Welcome back to my holiday bash featuring all things Harlequin, today I have Joanna Sims visiting with a very special holiday tribute to her mom called My Mother's Hands. Joanna is sponsoring a giveaway of her recent Brands of Montana, holiday release, Thankful for You. Details below
Is he a big-sky kind of guy?
All Nick Brand wants to see of Montana is a for-sale sign on his family's in-dispute land. That's before the fast-track Chicago lawyer meets the ranch hand who's been hired to help clean up the property. Dallas Dalton can rope a steer, ace a barrel-racing competition…and lasso her way into one smitten bachelor's heart.
Raised on the rodeo circuit, Dallas lives to compete—while guarding against future heartbreak. Now she just wants to muss up Nick's hair and show him how this Western woman is won! The refined attorney is a world away from the rough-and-tumble cowboys Dallas knows. Yet deep down, she and Nick desire the same thing. Is he ready to trade his Eastern view for the big sky with a cowgirl who's through singing the blues?
Joanna is sponsoring a giveaway for
one print copy of Thankful for You
Please Use Rafflecopter form to enter
My Mother’s Hands
Like many of you, Christmas is a time when I miss the people I have lost the most. In particular, I miss my mother, Jean. This holiday season, I have found myself, inexplicably, thinking about my mother’s hands. My mother had the hands of a devoted homemaker, unadorned and often red from the cleaning products she used to keep our house spotless. Those hands were always cold and the phrase “cold hands, warm heart” fit Jean perfectly. She used to chase me around the house with those cold hands, putting them under my shirt when she caught me and pressing them against the warm skin of my back. My mom would sigh with happiness as her cold hands were warmed by my skin, and I would squirm and scream in protest at how freezing her fingers felt on my back. Those were my mom’s hands. I look back now and I am amazed at how those hands toiled for years on my behalf - hanging my clothes out on the clothesline so they dried in the sun and smelled so clean and fresh, cooking a home-cooked meal every night, washing dishes, chauffeuring me from one lesson to another, and tirelessly taking care of me when I was sick. Those were my mom’s hands. My mom’s hands were always busy, every day, working to take care of her home and her family. During the holidays, those hands worked overtime.
Jean loved Christmas, and it showed in the way she decorated the house for the holidays. The inside of our home was transformed into a Christmas wonderland, with every surface occupied by a whimsical holiday decoration. My favorites were the oversized Frosty the Snowman and Santa Clause candles; these candles, which we never lit, were shiny, brightly colored, slick to the touch, and smelled strongly of wax. I looked forward to seeing those candles every year! They felt like old friends. As was my mom’s way, she would bring all of the holiday decorations down from the attic while I was at school. It was part of the joy of the season for my mother to see my reaction, the surprise on my face, when I arrived home to find all of the holiday regalia strewn out in the living room. Christmas was finally here! My mom’s hands shopped for all of our Christmas presents when we were little, hiding them around the house until it was time for her to wrap them. My mom’s hands did all of the holiday grocery shopping, and then prepared all of our favorite holiday fare. Those hands peeled potatoes for mashing, peeled apples for the homemade apple pie, and tore hundreds of little pieces of bread to make homemade stuffing. Those hands made homemade crust for the pies, and her thumbs created a familiar pattern on the edge of every pie. Those were my mother’s hands.
My mother had arthritis in her hands, and I realize now that she must have been in so much pain during the holidays, with all of the wrapping, and chopping, and peeling, yet she never complained. My mom was dedicated to taking care of her family and she always put our needs and happiness ahead of her own. Before my mom became a wife and a mother, her hands were the hands of a registered emergency room nurse. She gave up her career to make a home for her husband and her children - that was her choice. I wonder now, if my mom ever regretted staying home to take care of the house, and the husband, and the children. Being a stay-at-home mom can often be a thankless job, with horrible hours, no vacation time, no sick leave, and no pay. Now that she’s gone, I wish I could go back in time and thank my mom for all of the years of her life she sacrificed to give me a childhood to remember. I wish I could go back in time and give her one last chance to warm her cold, aching hands on my back. I miss my mother so much at Christmas time; this year, I have found myself dearly missing my mother’s hands.
Today's Gonereading item is:
The perfect gift for a book lover
The perfect gift for a book lover
a bookshelf! Click HERE for the buy page