Monday, December 31, 2012

The Countdown Begins

I'm brimming with ideas and opinions and hopes and resolutions.

I want to make changes. I want to run my forearm over my world and erase it clean.

I want to start over. Jettison. Simplify. Re-evaluate. Set fires. Plant seeds. Stay home. Fly away....

Am I the only one who feels like this on the last day of December? Hopeful, afraid, excited? On the brink of 'differentness?' As though by just living through the next few hours I will cross a line and somehow be reinvented. 

One can always hope.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Christmas Conundrum

This reminds me: Holiday baking! Gah....
In an email to friends recently I wrote that the older I get the harder it is for me to like this time of year....

It's not the snow; I like a change of seasons, thank you. It's the holiday commercialism. It's ads on television telling me to buy a car for everyone on my list. It's me second-guessing myself.

It's Time getting away from me and all of a sudden Christmas is here and I've got all of five minutes to get everything done. It's my kids having a million places they've got to be for the holiday and so I take Tumbledown off their list so that they're not run so ragged.

It's knowing my grandbugs will be spending almost an entire week opening gifts day after day from people who just want to see them smile. It's me wondering what that does to a kid after all....

Monday, December 10, 2012

Holy Snow!

The view from my bedroom window.
I woke yesterday morning to a tinkly, sparkly, wonderland just as I described it in my previous post! Snow stood inches deep on every horizontal surface. The trees were so flocked their branches bowed; and the rowan, with its sprigs of berries, looked like elves had bedecked it overnight in fat, white, Christmas decorations. Bird tracks dotted the surface of the snow and flakes still fell like sequins from the overcast winter sky.... Washington Street looked like a wedding cake!

Of course, I spent the day shoveling (and shoveling and shoveling), but there was hot chocolate and roasted chestnuts and candlelight and Christmas movies in between. And seriously? There's nothing better than being snowed in at Tumbledown.

Overnight the storm passed and now today is all sunshine and dripping icicles. There are still plenty of branches full of snow. On the outside, my muscles ache and smell of analgesics; but inside, my heart is full of the holiday spirit.

And my world? It still looks like a wedding cake. :)

Friday, December 7, 2012

A Snowy Promise

James thinks the weather forecasters are making much ado about nothing today and suspects we'll be lucky to see a single flake. But me? I'm planning for snow. To heck with the boots and the shovels and the sidewalk salt -- I'm preparing the cocoa and queuing the carols and lighting the candles. 

Because that first snow is MAGIC.

Remember those preschool years? Back then I'd wake to a different kind of light in my room and discover out the bedroom window an icy fairyland, its still-falling snowflakes glittering like sequins in the weak morning light. Looking back, I swear there was even a tinkly, icicle-chime soundtrack!

I'd impatiently wolf my breakfast of Maypo so Mom could pack me into my snowsuit and send me out into it. And once outside I marveled at the world's insulated silence. I tasted the snow and looked for animal tracks and tried to blaze a waist-deep trail. Soon the pristine yard was a mess of half-made snowmen and blurry angels, child-sized holes dug into snowbanks, crazy senseless routes right out of 'Family Circus.' Then, suddenly exhausted, I'd fling myself into a drift and stare up at the sky, dark in contrast to the fat white flakes that fell from it onto my tongue. My cheeks were on fire. There was snow melting in my boots, and my wrists were icy and blue where my mittens didn't quite reach my jacket cuffs. But go inside? No, not yet! Not even for hot tomato soup and soda crackers.

I have a feeling I napped well on those days; my mother must've loved it. But it's there that my memories of First Snowfalls seem to end. I'm sure there were other magical days like that. But maybe I was in school when they happened, or on my way to work or something. Years later, I remember suddenly realizing that those unbearable days of dropping everything and rushing out into that wonderland were over....

When my own Girlz were small, that magic began again for me. Only this time I hung onto it. And when they started their school years I did not forget the importance of that First Snowfall. If it happened on a school day, I kept them home. We went outside together to build forts and make snowmen, and when we returned inside once more, there was cocoa to sip. Sometimes there'd be popcorn. Or cookie dough to roll and shape and decorate. And always a wintry-themed picture book.

I've never regretted it. And the First Snowfall isn't the only holiday we created and kept, either. They're only little once. And the memories made (for myself as much as for them) are priceless and linger still.

How about YOU? What memories does that First Snowfall conjure? I'll bet they're pure magic too. :)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

5 Magical Things

Another magickal thing? Frostbirds on my window!
Five magical things about my day today:

1.) Phone calls and videos from the grandbugs. (I hope when old hearts repeatedly melt like this and recover, they grow stronger as a result....)

2.) Quaker's new Banana Bread Instant Oatmeal. Lovelovelove it. It's like having dessert for breakfast.

3.) Glancing up as I write this and noticing rainbows floating gently around the room. The solar crystal in my front window must be working again -- yay!

4.) New leaves on the Crown-of-Thorns cactus I inherited from James's mother.

5.) An Etsy sale. (So grateful!)

What's magic about your day today? Please share. :)