Sunday, December 19, 2010

Silent Night

Today is one week until the day after Christmas. Also known as, Boxing Day. Hmmm that doesn't sound too exciting does it? I guess  does sound like the anticipation is low key this year and it will be a bit of a lonely time. I accept it, I knew it would happen but as I watch other people gather together to celebrate their family and friends it does feel a bit desolate. 

The girls were great, agreed to bedrooms over Christmas but as the bedrooms won’t be done, I do feel that they need more. They have sacrificed, as much as they have been challenging children and there have been moments I could let them move away, I don’t want them anywhere else except with us in our home.

So I resolved to have Christmas with more than food and décor. I have bought them gifts, not necessarily what they are looking for but they shall not go without. Wonderful, thoughtful, caring friends and family have sent parcels which will be placed under the tree. I don’t really feel bad that they won’t have all of their wishes and desires met, no one ever does. 

I do feel sad that right now they are feeling the isolation of not having roots or history here in New Brunswick. We meet people every day who are planning their events, how to see all of their loved ones over the holidays and we do feel forlorn. This is not unexpected though! 

It was a beautiful and lonesome time to see Len’s family, children, grandchildren all gathered at Doreen’s and visiting. We spoke with them on Skype, saw the babies, so cute! Ethan jumping in mommy’s arms, Charlie saying he loves and misses us and blowing us kisses! (I know he was just repeating it but it feels so wonderful to hear, so thanks mommy!) It did feel like we were there for a few minutes.

I have sent off the last of the Christmas cards and photo’s… they may not make it in time for Christmas but they have five working days so, could happen! If not then just watch the mail and get a little surprise between Christmas and New Year’s! 

I have been baking the gingerbread house and decorating with Jessica’s help. It has felt strange to miss our annual tradition of going to Aunty Sharon’s house and spending the day sipping wine and baking cookies. Miss that a lot! I know the tradition will continue for Aunty Sharon with her beautiful little grandchildren and we will start new traditions. Yet what we know and what we experience emotionally are two different things. Next year at least we will have furniture and bedrooms… I hope!

Overall I am very happy here and the moments of melancholy pass. I feel optimistic as I lay on my bed in the den and glance through the arched doorway into the living room. I can see through the dining room and into my delightful country kitchen. Or I may sit in the overstuffed chair in the kitchen, gazing at the woodstove burning, my pretty new appliances in the kitchen and through the dining area to the Christmas tree. I am so grateful. The move was enormous, nevertheless absolutely worth it!

As I dream of the day that I get my NEW flatscreen TV and my NEW sofa set, I think of my thoughts during the morning of one of my many garage sales. I know stuff is stuff and can be replaced; however the thoughts and memories that went with the riches I sold will always be cherished. Please enjoy my thoughts from one cool May morning as I waited for the early birds to arrive! 

This morning is cool, the wind is blowing through my carport. I sit and wait for the dew from the night  rain to dissipate. Looking around I see my "treasures" things that meant so much at one time and now are part of my history. Every item has a story; each piece of used clothing holds a recollection of a moment in my girls lives... As I watch people walk away with their new prizes, fabulous finds and create their own stories, I know that my future is my present and new experiences will construct my history.

Reminiscing I reflect on the remains of my Fiesta Ware collection that I spent 10 years assembling with my first husband. Each piece holds a story. As any collector will tell you it is the find that is so exciting. The hunt that is the challenge. I look at a yellow plate with a "flaw" from the kiln and remember the day we found it on Commercial Street in Vancouver. The adrenaline rush we felt to see it hidden in the back on a shelf almost as though the seller didn't realize what they had. Later we walked and laughed and talked about our "fortune" as we walked up the street to have coffee in an Italian coffee shop - this is VERY pre-Starbucks and Tim Horton's era. The ambiance of the shop fit our nostalgic mood perfectly. 

There were many days like this. Hours spent on Commercial Street, in Gastown or along 41st Avenue, scouring through antique stores. Afternoons spent driving to Cloverdale or White Rock to see what we could find. Those are valued flash backs of good times. One thing we did have in common, my husband and I, was the thrill of the discovery and the subsequent research that took us back to a simpler time. (Research was very different than now, the time of the internet!)

I look at other items that were passing fancies. Perhaps a candleholder or knick knack purchased at a friends house party. A toy that my baby held and recall the day they received it. We kept some items but for the most part dissolved the pack rat hoarding that I had established. One of my sorrow's was having to try to sell the beautiful dining room table and chairs - Queen Anne reproduction but kept in gorgeous condition. I was so grateful for the sole inheritance from my mother in law. The table was something that meant family to me. It was part of my childrens history. Many hours with nieces, nephews, and in laws, many of whom are no longer here. I wish I had been able to sell it, but couldn't. I was happy to return it to my brother in law and hope that he might use it in the future with his new family. A table and chairs... holds so much history in the grains of that wood.

 It is nice to head toward a new life. A life where all memories will be with me and my husband. We chose the truck, the house, the trailer, the canopy, what to keep… We chose it all together. We are equally responsible for the future, positive or negative. We have started to establish our golden years together. 

Thank you my handsome for following, leading, working with me,
collectively deciding where we will go. 

I am so grateful, now, in December 2010, as the Christmas clock counts down,
to have a home, warmth, security and
my children Jessica, Rachel and my mate, Len by my side. 

Merry Christmas!

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