Friday, January 02, 2009

We still need a little Christmas, darn it!

So I thought I'd start off the new year with a fuzzy photo of the Christmas tree that sits in a corner here in Mason City and never goes away. Fuzzy because I'm too lazy to do what I'd need to do to get a nice crisp entirely-in-focus shot into that dim corner.

Never goes away for the most part, too, because I'm lazy and it's a time-consuming task to decorate and undecorate this heavily-decorated little fake. So its lights comes on year-around when I flip on the living room lamps and in general it makes me happy --- although it does have to be taken apart and dusted every year or so.

Besides, the big plants on steroids I used to keep in this corner before the advent of the tree always died, and this is cheaper. And I have a hard time giving up on Christmas any way.

One friend in Chariton at least waited until the day after Christmas this year before yanking the family tree down and sending it to storage (it's rarely survived Christmas afternoon in the past). Another neighbor was disassembling and boxing up his outdoor display as I drove away Tuesday morning.

But I'll still turn on the outside lights and light the lanterns on the front steps until Epiphany, then we'll see. The (indoor) Nativity set will stay up, too, for at least a while since (a) it looks nice and (b) it was joined by an three-piece angelic ensemble this year --- on lute, harp and violin --- and I want to admire the whole thing for a while longer.

I'm never quite sure why we want to plunge so quickly into January's chilly gloom, making resolutions we'll not keep and leaving the bright lights behind. Having put Christ into Christmas I say we should now put more of the pagan back into Xmas and dance around the fire for a while longer.

THIS WAS THE YEAR Iowa's skittish weather punctuated the season. I drove south the Sunday before Christmas in a blizzard (not a stunt to try at night or on two-lane roads --- when the DOT says "no travel advised" they mean it). I waited until the no-travel advisory was dropped, but it was good to have most of the Interstate to myself since visibility sometimes was a problem.

After two feet of snow up here it was nice to find just a skim of ice covered by a couple of inches of snow capped by another layer of ice down there. Then it snowed some more. With help from Nash, the accumulated mess on the the driveway was chipped away Christmas Eve. The day after Christmas, spring arrived and I spent a neighborly morning helping to chip the mess off Lee's driveway. Then everything melted. By nightfall, there was nary a scrap of snow to be seen. But on Saturday we had another ice storm. On Sunday and Monday, however, that went away, too. And so it went.

I WISH I HAD reports of a really exciting holiday week to report, but I don't. Lots of visiting, lots of weather, lots of reading --- it was great!

Plans for a quiet New Year's Eve turned really quiet when I made the mistake of going into the office Wednesday afternoon do do a few necessary things, then inadvertently agreed to post the online edition. So there I sat as 11 p.m. approached awaiting the results of a local hockey game. At 10:45, the results came, I posted, turned out the lights and went home with no complaints at all.

So here I sit without a resolution to my name. Guess I'll think one up real quick then go out and break it immediately and be done.

1 comment:

Ed Abbey said...

Since I generally have the days off between Christmas and New Year's, I generally leave my tree up until I have to go back to work and remove it the day before. Since I always get a wild red cedar as a tree, there is no delaying taking it out unless I want to be sweeping and picking dried needles out of my feet until late summer.