Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Stockings Were Hung Sans Chimney

Sometimes I really, really, really miss my old house. In particular the large dining room where I had family meals and my fireplace. Oh how I loved the cozy fireplace. It burned wood for many years and the last few years I lived there I had it converted to gas. That was pure heaven. The logs, though ceramic, looked like oak and the warmth was amazing. At Christmas time I loved to hang our stockings from it. We are those nutty type people who have stockings for each pet as well, even birds. The stockings always held gifts as well as candy and smaller items. They still do. I had a huge tree back then. We had grown many of them on the back acre of our property. While it bothered me to cut them down I was glad I did when a neighbor who later moved in behind us cut down about eight huge blue spruces that had been planted for that purpose. He thought it blocked his view to our garden. I was so outraged but it was too late to be rectified. What really infuriated me was that this man from Long Island never bothered asking us where the property ended and we had paid the surveyor several hundred dollars to sink concrete markers should we ever need to show someone. Had he just ASKED those trees would still be there. He left them on OUR property after cutting them down to rot. But I our newer, smaller home there is no place for a fireplace at all. It's completely open. The kitchen wall over the sink has a huge opening into the living room so you can communicate with someone there. While I like the openness of it, you lose wall space. Our TV could only go on one wall. The other wall has a huge bay window. It's really tough placing things, especially a Christmas tree. We always put it in front of the window. We have a slim tree and it fits nicely. My tree does not have a theme, as some do. My tree has ornaments that were made by my son when little, or given by friends many years ago. Some break and new ones are constantly added. It's a tree of memories. This year two new ornaments were added. One in memory of my beloved Grandmother and the other in memory of my beloved Dad. How my grandmother loved Christmas! She started baking a month in advance. She did so wearing an apron with Santa popping out of the chimney. She made one for herself, one for her mother (who was in her late 70s at the time but still baking!) and a small smock type one for me. I have mine. It has been laundered so many times it has a small hole in it. It's one of my treasures. That and the paper mache' Santa that my son made me. This has been a rough week. My mother has cried day and night on and off most of it. Sometimes I cry with her. We have been to the cemetery twice. No Dad there carving the meat at the head of the table. He hadn't been able to do that the last year and a half either. We could never please Dad with gifts, he enjoyed giving them but not getting them. I miss him so much. I bought these small ornaments with a place for a picture. On the outside they say "Forever in our Hearts" and I put Dad's picture in them. On the back I used a label maker and printed out a message that my sister and brothers will read when they take them out: " We were blessed. We had a father who loved us." It's my way of honoring him. My father was not perfect. He made bad decisions sometimes and he yelled to excess at times. I have some of his faults and some of his attributes. We both are quick to forgive. When I read some of the horrible things that some parents do to their children it makes my blood boil. All children deserve to be loved and kept safe. Since my Dad is gone I feel less safe somehow. Silly perhaps, I am an adult. While a part of me will be sad on Christmas Eve and day, I will do the best I can to enjoy the moments. I know it's what my father would have wanted me to do. I can still hear his voice in my head "Oh babe, it's not that bad." You're right Dad. No matter how bad it seems I know there are others who have it so much worse. I will always fight for a good outcome because you taught me to hang in there when the going got tough. Thank you Daddy. I love you and always will.

1 comment:


I loved our old house too. Much better suited to my personality than the current one. We had a neighbor that insisted on trimming the trees on our propery every spring. She planted them years before we lived there. She insisted they were on her property but they were actually on ours. I can't believe the NERVE of that guy to chop down your LIVING evergreens. So sad. I like the way you described your Christmas Tree as the tree of memories. BEAUTIFUL tribute to your dad, with the ornaments. I know how rough it is, this time of year for your mother and you, missing him the way you do. Just know he's with you in spirit. I hope you can put aside your medical issues and ENJOY the holiday. You are near and dear to me, Nelle. I'll be hobbling along with my cane. I have medial tears in my meniscus on both knees. In Jan we'll figure out if I'm having surgery. We'll see if they canceled my insurance. Meanwhile, we have to celebrate. MERRY CHRISTMAS dear friend to you and yours. Have a wonderful celebration. Take care.