fact, there are slightly different versions of the legend, but basically a poor woman (wife, mother) is preparing for Christmas. She doesn't have money for decorations, so, during the night a spider makes a web covering the tree. In the early morning the web is turned to silver and gold. The tree sparkled and shimmered and was even more beautiful than before. That's why we have tinsel on our trees and why every tree should have a Christmas spider amongst it's branches.

Every year, when I pull out my spider web ornament, I am reminded of the fun my friend and I had while visiting each other. Our lives are bound together in many ways with invisible ties, just like a spider web... and, this too, is better than a stink bug!

I bet you have an ornament that brings to mind good memories, too.

Despite the cold weather, Patrice at Everyday Rurality is continuing her Farmhouse Porch chats. I enjoy chatting with others, so will bundle up and join everyone on the porch. Do visit her site to see other answers to the questions... and especially Wendell's thoughts.

1. Where is your favorite place to think, reflect, or pray?

I do a lot of thinking while doing mundane tasks; cleaning the paddocks, driving on long trips, cooking, etc. If I get the chance, I also enjoy sitting in a secluded spot 'out there' - on our property in NC, overlooking a small stream, on a rock outcropping perched high about the ground, on a bench in the woods, for example.
2. Did you believe in Santa as a kid?
I'm supposed to remember that far back?! Yeah... Santa brought stockings filled with all kinds of goodies. I probably realized who really filled the stocking when I was 7 or 8.
3. What's your favorite kind of Christmas cookie? You can add a recipe if you have time.
I love them all - but rarely bake any. If I bake them, I eat them and my weight is always an issue.
4. Did you grow up around any of your grandparents?
I saw my maternal grandmother about once a year, but she lived about 400 miles away. My paternal grandfather and his step wife lived about an hour away. We enjoyed holiday meals with them. My maternal grandmother lived across the country, but I was able to visit for a month at a time almost every summer. Since she lived on a ranch, it was heavenly!
5. What's your favorite winter sport-skiing, skating,sledding, other(?) 
My parents gave my siblings and me skis for Christmas when I was 9. The plan was that we would ski on the hills around the house. My dad originally thought skiing was 'stupid' - but he caught the bug a few months later, came home with equipment for my mom and for himself, and we skied just about every weekend when there was snow to be found, from that time until I graduated from high school. In the beginning, Dad would stay up until the 11:00 news on Friday, and then again on Saturday, to hear the ski reports from areas within driving distance (2-5 hours away). He'd wake us up at the appropriate time so that we could be in the lift line, ready to ski, as the tows opened. After a few years of this exhausting schedule, my parents rented rooms in a home near SnowRidge at Turin, NY. This was about a 3-hour trip from our home. We would drive up Friday evening, ski all weekend, and return Sunday after the lifts closed. I still enjoy skiing and usually get on the mountain only a few times each winter since hubby is not a skier and I don't have anyone to ski with. 


  1. We woke up to a three inch snow...the world is white here.


  2. I was not familar with the spider's web in the Christmas tree tale. Thanks for sharing! However, I *still* do not like spiders and ask Bacot to relocate to the outdoors each one I find inside. Unfortunately, I don't think your tale will change my behavior.


  3. Hello, this is my first visit! I have enjoyed reading your blog today - I had never heard about spiders, webs and Christmas tree - it is a very enchanting story! It is wonderful to have a dear Kindred Spirit friend - I feel I have found so many through blogging - I am happy to be your newest follower,

  4. A few years ago I bought an ornament that reminded me of one we had when I was little (we lost everything when our house burned down in 1969)It's an apple core, with a bird perched on it. The one of my memory was just an apple core, a glass ornament- we had a pear core too. I guess my dad thought they were funny when he bought them but we liked them.

  5. I do a lot of good thinking when mucking stalls too. I like the spider web story. I think I've heard a couple variations on it over the years, but it's a lovely story.Thanks for stopping by!

  6. What a great story behind the cobweb ornament. And a great memory of good times with your soul-sister.

  7. I have heard of that Christmas place in Michigan..I have not heard the story about the spider web..thanks for sharing it! :)

  8. I never heard the spider story before - it's lovely!

  9. I love Frankenmuth! I can't believe that you missed out on the chicken dinner! And Bronners is nice. . .just a wee bit crowded around this time of year. I do like that they personalize the ornaments, though. And they have ornaments for EVERYTHING!

    Also, there is a team of Haflingers that live right outside of Frankemuth! They do parades and stuff. I was eating a a restaurant just outside the city earlier this year and our waitress was their neighbor.

    Glad you enjoyed one of Michigan's quaint little towns. :)


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