Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I hate New Year's resolutions ... here's mine ...

I never make New Year's resolutions; but this year I am making an exception. My dearest friend told me of a dream. Dreams that include me make me feel uneasy, as if a look-alike captured on surveillance camera is doing something beyond my control.

This particular dream was of a post I had written about my childhood in rural Indiana. It felt compellingly right. I am inspired. (I don't inspire easily.) So, watch this space for a weekly nostalgic selfie; simple snapshots the Midwest, hopefully presented with a bit of quirk and intrigue.

My Christmas tree is still standing at Willow Manor. It stays up later every year. Ground Hog's Day is the usual expiration date, but Easter is not unreasonable. My paternal grandmother, Alice, was known to keep her tree up well into April. If one family member could not make it home for the holidays, she insisted on it standing firmly in the living room window until they made it home. Even if it meant spring break.

Trees in the 1950s were on the sparse side, anyway, as far as branches were concerned. They looked even more skeletal post-needles, colored lights wound around naked branches, limp ten-year-old tinsel, aged to a matte lead-gray. Even in mid-March, the lights on Alice's tree were religiously plugged into the wall socket at dusk. When her back was turned, my teenage Aunt Dee would draw the curtains, embarrassed what the neighbors in Burlington, Indiana might think of the icky ghost tree.

Grandma only knew me as a shy, precocious little girl. I think she would appreciate my grown-up passion, occasional strength, my small blatant tree, watered well into spring. As someone mentioned last week, it looks more like a Christmas bouquet, than a tree; a bouquet celebrating the new year, love, a hopeful me. She would like that I hang her faded-pink bell ornament near the top.


*Photo not me, but a close representation

18 comments:

  1. Nice, I have always liked nostalgic shit, lol. My poetry blog was a resolution a couple new years ago.

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  2. Happy new year; resolutions or not! Cro x

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  3. I like to leave our tree up until the time changes :)

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  4. The picture, a study in the art of being together without intruding in the other's space. ;-)

    Christmas trees used to be left up until Candlemas in Austria, the the 2nd of February.
    It was easy in earlier times, the smallish trees used to be put up on a chest of drawers or table in the entrance halls of farm houses, which were never heated. They were decorated with small apples, walnuts in the shell, some homemade Lebkuchen, gingerbread. Mice do not figure in that picture, methinks. ;-)

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    1. Mine is rather small this year...February 2 sounds about right...

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  5. Oh, that tinsel, such a nightmare to take down & preserve for the next tree…nostalgic shit is not to be underrated.
    Happy New Year!

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    1. Good...stay tuned for more nostalgic shit!

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  6. I take so much abuse for keeping our tree up for weeks ..Nice to know I'm not alone. During the 24 years we lived in MN if the Vikings were Super Bowl bound I vowed not to take the tree down until they won ~~~ Which of course, they never have!

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  7. I will be ready to read your reminiscing. Our tree is coming down tomorrow only because I am at home on a liquid fast and then preparation (yucky stuff) for my 10 year colonoscopy follow up...so in order to get stuff down before we depart for warmer climes tomorrow works for me. Generally I like to leave at least some things up until Epiphany or later. I did less decorating this year anticipating a January get away and because I love to get it out but hate to put it away. I would pay someone to take it all down for me! Happy new year..

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    1. Thanks, Pat...and Happy New Year to you...

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  8. Oh I do like your idea of when to take your tree down, or rather how long you may keep it living for all to enjoy. I just can't wipe it all away that quickly. Don't get me wrong some of the Christmas decorations around the house have already been put to rest, but not our tree! I really look forward to this new inspired posts, it sounds perfectly wonderful. I am also looking forward to posting with The Mag again, it really keeps me on my writing toes, and all the other posts are fascinating to read too. Happy New Year to you too!

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    1. Thanks Karen...I'll try to have a new one every week...Happy New Year!

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  9. It's strange - our street turns into The Battle of the Bulbs the second we reach December, but take the tree and lights ect down as close to Jan 1st as possible. I'd gladly have a tree up round the calendar if I could!

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  11. The longest we ever left our tree up was Valentine's Day, but that was the year after my dad died (he died on Valentine's Day). It was just too depressing to un-decorate with all the grief so fresh, I suppose.

    This year we did it a lot earlier - as in, day before yesterday. The tree, though huge and lovely, was a bit dried out and as the branches sagged the ornaments were actually falling off. Since we have so many vintage ornaments that hold lots of sentimental value, I was afraid they'd break. So we have full use of our living room once more. Today or tomorrow I have to un-decorate the front windows and return them to their regularly scheduled jungle of plants.

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Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)