Today is a big milestone – three years ago during a record cold and snowy winter, Lady Baby was born! For three years she’s inspired many words and pictures here, but soon she’ll be telling her own story.
Earlier this December, visiting Anchorage, we cut out Christmas cookies, played by the Christmas tree, and read our favorite Christmas stories. (Lady Baby pronounces the big day “kiss-miss” in the most endearing way.) She painted wrapping paper, and together we made handprint trivet tiles for her favorite people – even modge-podging the squares of felt on back.
I kept measuring this Christmas against others – its celebrations and traditions reveal so many changes.
My young friend, beautiful and graceful (and so grown up), who yearly stood on tiptoe on a stool to place a star at the top of our Christmas tree, this year twirled on her toes in her high school’s dance production – “A Christmas Carol” adapted as “Ebenezer” with hip-hop and ballet and dozens of exuberant young people.
The uncertain teenage niece I took to see the “Nutcracker” in Seattle has become a lovely, confident, and hardworking medical student who met me this year in Seattle for the “Nutcracker” – the last year of the famous Sendak set design.
And our little boys with huge grins (one missing front teeth) who posed by the Christmas tree have become loving and responsible husbands and fathers, themselves making Christmas happen.
Long-standing traditions come to an end. For more than 40 years, a grateful client of my husband’s sent a Christmas greeting – little gifts for the children in the old days, and more recently a fragrant wreath in early December. Nothing came this year.
Christmas cards arriving tell the tale also – a mix of delight in life – maybe a card from a new friend or photo cards from the friends of your children with children of their own – and missing persons.
A huge windstorm hit Washington while we were in Anchorage, and on our return we discovered two tall Doug firs broken in half, top halves toppled. We constructed our Christmas tree from the tops and some branches (with the help of duct tape and florist wire).
That’s change. One minute, as the top of a 50-foot Doug fir, you are living celestially with birds and clouds, then crashed to the ground, then decked with lights in a warm room. Anything can happen. And I’m going to try and pay even better attention to this miraculous life in 2015.
Early one morning in the Anchorage darkness, I walked with my old neighbor, while the eager Downtown Abbey dogs pulled us along. I told her this was so corny to say, but I was very grateful to be alive. And maybe not so corny, maybe a mantra for next year.
This is the last post of the fifth year of “Her spirits rose…” – holey moley. I thank the Wordsmith and my good-natured husband for their longtime, always incisive editing (though my husband will call this piece a mish-mash and say I “have too much going on”).
And thank you to you readers – so many for the whole five years! Here’s to 2015!