Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Word-less Wednesday

This is going to be the Least Wordy post I have ever written on a Wordless Wednesday -- so much to adjust to here, much of it just lovely (family, especially the grandkids) but some of it frustrating, some exciting, some anxiety-producing, some grieving, some comforting. . . .Jumbled enough that I thought I'd just as soon approach the page by sketching rather than indulging in too much prose...



Our son's family arrives tomorrow for an early Christmas gathering. Very early, isn't it, and we're still not properly unpacked. I did find the box of Christmas picture books, though we still don't know if Christmas trees are allowed in the condo. And you know the way you develop a retrieval system for a large catalogue of home goods based on an intimate system of domestic geography? While the database is still housed in my noggin, the corresponding reality has shifted beyond recognition, and it's not helpful to know that the pair of scissors I'm looking for are either in the top left drawer in the upstairs bathroom or the right-hand corner of the closet in the "TV room."

So I'm hoarding my words now, carefully not spilling all my confused emotions. Focussing on putting together some red, white, and silver with zillions of tiny white lights, vases of flowers and berries and fragrant greenery Pulling out as much of the Christmas sheet music as I can find and downloading and printing whatever I can't. Plus iTunes substitutes for the elusive box of Christmas CDs....

And you? Anything I say resonate? How are you managing to fit this coming holiday season with those of your past? And perhaps those of your future?

33 comments:

  1. Christmas can be overwhelming in an ordered life, which I guess yours has yet to become. Be gentle on yourself and let your family rally round. B X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good advice, B -- and you're right, I've got a ways to go before my life is ordered again...Thank you!

      Delete
  2. I am just reminding myself, that which I forget does not necessarily, directly, deterministically, predict dementia.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh I totally empathize!
    I am so grateful that we have been in our same home for over 30 years.
    I think I would be adrift in a sea of chaos should I move...BUT we WILL move at some point to a condo and I will probably find myself in a similar situation.
    A little doodling is quite therapeutic...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Moving within the same city, as you're likely to, and with your well-honed domestic skills, you might find the transition much easier, L.

      Delete
  4. What you describe is part of what I really dread about moving. It feels like we're just now really getting organized in our current home, and we've lived here for 30 years! It sounds like you, fortunately, have a much better developed tolerance for chaos than I do. My question to you is, what kind of a condo board in North America would not allow a Christmas tree in the condos it governs? I've heard of picayune condo rules, but never that one. If condos can be regulated that strictly, I guess we'll have to cross condos off our list of future housing options. Best wishes for a joyous celebration with your family!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I should have been more specific, L in O; it's a live Christmas tree that's prohibited by quite a few strata councils (our daughter's for example, and our previous small apartment's). I think there was a fire concern, although I'm not sure, and I suspect disposal becomes an issue as well, never mind the needles. I used to feel I could never tolerate these restrictions, but seeing how many people live within such constraints, I've shifted (or am trying to, at least). There are some very clear eco gains that help reconcile me somewhat.... Thanks for the "best wishes" -- I hope you're heading toward the same joy as the season gets underway.

      Delete
    2. Can I reassure you that if you have to get an artificial tree that it's not so bad. We have had artificial trees for about 15 years now (because of starting Christmas at home in Edinburgh and then being away for the best part of 2 weeks for the festival itself at my now late father's house. A real tree in Edinburgh would have shed all its needles through lack of care, and we lacked the energy to tidy up/dispose of 2 real trees with so many other pressures). True you don't get the pine scent, but the eco gains are big all the way up and down the chain. Well, I suppose until eventually disposing of a plastic tree...But anyway, now I don't give it a second thought that it's not real. We'll be getting Gregory out of the loft this weekend in Edinburgh.

      Delete
    3. I can definitely see the appeal -- in fact, I think we'll comfortably skip the tree this year, and substitute an abundance of florals, foliage, and twinkly lights. . .

      Delete
  5. I have been wondering for some time if returning to Vancouver might not - in a way - feel like another stop on your trip. It is a bit like Bordeaux, isn't it? New place, new neighbours, new shops, new corners to turn and new habits to develop. Quite exiting, yes, but also exhausting. And more so after a long trip. You have more than ten weeks this time, so take it easy! Btw, I love your ccfc!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very perceptive, Eleonore, and yes! In fact, this was part of the method to my madness, in a way, presenting myself with the notion of change as a positive adventure, just as if we'd been offered a posting in some cool new locale. But it is also exhausting. And you're right, I'll be here for much longer than ten weeks, so I can well afford to slow down. Thank you.
      And I know I'm going to be embarrassed that I can't figure this out, but what is the "ccfc"?

      Delete
    2. Your own alliteration: "Cozy corner for contemplation". It looks very inviting, the perfect combination of coziness and a view. And I am proud to be able to say that I was among those who told you to keep the piano...

      Delete
    3. CCFC, I've got it now and I like it. And yes, I'm happily indebted to those readers, yourself included, who encouraged me to hang onto the piano. I daresay it's practically the soul of this place already...

      Delete
  6. I think you have chosen wisely by tapping into your creative side, which in your case is huge: musical, artistic, sensual. Your strong analytical side is trying to make sense, to organize this new space, plan new habits, all while comparing to the past. Keep sketching, playing that music,...I'd even go overboard with the scale of flower arrangements, particularly if no real tree is possible. And congratulate yourself on your willingness to change, to see beauty everywhere, to revolutionize your life. To keep family close.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're so kind and very thoughtful AND you've tipped the scale in favour of something I've been contemplating -- yes! I'm going to go overboard with the flower arrangements. Never have done much of this in the past -- the florist's was a boat ride and a wheelbarrow/bike journey away when we lived on the island. So an indulgence -- an explosion! -- of floral goodness will be a celebration of the change more than just the silver lining to a cloud. Thanks!

      Delete
  7. I've got a handy tip for you all ; if you ever want to see something again , don't whatever you do, put it down .
    ( must ask ... why would the condo not allow a Christmas tree ? You're presumably allowed potted plants ?)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, this is a tip I need to pay attention to!
      See above re Christmas tree. But I've read the Strata bylaws and see no prohibition and there are no "friendly reminders" about same in the elevator or at the mailboxes as there were in my daughter's building. So I think we might be okay for trees, and I'm thinking maybe I've found I want an excuse not to have one. . . ;-)

      Delete
  8. I'm a bit out of sorts today.. flight cancelled, bad weather looming, plans in flux. For those of us who need organization these times are challenging. Thank you (and belle) for reminding me that taking a breath and tapping the creative side can do wonders.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ouch! That's more than enough to put anyone out of sorts. I get annoyed when I can't get to my hair appointment because of snow (happened this week!) -- never mind a cancelled flight. Do report back on whether you managed to get where you were going eventually. . . or that the creativity paid off in offering another perspective.

      Delete
  9. As Stella A said:for those of us who need organization (I hope everything ends well Stella!),chaos is very demanding!
    Lack of sleep is hard to endure for me,especially if I have something to do the next day....or play...or unpack...or celebrate Christmas
    Dottoressa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chaos is unsettling, isn't it -- and sometimes it's good to be unsettled, but it's wearing. . . and leaves us very appreciative of order when it returns.
      Yes, the lack of sleep is tough. I did manage five hours last night, which is the most this week, so I'm really hoping the trend continues in this direction.

      Delete
  10. Your post brought back memories, Mater. First year we moved down here to the desert, everything was in boxes. Moving two houses into one, who knew where Christmas stuff was? I found one small box and the grandsons decorated a few of the small indoor palms in the house. (Not very Christmasy. The year before, there were two trees, beautifully decorated, with holiday finery all over the house.) I was beside myself with regret, feeling disorganized. The kids, however, were fine. They thought it was fun! I had a glass of champagne and attempted to recover. Hope you have a wonderful time with your family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is a sweet vignette, Royleen. Those contrasts between your previous very polished Christmasses and the chance to find out what really constituted the spirit of the season through children's eyes. . . . Thanks for sharing this -- I'll make sure I have a few bottles of bubbly in the fridge!

      Delete
  11. Perhaps a living evergreen on the balcony to start a new tradition in this phase of your life?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Funny you should say that -- I happened to look again this morning on the little front balcony of our new home and realised that there's a sweet little potted cedar there, about eighteen inches tall, all ready to wear a necklace of fairy lights. I'm thinking perhaps it needs a fir companion, a slightly taller friend, similarly lit up. . .

      Delete
    2. And you--or better yet the littles-- could decorate with treats for the birds.

      Delete
    3. I love it! Yes! (although I'm not too keen on inviting any pigeons or gulls....;-)

      Delete
  12. We arrived home yesterday and the suitcases are still only half unpacked. No Christmas tree up, no Christmas shopping done but a great cruise.

    ReplyDelete
  13. As always, your trailblazing is so helpful to me. 'Domestic geography' should be a subject of serious academic study. What factors cause us to put the potato peeler in the second drawer down in the third kitchen unit from the left? My task at the moment is trying to impress on my hoarder husband that it will be physically and emotionally (for me) impossible to pack every last item of our current house into a removal lorry for our big move in a year/2/3 years time. So your reminder that it all has to find a sensible place somewhere at the other end and that this will require physical and mental effort is welcome.
    Christmas for us this year is about all 4 of us enjoying being together. Nothing else much matters.
    You have had so many changes of pace/place recently that there should be no expectations on you other than a casual flinging of those tiny white lights and some flowers and greenery, as you're doing. Con brio! Avec confiance! And any other encouraging European sayings you like.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is actually serious academic work done in this field (check out Gillian Rose's work--and she spent time at your U of Edinburgh)
      Yes, smart to start preparing for that move -- you've got time to start storing up some Bon courage! (in keeping with your Euro-exhortations ;-)

      Delete
  14. Excellent! Thanks so much for pointing me to Gillian Rose. I will enjoy reading in this area.

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...