Tag Archives: Christmas

Little Did I Know

Deep down there is a belief that a profession in vulnerability would have been the right choice and I could have been a contender. It all bubbles up and down ,still there but all along but no one, including myself seemed to really notice or take it seriously because there were gaps of knowledge and confidence.

So wandering off  led to a very long road which with all the right turns and defeating disappointments led to here and there and now a stopping place where there are so many thoughts and dreams and memories and gaps in those memories that is almost funny.

Baffling.

Despite the loss of some of the unwritten songs that should have been belted out and too little and too late training in something poetic like a profession in vulnerability that would have been exciting, I managed.

Barely.

Yet no regrets because it all happened in a different parallel with all the fun and meaning still intact and it  left me at the end of the time used up and battered about but glad enough and relieved  there was just enough of me left to have the time to take each shattered piece and give it a turn in the sun and then shade and hide a bit of it in the dark and try to find something to say that matters in a time of strange human tragedy and confusion.

Writing.

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Bringing In The Tree

In the week before Christmas,the morning routine was to wait for mom to get into her green wool tartan housecoat and go downstairs to flip the switch on the furnace shaft to send some warm heat upstairs while I stayed in bed warming up my clothes for the day that were rolled up at the foot of the bed.With breakfast started on the stove and the tea made,mom would come back up stairs and supervise the dressing preparations for the day . It was a noteworthy day if the old quilt cover was covered a bit with some drifted snow from the shaky window sill. Outside the evergreen trees in the lane were draped with snow and the path to the road  was filled in until the tractor made it’s way through it.

On such a day, by nightfall, the back shed door would thump and bang while the top part of an evergreen tree from our bush was squeezed through the entrance into the farmhouse kitchen. The tree was freshly cut, covered in snow and ice and still holding abandoned bird nests in it’s top branches. Pushed by the table, it would knock off any dishes or food placed there for supper. With a tighter squeeze it was brought into the ‘parlour’, set into a galvanized pail with water, tied with twine and attached to a nail on the wall.

Decorations were some very old twisted strings of large coloured lights with aluminum star like and pointsetta style reflectors. Some of the lights bubbled with coloured water effect. A few surviving glass baubles and recycled tinsel and silver garland completed the whole thing. Nothing fancy and hardly ever a new ornament purchased, but the remembered tree with the snow, ice and bird nests in it’s branches is a beautiful part of my Christmas heritage.

I think of that tree and I can see my big brother bringing it into the house. It isn’t a memory from a pin and post décor article or a scene from an urban chic lifestyle television program. It is the moment,captured. The back shed door, the cold fresh tree, the snow, ice and bird nests,the cups and plates and food knocked over by the huge branches, my mom standing there dealing with it all and the memory of my big brother, full of fun and bringing some to me.

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Character Building

Light on

at the corner of my yard for the lady next door

who

walks her dog

in the dark

down the village street

the corner light

above

the mailbox is yellowing with age

some of the neighbours had put up some Christmas lights

but some haven’t

it is maybe too early

or maybe too late

it is cold now and nobody wants to do lights

it is cold

snow was here and wind has ripped on through the village a couple of times on wild days this week with rain washing away the snow leaving fallen fences, branches in the lane and newspapers in the wrong places

trying

to stay

warm with extra layers and covering

up

the cat

unexpected but not atypical

demands

tightening

wrinkles

into place

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Butter,Sugar and Flour

Today the biggest purchase was a tin of authentic Scottish shortbread. Yesterday, it was something home crafted which will remain a secret for the time being. Budget wise, shopping for Christmas takes some forethought and restraint. There is lots of stuff out there to buy and some of it quite useful and practical. The other commercial pile of goodies may be ok as well but after awhile it becomes obsolete and ends up in a garage sale, donated or tossed. However. let me really loose in a bookstore and watch the spending spree happen. Books are often my gift of choice and sometimes I think I choose the right ones for others but it is risky. In these cases, a gift certificate is ideal. A guilty pleasure, those books.

I’ve been shopping the outlying fringe of town something like a wily coyote. Anything deep in town, forget it. Parking and traffic hassles turn me off. Some excursions are as local as possible and I’m usually back safe and sound before dusk darkens the country roads leading home. Anyone wishing to do up the town and buy out the store has my support as well. I remember doing the same thing and I had my reasons why I did. Now, my efforts at Christmas shopping are much different. Giving is still important to me but it has taken on a different style, like Countryline instead of Townline.

Longing for the simple things, that is what catches my interest. Donating to my causes takes on more importance. Being confident about just slowing down ,avoiding the pressures of what might be expected of me and taking Christmas as it comes seems to be ok enough for me. Reflecting on what Christmas has meant to my family, neighbours and friends throughout the years seems to be my focus. Wondering about others, the unknown .Being grateful and hopeful.

Think of me with my still brightly lit outdoor tree and my tiny indoor tree decorated with simplicity. There are some assorted geegaws draped with recycled decorations on the porch. Some nativity ornaments are on top of the fireplace and a few other dodads are grouped for effect here and there throughout the house. Some little gifts ( still unwrapped, of course, that never changes!) accumulating on the corner bench in the entryway.  It is no show. It’s simple . Like the real Scotch shortbread my sister makes just like my mother and grandmother did but I on the other hand, buy.

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