Archive for December, 2007

Looking a bit like Christmas

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So, I’ve been trying to really think about Christmas and what I liked about this holiday when I was a child. As an adult woman, I realized that you are almost always doing Christmas “for someone else”. You work your tail off for the kids, or your husband, or your relatives, or coworkers. But what would Christmas look like if I did it “just for me”? A “just for me” Christmas would be a nostalgic journey of sorts. I love the old red and green, so I am in the process of spreading some of that around my apartment right now. Above is a photo of one wall that is just about done!

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Live in the moment,

but also remember: This too shall pass. I’m just feeling a need for a little reminder of what green looks like this morning!

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My Mother’s House

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My mother died five years ago last Saturday..and my father, almost two years before that. What’s that saying…you can’t go home again? For me, that’s true now. I ran across these pictures the other day…I’ve labeled them “my mother’s house”. If you knew my parents, you would know that my mother never liked this house very much, built later in their lives, just the way my dad wanted it, too big for grandparents with no grandchildren near by perhaps. The birch tree, the gazebo, the special stone on the front of the house, these all speak of things my dad loved and enjoyed bringing into being. So why do I think of it as my mother’s house? Maybe it’s because she wound up living there last, or maybe it has to do with what most women know…a man may work and pay for the house, but it’s the woman who usually controls the inside. It’s a miracle marriages ever work. How do two different people raised in two different families ever come to an agreement on how to make a house their home? My husband and I could have lived with each other…it’s was the house that killed us. I thought it was his unwillingness to part with a single thing that was totally unacceptable. Looking back now though, my protestation mess was just as bad. Somehow, my mother and father compromised on their houses. Maybe it was because in their day, they were just glad to have someplace to live at all.

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The Christmas Spirit

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Alright, I am now acknowledging that it is December, although I have to say, where my son is right now, I think it was in the 70’s today, so in some places, my beach obsession is not so far off! But here in Iowa, we have snow and ice, and it’s looking a lot like Christmas. I have mixed feelings about Christmas. It was a big deal when I was a kid. When my son was growing up, we didn’t do Christmas, and in recent years I have done it and not done it. I LOVE all the decorations, the greenery, the whole nine yards, but that is part of the problem…where do I stop and how do I feel about all the commercialism that surrounds this holiday? When I worked at an elementary school, it was fun to join in the card exchanges and cookie spreads for a change and it was a chance to tell everyone there how much I appreciated them. I guess everyone has to find their own Christmas. Now that I am single again, it is really easy to just let the holiday pass by, practically unnoticed. I am glad to avoid the shopping mall and go to a good movie on Christmas day with my boyfriend….but this year I am feeling a little tug for the cultural experience of the holiday. I do believe that rituals are good for us, but I don’t really know what my own rituals around the holiday are or what I really want them to be. Above are photos from Christmas at my sister’s and there she continues our family traditions with long-saved tree decorations and mom’s assortment of Christmas goodies. But I feel the need to find my own type of Christmas. Maybe I will this year.

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