"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Are you listening?

I'm giving you Annie Lennox today, singing Winter Wonderland.

It's been years since I spent a Christmas in the snow, but I still remember the overwhelming beauty of watching the white flakes falling late at night. I would sit on my bed and look out my window. Lights from neighbors' homes cast soft shadows across the lawns and sometimes the flakes were so large and fluffy they would drift in swirls. Other times, they would drive down sideways, with the wind. It was all so gorgeous I wanted to cry and laugh and wiggle my body from top to bottom and run in circles until I collapsed.

In particular, I remember one Christmas when I was in middle school and had gotten these really cool knee-high suede-ish boots. Think beige Uggs, except they were more sculpted and not fleecy. My grandmother was visiting from Indiana, and the electric fireplace in the playroom overheated, causing a fire. The fire department scampered right over to take care of it, but my mom and grandma were worried that the Christmas wrappings and boxes still in the living room would look like a fire hazard, so they moved all of it to the back room.

Turns out, the firemen needed access to the crawlspace above the ceiling. The entrance was, yes, in the back room. Instead of Christmas revelers, we looked like hoarders.

The thing is, the fire wasn't really worth a call to the fire department. I mean, I was a hormonally-challenged teenager and I wasn't worried. I wandered around outside, making snow angels and weird tracks in my yard.

Yeah... that was a good Christmas.

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