06 January 2011

Bedraggled Tree 2010

This photo of Eva and Ingrid reminds me, for some reason, of when they were little and they used to play "Lizzie and Jane" from Pride and Prejudice, which used to play constantly in the background of our lives in Seattle.

I can't bring myself to take down the now sagging and brittle lopsided Christmas tree. Is there a way to savor the days more slowly? It is so dark and cold, and we still need the suggestion of warmth from our tree lights--I'm not ready to give it up. In years past, I've been so glad to put away the decorations, so sick of holiday music and rich food and festive gatherings, but this year it seems to have barely happened. Is this what happens when you get older?

Though it passed in a blur, little highlights stand out, like Yorshire pudding, many versions of the Hallelujah chorus, Christian's homemade eggnog, pierogies, paper cranes, onion tart, old friends, cheese platters, and the kids' nativity.

This was a sweet, sweet year. Christian gave me one of the best presents of my life when he compiled all of my emails from the nineties, when he and I shared a University of Washington email account, printed out and bound. I used to write a weekly news update to my family and friends, and so it's somewhat like a journal, and I've made so many little discoveries in there, found so many things that shed light on my life and my children's lives now. I've been reading it like a suspense novel every night. And then Christian went back through old hard drives and printed out all of my poetry since 1985, that's right, 1985, when I wrote my first poem and gave it to Leslie Norris so he could tell me what a genius I was, and organized it alphabetically with different versions, etc. I know this was very time consuming, and I can't say how touched I am by this labor of love.

The day before Christmas, Ingrid rounded up all of the kids and went with her friend photographer Nate Lebaron to Rock Canyon where he took many beautiful photos of the kids, including the one above. How did she know I'd been wanting a group photo of the kids for so long? She framed these photos and had them ready by Christmas morn, although she had just barely arrived home from her first semester at college and was in an extreme state of sleep and food deprivation. Eva made a great collage and framed it--I love her art work so much--and Lula gave me a silvery gray scarf that I wear every day. Last but not least, Moses and Cecily gave me two enormous plastic cocktail rings, one in green and one in blue that they purchased and wrapped without my knowledge at Santa's Secret Workshop at school. They know my taste so well.

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