A New Tradition

December 6, 2017 at 1:14 am (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, grief, Memoir, Middle age) (, , , , , )

When I was first married, my husband and I started a tradition having ‘our own’ Christmas tree, buying our decorations to trim the real live tree we cut down, and making our home inviting for friends and family. Jerry and I started cutting down our tree at his parents home. Several couples including my mom and dad enjoyed walking through the snowy tree farm (sometimes we came prepared, other times our feet were soaked) But we all had a good time scouting the property looking for the best tree. My mom was easy to please, a Charlie Brown tree suit her just fine. After we all had finished bringing our prized trees to the house, we went inside to warm up nest to the crackling fire and had a yummy chili feed.

I remember my parents who throwing the best parties. On snowy afternoons, my dad always brought out his prized 1946 Willies Jeep and pulled company around the neighborhood on sleds. I think he was the biggest kid of all. Afterwards, we came into the warm house and sat by the fireplace and either played games or had great lively discussions about some trending topic of the day. Mom and dad had a become good friends with a few of the neighbors. Thanksgiving or Christmas was at my parents, new years Eve, A Murder Mystery Night was hosted by another neighbor. Costumes were a must. A four course meal was served in between the mystery being played out. I am glad my parents had so many wonderful friends to plan activities with. ( I forget they were in thier forties after all).

Kids grow up and move away, friends and family moved to a warmer climate, and suddenly, the holidays had changed. My young son helped his grandpa put out lights and decorate the house, the neighbors had a light fight contest to see who could have the best dressed house. Across the street always won because his Santa decoration hit the pine tree head first. We were excited to see my brother and his best friend pull into the driveway to spend Christmas with us. One year, my dad took us all to Mount Spokane for the afternoon. We got out our inner tubes, and stayed on a less traveled bunny hill to sled on. My son had fun with his uncle until a rock jumped in the way of the sled and Levi went flying and landed in a snow drift(funny thing, the same thing happened to me when I was his age with my favorite Aunt).  After a fun day, we went to Kid Zone and had dinner and played games. My dad was the biggest kid there. he had a blast trying to stay on the virtual motorcycle game. My brother kept telling dad to lean into the corner. he did almost falling off the game.  Everyone slept good that night including the birthday boy.

Most of my family has moved or passed away. Mom and I have ourselves a quiet little Christmas. I decorate her home modestly. We have a nice dinner and open our gifts. Mom is cute as she does not even get dressed anymore. I make sure she has a pretty gown to put on and a warm bathrobe. A lot has changed over the years and meeting someone where they are makes a merry holiday for both of us. Mom reminiscences a lot now. She grew up in Chats worth, next to a movie studio where Hop Along Cassidy was being filmed. We sit and chat over a cup of coffee after dinner. When she is gone, gone forever are the stories. I had to come to terms with a few realities about my mom.  Some are hard to accept.

This evening, I am heading over to a dear friends house for a light meal and a Agatha Christie movie. My friend helped me refresh several rooms in my home. ten years ago, I asked her to help me with my bedroom. She was so cute she asked me when was the last time my bedroom had been touched. I told her seventeen years ago. My husband had died. It was time. What she created for me was a B&B retreat! She is still amazed to this day my room is still the same. A funny story about my husband. he did not want anyone staying with us so he did not want the grand beautiful house. Well, I asked my friend to help just make the house feel cozy . My kitchen had no artwork, nothing on the walls. Just a little of her magic…. she was afraid of making my husband mad at me. I tried telling her I pay half the bills. We still laugh about it today.

I found girlfriend time is important. We don’t get together as often as we would like, but we stay in touch. In my busy life, I had to learn to slow down and make time for myself. An evening out looking at lights, and listening to instrumental music while seeing all the beautifully decorated mansions. Sometimes I have to remember what I used to find fun and rekindle the memories so they don’t stay a memory. I am taking a couple of cookie baking classes with a friend. I think I am not one who likes to stay at home all the time, I like to get together with families for a game night or making cookies together.  You do not have to feel alone, just remember you are loved , cherished, and probably great company. getting together with friends is good for the soul.

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