- Bus with “Happy Holidays” –The other night stuck between lights on my way home from work, trying to escape the city and get to the winding, mountain road that takes me home, I saw a bus coming the opposite way. On its marquee scrolled “Happy Holidays”. I can assure you after work is the most likely time of day you will not find me in the Christmas spirit. That little, electronic message on that bus gave me a smile and reminded me, this season is indeed worth celebrating to its fullest. Our victory over the toughest times in life is the plot of celebration we carve out in the face of despair.
- The News sounding the alarm on television – I’m an avid anti- news watcher. That might not be an official ‘thing’ but I’m making it mine. Unfortunately, I live with someone who is the opposite and so mornings and evenings the blaring alarm of what the next potential catastrophe sounds before I can retreat and lose myself in writing. What is being said is not only not ‘news’( which by the way has the root of ‘new’ in it- at least in English), but it’s delivered as though our lives hinge on what is being said. Important decisions need to be made, planning needs to happen, lives will be altered. Blah, blah, blah. I hear, while I walk past the serious face on the screen; words like “it is not known yet but…” and the same words repeated day after day after day. Is there some kind of subliminal message the masses are being fed? Has no one ever heard of the story “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”? When there really is something important to say who will listen? Of course, it is that very reason why someone in the house watches News morning and evening.
- Crooked Christmas tree – The past few years we’ve put up an artificial Christmas tree. It’s got realistic needles and branches but has the unique option of being able to spin around which means showcasing all the ornaments. It’s a feature mostly for the cat’s enjoyment since we’re not doing a lot of entertaining these days. It’s a nice enough tree, bought from Walmart, it does the job. We store it in the original box which is a tight fit, a kind of jigsaw puzzle. It’s possible that I wasn’t very patient this past January and I might have wanted to be done with getting Christmas packed up again, so the top piece wasn’t in the box quite right. When I crowned the tree with the top piece, it had a definite lean to it. Ten months of being crushed to the side in a hot attic, resulted in a crooked tree. There’s no amount of twisting, or bending that’s going to fix it. Don’t get me started on how comical it looks spinning around! Now I could put a giant star on top or a hat and position it just right to hide the flaw but I thought, don’t natural trees often have imperfections? We’ve had a few. There are gaps, branches that curve up, down, thin, and thick. It is rare to find a tree with perfect symmetry. So we’re letting our fake tree keep its stilted glory with no apologies. It’s all the ornaments on it anyway that give it beauty. Sometimes you have to let go of perfection and enjoy the true state of things as good. That might be just what some of you need to consider as you over edit a work that is just fine. Take a step back, does it really need to be ‘fixed’?
- Snow in Alaska – it’s a running joke in our house. “It’s snowing!” “What?” “In Alaska.” Followed by someone laughing…not me. I love snow and we don’t get enough of it where I’m living. I know there are some people who would say, “forget the snow, bring me to the beaches of Hawaii”. If you live in Alaska it is quite possible you no longer look at snow as amazing to behold. If you live in Hawaii maybe the beaches are just what you see out your window. It’s good now and then to experience someone else’s wonder. It’s good now and then to look around and think, is there something in my life I’m taking for granted?
- Piles of cookies – It wasn’t exactly like “The Field of Dreams”, ‘bake them and they will come’. I baked five different kinds of cookies. I gave out containers at Christmas with instructions to fill them ‘with your favorites’, they came and they left and I still have piles of cookies. Not exactly a terrible problem day after Christmas.
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