Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Three Fired Santas

Sweeping up the stray needles as we put the Christmas tree away for another year.

After a long stretch of sub-freezing cold, the wind came down the slopes of the Front Range yesterday in a classic Chinook. True to the aboriginal meaning of the word, it was a snow eater. As the air compressed on its way downslope, the temperatures rocketed upwards from the single digits into the balmy upper 50s F. 

There was a lot of snow for this thing to eat, so that was good. Yet with the clouds overhead, the snow didn’t dry out as it might have here at 6,700 feet in the steppes of the Rocky Mountains. The slush and puddling complicated my transfer of the four boxes of Christmas swag and decor and the artificial tree to the shed beside the house.

My wife had bought a big green bag nylon purportedly made for artificial Christmas trees, and broke down the old Christmas tree box to be taken to the recycling bin. The box wasn’t in such bad shape, and the bag was an irregular shape and rather flimsy, besides. It required some finesse on my part putting it away. Why the big change-up? 

The three Fired Santas on the table told the tale.
Left behind on the dining room table were three Santa figures my wife had decided to return to the thrift store to find new homes. The one of Santa feeding the geese was one I remembered her being especially proud of finding years ago. But now it was going away, along with two other figures my wife had decided she just didn’t want around anymore. 

The very arbitrary nature of the changes was the clue. Just as a woman will radically change her hairstyle before breaking off a relationship, my wife was changing things up by way of psychologically readying herself for the Big Move. 

I’ve been doing the same in my office. Shedding ballast. Readying myself for the day I have depersonalize everything in my office so we can show the house to potential buyers. There’s a certain necessary hardening of the heart that goes on here. You have to become a new thing to meet the New Thing.

Haven’t I?
Still, I couldn’t help looking at that Santa feeding the geese. This figure had graced the top center of the bookshelf across from the living room sofa for four, maybe five Christmas seasons, and I imagined that face saying, “Have I not served you faithfully all these years?”

Yeah, I’m weird that way sometimes.

Not everything went out to the shed today. After packing away the boxes and the Christmas tree bag, I had to take the lights down from the bush outside our front door. There were still some ceramic snowmen on the windowsill in the kitchen. I suspect my wife left them there as generic winter decor. 

I took advantage of the warm temperatures and took an abbreviated version of my usual walk through the neighborhood greenbelt. My wife vacuumed and tidied up while I was out. When I returned, the house was de-Christmased. Ready for the New Year, already five days underway, but in time for Twelfth Night.

Which I didn’t celebrate this time around; I’ve been drinking too much as it is. After watching the evening’s spectacular sunset (and futilely trying to capture its raging, grieving colors on camera), I stayed up a couple of hours reading stuff on the Internet before turning in early to bed. I got up at 3 a.m. and worked on finishing this post.

At least I don’t feel as tired and wrung-out as I have throughout the last few days. That’s something.
As always, the Canon Powershot doesn’t quite capture the majesty of it all, but it’ll have to do