This is the last time you’ll see my kitchen and dining room before I begin holiday decorating.
I had Greg haul the Christmas bins out over the weekend. And I’ve been slowly winnowing through them.
I’m trying to decide what I’m going to use and what I’m not going to use.
This year’s decorating (I think, don’t quote me on that) will be more modest. Because it takes me longer to get things done.
However, I’m home more. So I might get itchy and keep adding after I tell myself I’m done.
And I’ve tried to scale back (but we’re talking about Christmas, so please don’t quote me on that!)
But once I get going, sometimes it’s hard to know where to stop. The story of my life.
Vignettes For Christmas Decorating:
I’m planning (yes, but don’t quote me on that) to do mostly vignettes this year.
Vignettes are simpler and less intrusive.
I don’t want to have to push things out of the way just to eat a meal at the table.
You may be happy (or possibly unhappy) to know that I’m digging around in the reds again.
Yes, I have missed my reds!
First I found myself digging around in the many dishes stored in my dishwasher. But now my eye is going to other things that are red.
So if you thought I’d retired the color red, you thought wrong. And so did I.
Red has always been a tantalizing color to me. It draws me like a moth to a flame.
It’s shiny and mesmerizing.
So yes, you’re getting to see more red.
Did you shake your head when I began putting the reds away? Did you think: Well, how long will this little decorating decision last?
Yeah, I shook my head at myself too. But I plunged ahead and stacked the red decor and dishes away anyway.
Probably an impulsive decision on my part. One of many I’ve made over the course of my life. And lived to tell the tale.
When I wrote “lived to tell the tale” I got to wondering where that came from. So naturally I Googled it and found it was actually in the dictionary.
It means: To successfully deal with or continue to live despite a difficult situation or experience.
Which means when I use that phrase, it is more tongue in cheek because I’m not truly in that type of situation. And not for anything serious.
The Calmness Of The Color Green:
But the greens are SO relaxing. I’m going to have to curb my enthusiasm and just dot a bit of red here and there. Not everywhere.
But hey, Christmas calls for red, doesn’t it? What would the Christmas season be without the color red?
I doubt I’d recognize a Christmas without reds.
Neighbors drifted in and out yesterday, deftly walking around all the plastic bins of Christmas decor out on the patio.
First it was Peg, then it was Steve. He forgot and left his mail here yesterday when he came to see me.
Steve will stand up ready to go to what he calls “the other side of the wall”. He look about him to make sure he has everything.
Last time he left his water bottle. Sometimes it’s his keys. Or his phone.
Yesterday Steve sat down and I prodded him to start telling stories. Steve is a great story teller.
I urged him to tell about the woman he used to work with who got caught in a barbed wire fence. I’d heard it, but Peg had not.
Remember, he was a biologist for the U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service.
The Story About The First Female Hire:
This woman was the first female hire in their office, and she was out to prove herself.
She made it clear that she didn’t want any special consideration.
But then they were out in the field one day, and both Steve and another guy stepped over a barbed wire fence. They reached out to help her and she quickly told them she had it covered.
Steve has long legs and could easily scale the fence. This woman had short legs and really didn’t have a chance to clear the fence without help.
The men reached out to help her, but she chafed at the idea that she couldn’t get herself over the fence.
You guessed it. She got caught on the barbed wire fence in, of all places, her crotch. Then she was stuck.
So they had to help her and she was none too happy. She made them promise not to tell the others at the office about it.
But of course they did.
That’s not the whole story, but you get the gist of it.
When Steve Was A Helicopter Pilot:
Then I had him tell the story about when he was a helicopter pilot in Vietnam.
There was this big concrete courtyard type place.
The men grew bored one day, and what ensued was a cockroach race. All the lines were drawn on the cement and bets were made.
Unfortunately for the cockroach, he or she was set afire at one end to make he/she move faster.
Now there may have been some dousing with gasoline, but that part of it is a little dim in my memory.
Yes, it’s a bit horrifying.
But then, as Steve reminded us, there was quite a bit of beer involved.
So I kept nudging him about stories he’d told me, and story after story was then told.
There was the time he spent in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. What he saw and what went on.
I’m telling you, Steve has led an interesting life.
And when you put an interesting life and a natural story teller together, you’ve got a winning combination.
He regaled us with story after story and we laughed and laughed.
Steve can’t figure out how on earth I can remember the things someone tells me. But somehow I do. Greg wonders too.
How my memory about what others tell me can reach back so far. Yet I couldn’t tell you what I ate for lunch yesterday.
I guess I have a knack for remembering other people’s stories.
Then later in the afternoon here comes Ron through the door. He brought back my plastic storage container from the last time I took cake over there.
And he had a slice of pecan pie in it for me.
Next time you see photos of my apartment, you will see Christmas starting to appear.