Of Juice and Thrips and Ceiling Wax
Taking It Down, January 9
Taking It Down
Am beginning to take down the Solstice/Yule decorations. They were up longer than usual this year, but the time has arrived when the finery gets packed away. Some years I get carried away. other years are minimal, depending on mood and time. We always put up the lights outside, because to me, that's what the season means: sharing light.
Each ornament on the tree brings back memories, reminds me of special people. Karen and Mike gave us the gorilla and the bottle of Chianti. An old friend I haven't seen in years made the fuzzy sheep with the silly look on its face and the miniature bird feeder constructed from needlepoint canvas and a pill cup.
My sister gave me the Three Blind Mice, the penguin, and the rattlesnake wearing the Santa hat. Erik and Paula gave us various cats, as has Doris, and the one handmade ornament left over from my mother is a stuffed calico cat with a big red heart on its chest. In the upper branches of the tree are the birds, lots of birds. I like birds.
My nativity scene, near the top, consists of a pair of stuffed birds in a straw nest, looking fondly at their child, a tiny mouse made from a pussy willow, with tiny shell ears and two beady eyes, tucked under a flannel quilt in half a walnut shell. The Blind Mice are the wise people, and over all flies the red cardinal, with a space shuttle and a star just under it. Mog gave us the space shuttle, and Karen and I were bargain hunting when I bought the star.
Many of the stuffed birds I bought here and there as they appealed to me: a quail to remind me of California, a ratty looking dove, and an unidentified bird that either someone made up or really lives wherever the bird was made. There's the traditional glass clip-on bird with the tinsel tail, safely out of the cat's reach.
Elsewhere is a snail, a cable car, the head of Nefertiti, a potato, two pickles, Buddha, an injured reindeer, a buffalo, and various shapes and sizes of glass ornaments.
I still mourn the long gone glass ornaments Mom bought when we were stationed in Germany, the glass onion I didn't buy, and the blown glass skull that got broken. I'm glad I picked up the 'modern' glass balls I found at a thrift store, to perpetuate someone else's memories, even if I have no idea who they were, or what they were. And I love the cardinal lights I bought on sale, so ugly until the lights get turned on at night. The reindeer lights are under repair and will be returned to their former glory and goofy smiles next year.
This year the tree was small, so there are some ornaments that are 'resting' but next year, they'll get their turns.
It all comes down to the cycle of the seasons. The decorations get us through the long dark nights, make us feel rich, and remind us of how lucky we are to have friends, family and each other. Then they get put away when the sun starts coming back and we don't need them as much.
The rooms will seem a little bare for a while, the cats will be able to see out the front window again, and the spider can spin new webs undisturbed for a while, but there will be one lingering reminder: the fir needles will lurk on for months!
Happy 2001 everyone!Terry
Copyright © 2001 by Terry A. Garey.