Saturday, November 24, 2007

Nostalgia, and a year older

Just to set the tone, here are two related posts from my old blog, posted a year ago. My thoughts from today will follow...

Christmas lights
Tonight at 5 pm, I drove home in the dark....guess I better to get used to that.

I love Canadian winters, truly I do. I love the "time stands still" flavour of frozen, silent winter days. I love the quiet beauty of a gentle snowfall. And I particulary love a violent storm on a day when I know we don't have to leave the house. Can there be anything better than looking out at a blizzard and truly appreciating the solid warmth and comfort we all take for granted?

And, oh, the Christmas lights. Because it is still November, there aren't many illuminated houses yet, but I also know there will be more each day. Silky multicoloured lights in a sea of frozen black.My heart swells, and my eyes well, with each twinkly home. Because the homeowners reap no benefit from bedecking their homes; they come home and the decorative lights are off. Then they go inside, where they can not possibly enjoy them, and turn the lights on.Christmas lights aren't about making yourself happy, they're about making other people happy.

Each day of this season, my heart is filled to overflowing by people I will never meet, who only want to make me happy.I'm glad I am one of them, and I'm glad my home sparkles in the dark.

Christmas Lights, Part Two
When I wrote the previous post, I was gazing through my window on a beautiful dark evening. Now it is the harsh light of day, and I have learned a valuable life lesson.

This morning I unpacked my outdoor lights. The first string wouldn't light up. I cut my finger on the second strand; apparently something heavy was tossed on top of them sometime over the last year, because the bottom of the bag was littered with tiny pieces of glass. I didn't even bother looking at the third or fourth string, I just got myself a garbage bag and got them ready for the curb. Husbandly One entered the room at this point, I explained what I was doing and he said, "Look, just leave them, I'll look at them tomorrow."

And at that exact moment I felt myself take another incremental step towards becoming A Grown-Up, and I laughed aloud. I'm sorry, I am almost forty years old, and my days of sitting cross legged on the floor all afternoon, swapping out a hundred tiny bulbs to find the problem, are OVER. I may have had the patience (and lack of bank balance) to do that at 24, but at 37 I say, "That's why Jesus gave me a debit card."

The lesson isn't that getting older has given me more money (ha!), but that getting older her given me more perspective, and as crazy as it may sound, more of a sense of self worth. My time is worth far too much to fritter it away on a futile mission, when there's a Home Hardware store five blocks away.So now I'm going to set up my Christmas tree. It better not piss me off, or it'll be on the curb, too!

And now, a message from November 24, 2007

This afternoon, I went in to my garage and couldn't even FIND my only-a-year-old Christmas lights! Remember: renovating. There is so much crap piled up in the garage that is amazes me that the house hasn't begun to tilt to one side. I spent 10 minutes pawing through camping equipment, painting supplies, odd ends of drywall, and discarded furniture before I decided ENOUGH.

Yeah, I know 10 minutes isn't a long time. And I know Christmas lights can be expensive. But this afternoon, I couldn't get my debit card out of my wallet fast enough. I would far rather buy all new lights, for no real reason, instead of slogging through my garage.

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