Sunday, September 8, 2013


30" snowflake lights
frame the 12' tree
It's not Christmas yet - except in those wholesale stores. In the sorting process, I pulled out some pictures of last Christmas, thinking how different things will be this year.

Last autumn was slow and quiet for me. Though I hadn't decorated our tree for a few years, I felt like doing it again. I pulled out all the boxes of ornaments: 35 years worth. A Freecycler took a half-dozen boxes off my hands, but the tree was still full. We hung huge IKEA snowflake lights on either side of the tree, moved the furnishings around to accommodate our guests, and celebrated with friends and family.

I snapped a few pictures, cooked a lot of food, and felt content when the season ended. I didn't seem to be in the same rush as other years, when I'd take down the tree the day after Christmas. It stood through the New Year. We left the MAKROS lights up: they turned to giant dandelions, decorating the ceiling in patterns of light and shadow as winter gave way to spring.

BEFORE: memories of last
Every day in January, I gave away bags and boxes of excess things: clothing, china, ornaments, food. I was surprised how easy it was to let go of things I'd enjoyed for years. I don't remember missing anything after it was gone.

It's great fun to assemble a home. It's fun to declutter at a willing pace. It's harder to take it apart.

Yesterday, W - who hates heights - climbed up to take the IKEA pendants from the 17' LR ceiling and put back plain bulbs. A youth pastor from Gig Harbor happily took the lights off our hands. We sold the tree last month: our kids prefer their little one. Anyone want our remaining garlands and ornaments?

AFTER: W inserts a bulb
while T takes apart the last lamp

"Please bring home lots of paper boxes," I ask W. The laundry room has to be taken apart upstairs. The kids' cleaning supplies are crammed into the powder room. I can't sort things until I know how much storage we'll have, but there's no sense in heaping more into hallways and the LR!

As we vacate spaces, the kids are filling them with their own furniture, boxes, and K's toys. I admire my daughter-in-law's courage in sharing the household. We're eagerly waiting for the guys to finish out our new space: they work on it in the evenings and on weekends.

Our granddaughter thinks she's in Playland and is the most cheerful playmate. "Oma! Oma! Hi Oma!" she calls as she comes to find me.

The slow and quiet autumn of last year? It's a treasured memory as life unravels to usher in a new season.

Read more:
*Our steps are made firm by the Lord, when he delights in our way; though we stumble, we shall not fall headlong, for the Lord holds us by the hand. Psalm 37:23-24 NLT

*Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker! For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Psalm 95:6-7 NEV

*Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught Peter, saying to him, "Oh you of little faith, why did you doubt?" Matthew 14:31 NEV

Moravian Prayer: Gracious King, though we are fallen creatures, we thank you that you delight in our success and obedience, and willingly and generously catch us when we fall. Bless our lives as we seek to serve you in new ways and with great thanksgiving. Amen.

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