Bye Bye Christmas

All my old friends

wrapped in old paper

       

placed in old boxes

stored in the closet

for another year.

      

Again.

When I was three, I threw such a fit that our tree stayed up until April. 

The only way my parents could get rid of that tree was to set the alarm for

two in the morning and sneak it out of the house.  My father dragged it, like

a thief in the night, to some other neighborhood so I would not see it lying,

abandoned, on our curb. I smile to think of all the ways that my father, just

four years home from serving his country during World War 2, found so

much joy in pleasing me, a long-awaited only child.

 

Nowadays, the tree comes down half way through January.  Not because of

me, though.  It’s Ken who’s in such a hurry to get back to normal. And he

doesn’t set any clocks, either.  He just gets right up off the sofa and

announces that he is taking down the tree.  Just like that.  I concede, though,

when there are no more little cat throw-ups under the table, behind the

sofas, in all the hard-to-reach places, (the sorry result of long drinks of tree

water), that getting back to normal is not such a bad thing.

     

I keep some old favorites in bowls here and there but most are in

the closet.

And, even though I know it’s ridiculous (this is not a Raggedy Ann story,

after all), I wonder what they are doing all year.

And if they are as sorry as I am to see another Christmas pass by.

Let It Snow

Last year we had a very unusual winter in our little part of the north east.  Much to my

dismay, while friends everywhere else, even in Texas, sang “Let It Snow,” I kept

asking ”where’s mine” ?

This year, though, the Farmer’s Almanac has kept its promise of a cold, snowy winter

and I am in my glory.

Every window calls me to gaze upon an otherworldly grey and white landscape.

If only they knew, my bees, asleep for now, would probably be so happy to be

missing this chilly day.

Tomorrow we are scheduled for another 12 inches.

The wind blows, the snow drifts. What’s left behind is art that no human

hand can match.

As snow inches its way to the top of my 4′ tall well cover,  I wonder if it can get any

prettier.

Another tall piece, this 5′ tall urn almost disappears from view before my eyes.

Watching the birds is a favorite activity at our house.  I am enthralled by the way our

diminutive friends puff up to keep warm.

Ken keeps a path cleared to the feeder.  Even though we know that these winter

birds don’t really need our contributions,  it feels good to think we are providing

a treat.  For us, the reward is huge as we watch a steady parade of fine-feathered

entertainers, tiny spots of color in an otherwise-monochromatic view.

The sun sets and dusk spreads purple over my white world, adding another rich layer

to my winter life.

Before and After

What a difference a day makes

24 little hours….

Oh, and a mantle and some antique furniture and some funky accessories.

24 hours is about how long it took for a wonderful 1927 Craftsman-style house

in Burlington, Vt. to go from ok to Oh Wow!

The 1920s mantle made all the difference. It took Ken a few hours to chip away

the existing brick surround and cut off parts of the mantle for a perfect  fit, then 

 splash on a coat of paint (or 3).

I couldn’t operate without an armload of German grain sacks,  piles of floppy

washed linen or my good friend, Jerry, the world’s best upholsterer.

And, where would I be without a few buckets of blue-grey paint?

I notice that, once again,  animals factor heavily in my decorating decisions.

And books! No one should be without them!

Books stack on shelves, fill baskets,

and line up waiting to be read or just to be admired.  Books add warmth to a

space like nothing else.

A day is not much compared to the  months and years of comfort and

 joy that those 24 little hours will provide.