There are two things on my mind this week and I don’t want to write about one of them. I bet you can guess what that is. It has four letters and starts with an “s” and ends in a “w”. Likewise with the corresponding four-letter-word that starts with a “w” and ends with a “d”. I have had enough of the white and blowing stuff and I refuse to give it more airtime. So … moving on to the other main thing on my mind this week. Love.
I was in kindergarten when it happened. My first dental-related memory. I was riding the bus to school, squeezed onto an overcrowded seat. It was an old bus. The kind with no “cush” in the cushions. The kind where you felt every bump on the road. The kind with a metal bar on the top back of each green seat as opposed to full vinyl coverage.
Ah, winter. Such a loaded word. A word that, after the temperatures of this past week, makes me shiver. Winter in Minnesota is far more exciting than winter was growing up in Washington State. On Orcas Island, we rarely saw snow. But if we did, by golly, we were almost guaranteed a snow day. Two inches of snow! Stop the presses! Send everyone home!
Last week I talked about how traumatic my piano lesson years were. But the trauma didn’t end. Sure, it took a break for a few years, but then I woke up one day and faced the worrisome decision of subjecting my children to that same trauma.
When I was a kid back on the island, my parents had pretty straightforward expectations of my two sisters and me. We would do well in school. We would behave. We would be kind and honest and obedient. We would go to church. And, only slightly less important, we would take piano lessons. Ah, piano lessons. The bane of my existence for seven years.
It’s never as much fun to de-decorate as it is to decorate. I never anticipate with joy how the de-decorating process will look, how exciting it will be to see the house void of its Christmas splendor, how great all the boxes will look, stacked up in the closet under the stairs.
I’m writing this on my birthday. It’s one of those birthdays where people sometimes stop counting. Depending on my mood, I either embrace my birthday or I panic. I haven’t yet decided which I’m going to do this year.
My guess is that there won’t be many people who disagree with me that green is a color of Christmas. You’ve got your green wreaths. Your green Christmas trees. Your green holly. Elves seem to wear a lot of green. So I guess that proves it. As I wracked my brain for other green Christmasy things, I thought of my sister’s church, back on Orcas Island, Wash. where I grew up. In recent years they have had a “Hanging of the Greens” service in early December.
Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king, "Do you know what I know? In your palace warm, mighty king, do you know what I know? A Child, a Child shivers in the cold, let us bring him silver and gold, let us bring him silver and gold." ( Do you Hear what I Hear, Regney/Baker, 196
It’s easy to think about the color white right now as I look out my windows. Everything is white. The lake is covered in white. Every needle and every branch on every single tree is white. White frost etches my windows. The very air is white.