Tuesday, December 4, 2012


just like pretty much every other night
Star and I went for a walk. 
She loves to smell,
and me, well 
I am ashamed to admit
I am  an unashamed 
window peeper.
Especially at this time of year. 
I love looking at people's Christmas trees. 
It seems like there are a lot of white-light trees this year.
You know, the really fancy ones
that look like they could be in magazines. 

We will never have one of those trees.
We can't.
Where would we put the worn pink teapot
with the silver glitter
that my grandmother carried
all the way
from Marshall Fields in Chicago
to our living room in Colorado Springs
when I was ten years old?
It wouldn't look right
on one of those fancy white-light trees.

And where would we put the teacher ornaments? 
You know- all those apples
carefully picked from Hallmark shop orchards--
ceramic apples, metal apples, 
and the ones that ring 
every time the dog brushes against the tree.
And where would we put the pictures of 
former students
familiar faces with forgotten names 
in popsicle stick frames.
Where would those go 
on a fancy white-light tree?

We will never have one of those trees.
We can't.

Where would we put the three brown angels
my friend Terri gave me
the first year
the boys and I were a family.
I can't remember which boy
dropped one and broke the wings off 
An hour after we got them.
And the old-fashioned ornaments 
sent from Maine
 by my friend Cyrene
to celebrate that same Christmas.
I cry every year when I open that box.
And then there's the plethora
of football and basketball and superhero ornaments-- 
they wouldn't quite work on one of those fancy trees either.

I guess, we can't have 
one of those fancy white-light trees.
Not yet anyway.



Beautiful, colorful, and full of life and meaning. The formatting looked like a tree as well.

writekimwrite said...

Your Christmas tree is full of heart warming memories, love and life which makes it exceptional, the best kind of "fancy" to me.

Michelle said...

Oh, it doesn't matter the light color! What matters is the memories and stories that are held with each ornament as you place it on the tree - a slice in itself!

Personally, I have white lights, but that's by choice. (Maybe because as a kid, we always had color lights.) Yet, I still have homemade stars and half-broken apples and many stories to share and remember.

That's what is important. I love what Kim mentioned in her comment: Love and life make is exceptional and that's the best kind of fancy to me. Perfect.

And I'm so glad that you wrote! Don't you feel a twinge better? :) I hope so.

Mary Lee said...

I've taken a break from the work of a Christmas tree for the past two years, and I can't wait to open the boxes of ornaments and let all of the memories come spilling out.

Recently, in my imagination, I visited the ornament boxes that are still in the cupboard in the den back home. Tears sprang to my eyes remembering all the ornaments that will someday leave Colorado to hang on my tree in Ohio.

Jaana said...

Carol, for almost not writing, this is spectacular! Your words make it possible for me to get a glimpse of your life. Thanks for sharing.