~Cozy Customs~

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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Heart Warming Traditions: by multi-published author Mary Manners!

The older I get, the more I reflect on the traditions of my childhood. Not the big things, but those little things that lay nestled in my heart like spoonfuls of warm chicken noodle soup. My mom always made a double-chocolate cake layered with vanilla pudding and chocolate chips for each of my birthdays and my dad’s ode to the Fourth of July was a lighted flare staked in our tiny front yard as my siblings and I cheered and clapped with glee.
I always waited for Dad to come home from work, sitting on the front steps with a scuffed and tattered baseball clutched in my hands. It was his tradition to toss a few pitches to me before going into the house to greet Mom and wash up for dinner. And, on snowy Chicago winter days Dad made it a tradition to help me run my paper route with his beat-up Chevy station wagon. He’d drive through the snow while I bundled the papers and tossed them onto front porches. It was then I soaked in his best advice, “If you’re going to do a job, do it right.”
I’ve carried on some of the traditions of my childhood with my daughter. For example, when Danni turned seven I bought her first two-wheel bike and taught her to ride, same as my parents did for me and each of my siblings on our seventh birthdays. I also make her a lunch for school, same as my mom did each and every morning for years. Sometimes I tuck a note inside.
My husband and I have also begun a few of our own family traditions. We love leaving little notes for each other—taped to the car’s steering wheel, tucked beneath a bed pillow, at the dinner table, slipped into a pocket or shoe. The favorite Danni and I share is notes on the bathroom mirror. When she started to drive, I began to leave sticky notes for her each morning. “Have a great day. I love you. Be safe.” She framed the mirror with them, and then one day the notes disappeared. I thought she’d thrown them away, but later cried when I found she’d tucked each one carefully into a shoebox for safekeeping.
Traditions are the vines that connect memories and lives. What traditions do you share with your family…your friends?
Sometimes the last thing we think we need is exactly what God has planned.

After the death of his parents, Jake Samuels has enough on his plate—including a fledgling church to lead and a mischievous younger brother to raise. The last thing he needs is a rambunctious woman to contend with.

Carin O'Malley is dealing with the death of her brother and a new job as an English teacher at East Ridge Middle School where Corey Samuels reigns as King of Chaos. The last thing she needs is to fall in love with a man...especially a handsome and complicated preacher like Corey’s brother Jake.

But when Corey's antics toss Carin and Jake together, the two must draw from God’s wisdom to find refuge in His perfect plan for them.



  1. This is a wonderful story of love and commitment on many different levels. I loved it!

  2. Such wonderful traditions, Mary! I remember waiting for my Dad to come home from work every day, as well. He'd get out of the car, his old lunch pail in one hand, keeping the other one free because he knew I was going to fly into his arms and wrap both legs around his waist. LOL He always took those pink and white Snowball cupcakes for lunch...and he always brought one of them home for me. So many memmories. So much love. :D Funny, the little things we never forget.

  3. Mary, you're so right - it's amazing how when we look back on our lives and the moments that shape it, most often it isn't the "big stuff" that means the most, it's the detail, and tradition, of what we do day-by-day. What an awesome reminder to open our eyes to ALL the wonders of our lives - big and small!! God bless you, and CONGRATS on WISDOM TREE - what an incredible book! ( I should actually say books -- plural -- because the accompanying devotional is amazing! I've enjoyed every moment!! )

  4. Hi Mary, love the traditions! I used to have a collection of stickers and would apply one each day to the kids' lunch bags. They're both grown up now but I still stuff Christmas stockings and Easter baskets for them...as well as their kids! I'll never stop dying Easter eggs either LOL. Lots of good memories going on right now inside my head. Thanks!

  5. I love this. We have some of those traditions, too. They mean so much.