Daily Post: Tree

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Tree

Branches gently swaying in the breeze

Rustling leaves like whispers in the wind

Basking in your shade puts me at ease

A quiet place of respite you will lend

Oh Christmas tree, MY Christmas tree

Christmas 2013

Christmas 2013

This Christmas is a first of sorts for my husband and I.  December 25, 2013 will be our first Christmas as empty nesters.

Don’t worry; this post isn’t going to be a sappy one lamenting a dismally quiet household and no one to wake up with us on Christmas morning.  Although we are disappointed that our eldest can’t make it home this year with our only grandchild, we will have our youngest and her husband here for the holidays.

With all of the ornaments laid out on the kitchen table this year, I made a decision.  I was going to split them and ship them!  I painstakingly and with absolute fairness, separated them into two large flat rate postal boxes.  I wrapped them using bubble wrap and tissue paper and one Christmas dish towel (a little extra). One of the boxes is on it’s way to Louisiana while the other heads for Texas.  Why, you might ask?  Well, I decided I had a couple of choices.  I could hoard them all and continue to have the same old tree year after year, or I could send them each a little piece of home, while also helping these young couples build up their Christmas decoration stock.  Why keep them until I’m old and grey? (wait, I’m already grey without color every six weeks) – anyway, I figured I would let them enjoy them and have memories of home hanging from their trees.

What was in it for me?  To be honest, as I packed all the cute, kiddie looking ornaments, I was dreaming of a tree similar to one I’d encountered on Pinterest, with a woodland animal theme.  You might think I’m not sentimental enough and that I should be pining for the ornament that a 6yr old made in art class.  Well, I did keep a couple that were made by their own little hands.  However, not for my tree; just for the memory.  I much prefer the memories of spending time with them and our conversations and laughter to things.

I marched right to Kohl’s the following day where I had already eyed the ornaments I liked and filled up a basket with owls, foxes, cardinals and others that would match my theme; Then it was off to Target and then Family Christian Store for more tree decorations.  I turned on Christmas carols, turned down the A.C. (yes, good old south FL weather) and began.  A couple hours later I stepped back, pleased and beamed when my husband said it was beautiful.

As families grow and change, a new tradition or a new twist on an old tradition helps to move us forward.  I have beautiful memories with my children decorating and them picking out an ornament every year, but they don’t live here anymore and this tree makes me happy.  It let me pour out some creativity and refresh an old theme.  We can’t dwell on the past and the way things were.  Things and people change and we can’t allow ourselves to get bogged down in the yesterdays and how things used to be.  We grow, people pass on, family members move, more members are added.

If you find yourself in a new season in life, make a change, do something different, something new and enjoy it!

I am reminded of a similar post called “Gone are the matching bows” that I wrote at a different time in my life last year about Christmas trees and letting them be for the children; you can click on the link below to check it out.

https://longwalksanddarkchocolate.com/2012/11/28/gone-are-the-matching-bows/

 

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Peeling trees

Bananas on a banana tree. Personnal photo, fre...

Bananas on a banana tree. Personnal photo, free licence (see below). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My younger brother and sister bounded into the yellow house, excitement on their faces, along with dirt from their long day at play.   My sister, with the bulk of her auburn curls trapped in pigtails fastened with yarn and sporting a splash of cinnamon freckles across her nose, was the first to speak.  “Oh, Granny, guess what we did for Poppy?  He is going to be so happy!”  My brother was standing right beside my sister, which is where you often found him.  He was smiling too, a smile full of a sense of pride and accomplishment for his part in this good deed.  They both had some kind of juice and goo that smelled like banana all over them, enough where if we had been at home, mom would have escorted them quickly to the bathtub.  Not Granny though; that kind of thing didn’t faze her.

Granny smiled that kind of smile that grandmothers smile and animatedly asked, “Well sugar, what did you do?”  She had that way of speaking to you that always made you feel good; never a glimmer of frustration or impatience to be heard.  Her voice and tone felt like a warm hug.

“We peeled Poppy’s banana trees!  Granny we stripped every piece of the brown off and made them all nice and pretty!”

Now, before I go any farther, let me say that Poppy loved to garden and he loved his banana trees.  Looking back, I think working in the soil was relaxing for him after his long day as a fishing guide.  He liked to see the fruits of his labor and share them and he was very particular in the way the way he attended his plants.

The look on Granny’s face after their announcement went from perfectly peaceful to a bit concerned. I, being a little older and wiser knew the look and the once uneventful day looked suddenly as if it promised some excitement. She took their dirty little, banana gooey hands as they led her outside to survey the beauty of the project. I trailed along behind them anxious to inspect the ruins, and sadly, but honestly probably enjoying the possibility of the impending drama a little too much.

The trees were peeled alright, there was barely anything left.  Now, granted you are supposed to peel off the dead yellow leaves, which in their defense, they had probably watched Poppy do.

Granny elected not to share with them at that time, the trouble they were in.  Knowing her, I bet she wanted them to enjoy their excitement for as long as possible, while she prayed and figured out how to calm the storm she knew to be looming on the horizon.

I knew two things; one being that Pop was not going to be happy and two being that granny didn’t let anyone and I mean anyone mess with her grandbabies.  So, now to sit back and watch and wait for the Dixie to dock, and Pop to head home, all of which we could see from Granny’s front yard.

Pop got home and I waited.  They hurried up to him excitedly begging him to “Come look what we did for you!”  Poppy would make this snorting sound when he didn’t really want to participate in something, but when it came to his grandkids, he would usually relent anyway and this time wasn’t any different.

But when he saw his precious trees, he quickly lost his temper.  This was before Poppy had a sanctified vocabulary, so we heard some choice words.  He then described what was going to happen to their little derrieres.  Their joyful little faces quickly turned into blubbering, dirty little, banana goo messes and we all ran as fast as our little feet would carry us into the house and they jumped straight into Granny’s lap.  By this time, I was no longer looking forward to any action; I had softened and started to feel sorry for them, as I watched tears dampen their dirty little cheeks.

As Poppy angrily lamented what he thought would be the end of his poor trees and advised Granny as to whose hides were getting tanned, Granny got that wet mother hen look in her eye.  She made it a point to call them “the babies” and reminded him they were only trying to help.   She said very matter-of-factly that no one would be getting spankings on her watch.  Poppy snorted and shuffled back outside and that was the end of that.  I could have sworn I heard Granny giggle.

Before the end of the night, Granny had calmed Poppy and they were both chuckling about the peeled trees.  To this day, we still mention it with a smile; one of those things that for a few moments completely stole our peace and filled us with fear turned into one of those funny moments our family has laughed about for years.

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