Posted tagged ‘trees’

“As long as we know in our hearts what Christmas ought to be, Christmas is.”

December 17, 2017

It was freezing cold last night, down to 19˚, and it is freezing cold right now. Today’s high will be 24˚ though I think calling it high is a misnomer. I’m glad for the de-icer on the front steps as the two steps are dry and safe for both paws and feet. The day is pretty with a blue sky and sun but both are best seen through the window. I am staying warm and cozy right here.

I don’t have a list for today. My laundry got done yesterday, a miracle for me as it usually sits a while, the house is decorated, presents wrapped and the cards written. Maybe I’ll decide what to make for Christmas or maybe I’ll just sit in the living room with the tree lit and read a bit.

When I was a kid, each day closer to Christmas made me even more excited. I remember watching Santa Claus on TV every afternoon, and he’d do a countdown to Christmas Eve, his busiest day of the year. He’d read letters from kids, tell stories and show off new toys. I don’t even remember if I thought he was the real deal or not. I was never skeptical about Christmas. I believed everything.

I do love Christmas. My house is awash with decorations. The living room tree is as tall as it can be and still accommodate the star at the very top. Other trees, mostly wooden, are strewn around the house. The scrub pine in the dining room is lit every evening. The small wooden tree on the side table has white lights wrapped around it as does the driftwood tree in the bathroom. They all look so very lovely when lit. They make my house feel warm even on the coldest nights.

I seem to have run out of films of A Christmas Carol to watch. My number sits at six. Today I’ll watch another favorite of mine, The Bishop’s Wife. I know I’ve seen all these movies many times, but I still look forward to seeing them again. The Christmas season does that to me: it keeps the wonder alive.

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”

May 16, 2016

Home! Gracie and I got home late yesterday afternoon. It had been a wonderful visit for both of us. Gracie had Bill who walked her every day and Peg who fed her goodies. Peg and I went to the glass blowing shop where I bought some Christmas presents and to a wonderful craft fair where I bought more presents and some stocking stuffers. I also bought myself a few things, that seemed only right. All the area around Mont Vernon where Bill and Peg live is lovely. There are dairy farms, lots of wooded areas and old houses, big old houses. A few miles from their house is a wonderful view from the top of a hill. Stretched out before me were hills, small hills, tall hills and some hills tall enough to be called small mountains. The hills were different color greens and looked like a landscape painted on canvas. The sky was blue and the clouds had the most wonderful shapes. I stopped for a few minutes at the top of the hill to take in that wonderful view.

We laughed a lot, Bill, Peg and I. We share so many memories and have made a few more. Bill said he always wondered how they knew I was coming to visit them in Tafo, in Ghana. I always wondered the same thing. We figured it must have by mail, and in Ghana it was truly snail mail. I used to visit them on my way home from somewhere, usually Togo. I always took the train. They moved to my school for our second year. That’s when we had so many adventures.

The trees near Boston and on the South Shore are filled with leaves. I could see them rippling and turning when the wind blew, but as I continued toward the cape, the trees got barer. By the time I crossed the bridge, I was seeing trees with buds and tiny new leaves. Spring is slow to come to Cape Cod.

A dump run is coming up, and I have a wash to do. Everything is as it was.

“…freshly cut Christmas trees smelling of stars and snow and pine resin – inhale deeply and fill your soul with wintry night…”

December 1, 2015

Today is a dreary day with dark grey clouds and maybe some rain this afternoon. We can look forward to that forecast for the next three days. It is that same storm which dropped snow and left ice all over the Midwest. We are too warm for the snow and ice for which I am thankful.

So many houses are already lit for Christmas that any ride is a light ride. Last night I took a few side roads on my way home from getting bread and dinner. Many houses have gone all out this year, and there are more colored lights than in other years. They always remind me of my childhood.

I miss my parents and still think to grab the phone to call my mother even after ten years, but it is Christmas time when I miss her the most. My sisters and I laugh and say my mother cursed us with the Christmas bug. We all put lights outside, still buy real trees and have enough decorations for several living rooms. My mother used to say no more decorations then she’d see something amazing and just have to buy it. She’d laugh and tell us she could decorate for years and never repeat ornaments or decorations from year to year.

My childhood tree sat in the corner which usually housed the TV console. It was connected by wires to the windows because it sometimes fell down, being heavier than the stand could hold. I remember holding it up by the trunk while my father attached the wires. I hated that job as I always had branches sticking in my face because I was reaching through the branches to the trunk of the tree.

When we decorated, my mother always put the really big glass ornaments around the top branches as those were her fancy ornaments, and she was afraid we’d break them. I have one of those ornaments and, of course,  it goes up top. Those trees of my childhood had bare spots between the branches, and we’d put things like the Coca Cola Santa and a few cards we kept from year to year in the middle of the bare spots.

When we were older, my mother always bought the most gorgeous trees. It was a joke between her and my father. He’d ask the price of the tree, and my mother would say $20 or $25 when it was really $40 or more. My aunt would visit and remark on how beautiful the tree was, and my father would tell her $20.00 knowing full well my mother had paid much more. My aunt always scoffed at my father. That was part of the fun.

“I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a school-boy. I am as giddy as a drunken man.”

December 15, 2013

North of me is the winter wonderland. My sister, outside of Boston, got either 10 or 11 inches of snow. We got torrential rain all night. I could hear it on the roof. I have no idea why but heavy rain triggers the sensor lights in the backyard, the ones geared for Gracie, to go on. They stay on until the morning light triggers them to turn off. This is the second time it has happened. The first time I thought some giant animal had burrowed into the yard, but after 15 minutes, when the lights didn’t go out, I figured it was either a very patient animal casing the yard for dinner or some weird problem with the lights.

My errands yesterday were fruitful. I found two small trees, one smaller than the other but both perfect. They are now standing in the corner of the living room waiting to be decorated, but my back is bad so that may not happen until tomorrow, but I don’t mind the wait. The trees are lovely even without the lights and decorations.

I am not traveling north to see the play. My sister said it is miserable up there, really cold and dark, and when you add my back to the mix, staying home sounds like the better choice. I’ll watch Christmas movies and drink egg nog. I just watched Reginald Owen’s A Christmas Carol and now I’m watching the Muppets get their chance at Scrooge’s rehabilitation. It doesn’t matter how many times I see this movie I love it every time.

Christmas still has wonder no matter how old you are. I love the lights on my house, and I drive by the house sometimes just to look and to admire the view. I’m sure my neighbors, should they catch me, might think it strange. If I’m on the road and a house covered in lights catches my attention, I deviate my route just to see it. On my official light tour, I stop at Dunkin’ Donuts first for hot cocoa. Christmas music now plays the whole time I’m in the car. I sing along. I sit on the couch in the living room to read so I won’t miss a single minute of the tree. The season is short enough as it is. My two sisters always have live trees. I think it is built into our genetic code. They fill their houses with Christmas just as I do and my mother did. I remember she’d come down for the weekend, and we’d go shopping. She’d buy an ornament and say, “That’s it, no more ornaments. I have enough for several trees.” Well, she always bought more and always declared it the last. I have a couple of new ones this year. One is the official 2013 World Series ornament. The other is a sand dollar made from pottery.

It’s egg nog time!


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