Un-Deck the Halls
It doesn’t really feel like it’s time to take down the Christmas decorations.
Yesterday at work I spent the first two-thirds of my shift taking down the holiday decorations and putting up kitsch for Valentine’s Day. I have a day off on Friday and I expect I will spend it defrocking the Christmas tree and putting away the ornaments until next year. Maybe on Sunday night at Bible study we can ceremonially chuck the tree off the deck. Roommate-Sarah and I have a thing for lobbing biodegradable holiday décor off the back porch and (ideally—though sometimes we miss) into the woods. The fact that we keep the tree (like the piano, which we won’t be tossing anywhere) in the dining room is particularly convenient right now, because it’s right next to the deck door, which is also particularly convenient because we had to buy a pre-cut and therefore pre-dead tree this time, and it’s dropping needles like crazy.
But it still doesn’t feel like the right sort of activity to be engaging in right now.
When I was driving to work on the first, I had a thought-process which went roughly as follows:
“When Dave and Lu come for Christmas, I’ll have to remember to ask him . . . oh, wait.”
Not only had I already forgotten to ask him, but apparently I had also forgotten that Christmas had come and gone and so had Dave and Lu. I blame this forgetfulness on the weather. Last Saturday we had the closest thing to a snowstorm that we’ve had all season—and it wasn’t. It was basically a dusting which stuck around for a little while, the grass poking up ironically all over the place. This morning at 4.30 when I left for work, there was frost on my car windows, and New-Manager-Hillarie had frozen door locks, but when I got home at one, it was 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and I went for a walk. The walk was an hour and fifteen minutes long, sunny and very beautiful. The water at the end of Tucker Road was gurgling enthusiastically over the rocks and through the drainage pipe, and I’m pretty sure I saw some wild strawberry plants poking through the dead oak leaves. There was almost the sense of anticipation that spring brings . . . except it’s January 3, for goodness’ sake!
Here we live in a part of the country which requires hard freezes. I have realised this winter that although I have less inclination to tolerate cold the older I get, and although every time in snows my Corolla and I have to coax each other along and try not to engage in vehicular ice-skating (that happened last year, but that’s another story), and although I hate having to get up even earlier for an opening shift just to warm up and clear off my car, as long as I live in this part of the world, I need an actual winter. Starbucks-Ben observed the other night that for people who live here, there’s something sort of comforting about a couple of snowstorms. He’s right. The anticipation of spring is all well and good, but it feels a little excessive and maybe even downright sinister if there isn’t an element of relief at surviving winter in it.