Wednesday, December 10, 2014

"A Lot Like Christmas"

We enjoyed having son Gerry with us briefly at the end of last week as he and his dad traveled north on a quest for bird dogs to take to a friend in Texas. So Gerald was able to spend much more time with him than I did, but we are looking forward to visits from their family during the upcoming holiday season.
It is beginning to feel as well as look a lot like Christmas. Mary Ellen had given me a poinsettia that the Crab Orchard cheerleaders were selling, and I placed it in the middle of the dining room table and have added the early arriving Christmas cards around it.  But now the guest bedroom is so crowded there is  little room to walk because of the big cardboard boxes, which Gerald helped me get down, and  that did or still hold seasonal decorations. I hope to get complete the emptying and then get the boxes back in the closet, so the room can be ready for the coming visitors.
I haven’t yet found the manager scene that has been in our home every Christmas of our marriage.  When I find it, it will go on the floor by the piano to encourage Gerry’s grandsons to play with it as Gerry once did.  I placed the breakable nativity scene Mary Ellen gave me a few years ago in a prominent but safe place on emptied shelf.  Other tiny items were put on the edge of the books in the full bookcase, so we can see them as we go downstairs.  Many of these bits and pieces were gifts in years past, and I enjoy remembering the ones who gave them to me. While I worked, I played Christmas carols this afternoon.
I have one tree up in the living room.   It is the white one, and again this year, its limbs on the sunny window side are slightly yellowed.  But at night with the tiny lights on it, it looks white.  I have yet to put the ornaments on, but they are laid in the chair beside it, and that should happen tomorrow. It is already pretty to me, but the blue and silver glass balls and the blue, aqua, and red artificial roses stuck among the limbs will make it even prettier.
Last night sort of officially opened the season for me as Mary Ellen had asked us over for supper.  I had seen her bare tree during Thanksgiving weekend when I stopped by for something or other, but I knew it was decorated now, and I was looking forward to it.
So when I got home from an afternoon visit with Katherine, I got out the black sweat shirt Mary Ellen  had made me long ago when she was still an unmarried magazine editor in Nashville.  She had painstakingly glued  tiny multi-colored sequins to form a large Christmas ornament on the front.  She laughed when she saw it last night that there was no way in her life today would she have time to glue on  that many sequins. I remember wearing it to the Carbondale mall. (Going to the mall was something I could do and enjoy back in those more active days.)  The shiny bright colors caught the attention of passers-by, and I received many compliments from strangers. I always wear it once or twice a season; and though it has shed occasional sequins, somehow their loss doesn’t show up in the abundance.
Before we even arrived at the Taylors, we were excited to see the beautiful star shining brightly once again on their barn.  They inherited the star with the farm, and people have been pleased to once again see the long-enjoyed icon as they travel Route 13.  Brian had updated all the burned out bulbs and repaired the hook that had gotten awry when they had the barn repainted.
Wreathes outside and inside the entry porch room greeted us as we went in and stepped on into the kitchen to find the table beautifully set with her Christmas china that I had never seen when they lived away. We had a delicious home-cooked meal, and then Mary Ellen and I had a great visit in the living room by the tree while the men talked farm business at the kitchen table before they joined us.  Before we left, Trent came in from a friend’s house and was all smiles since yesterday  had been his last class of the semester.  We enjoyed his hugs and were definitely in a festive mood when we came back to Woodsong.

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