Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Fat, Broke and, Uninspired

Well I think that really says it all. I stole it shamelessly from a buddy. It has been a great holiday season full of all the wrong foods in all the wrong places and overpriced gifts in all the wrong sizes. There is wrapping paper stuffed behind couches, under tables and chairs. And there is tinsel jammed up in the blender. It’s best if you don’t ask. I am missing the woolly bearded Santa head ornament and for some reason the thread of blue twinkle lights won’t twinkle. The cat smells suspiciously of pine and he won’t look me in the eye anymore but it might just be because of his singed eyebrows. I’m not quite sure what happened there.

The door wreath looks like something that happened on a dark road that no one wants to talk about. I had to tell the Saint the other day that one of the dogs had killed a python and he would need to clean up the awful mess left in the driveway. It turned out that the dog had simply killed the door garland and red velvet bows. That was a relief. I certainly didn’t want to have to start looking for pythons in the pines. There is a mixture of neon lights still intact on the blinking Merry Christmas sign and we are now wishing everyone a Lerry Chimas. This is the long cherished holiday of an ancient South American community. At least that’s what I’m telling everyone. I’m handing out tiny piƱatas just to cover my bases.
The roof-top Santa has been quite a disappointment. He had too much holiday cheer and is now sprawled out across the roof in a very undignified manner. The reindeer appear to be looking on with contempt, except of course Rudolph who is face down in the gutter. Again. This doesn’t surprise me. He behaved this way year too. I hoped that rehab would help but it just didn’t seem to take. It’s sad really. He was such a leader and his future looked so bright.

The tree has been holding up pretty well considering. I have been hot gluing the needles back on but mostly it’s hanging in there. The needle gluing was a lot easier than I expected. They have been dropping in large clumps so I’m just making little bundles and gluing them on in groups. It adds an interesting texture to the tree and the dried glue glows prettily in the lights. What, why am I gluing the needles back on the tree? Because this tree has to make it to January 2nd. That’s also why I duct taped the holiday python back up onto the door. While most self respecting, holiday honoring, decent folk have celebrated, imbibed and overspent themselves into a lifetime of servitude and debt we are just getting started. A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, we decided that we were tired of getting run over, chewed up and spit out by the holiday Christmas machine. Instead of finding peace, joy and happiness, we were finding pressured sales, pressured consumers and pressures from a complete lack of parking. No matter how well prepared we were we always seemed to end up under the wheels begging for a quick hoof to the head.

I know we’re not the first ones to complain about this and we won’t be the last. I also know that the merry marketing train is going to keep right on chugging at full speed until it derails itself in a grand shower of red ink. We were definitely not feeling the Christmas spirit and it was getting worse every year.

The Saint will confirm, if you should have any lingering doubts, that I lack the decency to know when I am defeated. I just don’t seem to get it. My tendency is to analyze the situation from every angle, considering all the pros and cons and then…cheat.

We moved our Christmas day to January 1st. Before you get excited and start dialing hotlines and consumer groups let me explain. We do all the actual Christmas celebrating during the actual Christmas holiday time. We just skip the stress. Basically we just give ourselves an extra week. It takes the pressure off so we can enjoy the festivities at a more leisurely pace. We do Christmas Eve and day, celebrate and have a great time. On the 24th and 25th we open gifts but, only a small one each. We do the big gift exchange on the 1st . We have a nice dinner on Christmas day and celebrate it with a simpler focus on family. Don’t get me wrong. We are all great big present whores. We loves us some presents, we do. We just broke things up a bit so that it made a little more sense to us and we could enjoy it for what it was meant to be. Plus this way you get to hit all those fantastic 70% off sales after the big rush is over. SCORE.

My title here said Fat, Broke and, Uninspired. All that is true. I am fatter than a house. I am broke and or plan to be when it is all said and done. And I have been staring at my sorely neglected blog for several days now without the slightest hint of idea or thinnest thread of a thought. I still have a garage full of spring bulbs that need to go into the ground and as soon as it thaws out again I plan to feel guilty about not planting them. While many of you have already cleaned up your holiday debris I am only now beginning to think of ways to explain a Christmas tree in my living room in May. I already have a few good ones written down. We’re going green! --though spray paint may be needed at some point. And, they aren’t Christmas lights if they’re still on in June. By that time it’s outdoor lighting. Oh, and the drunken Santa? Lawn jockey! I’m working out the details so that I can “re-purpose” the decorations and have a fantastic tulip garage show in the spring. I mean really, who’s going to call me on a Lerry Chimas in July?

I guess I’ll have to go back and cross out the uninspired part of the title. I’m really starting to feel that holiday spirit now.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Why Do I Do This?

Christmas is swiftly approaching…like a runaway sleigh driven by a drunken fat man in red velvet pajamas and a surely reindeer with deep emotional scars riding shotgun. Oh sure, it’s wonderful this time of year. There’s all that forced holiday glee out there clogging up the daily works with low carb saccharine good cheer. Every shopping mall and discount store around has turned into a financial black hole with the gravitational mass of a government bailout, complete with ill tempered bell ringers just short of their next medication dose. The other day at Safeway I had to sneak around to the little side entrance in order to avoid Darla from the Hell’s Angels Bell Ringers Brigade. I was afraid she might hunt me down in the cereal isle and kill me with a rice crispy treat if I didn’t donate. I had already given my last dollar to her cell mate across the street at the Les Swab tire store. I wasn’t taking a chance on that one. An ill timed blowout during I-5 rush hour traffic could really put a crimp in my shopping schedule. Ol’ Scooter there indicated he might puncture a tire with one of his tongue piercings if so inclined. Frankly I have no idea how he managed to smoke that cigar when he couldn’t even close his lips. He might have given that some thought before having all the hardware installed. I considered offering this bit of observation though only briefly. In the end I opted to spend the holidays outside of the hospital and stuffed a dollar bill into his Bud Light can. It was decorated with tinsel, very festive.

Inside the grocery store my senses were violently assaulted. Apparently some alien life form is Tara forming the planet into one giant cinnamon stick by taking over all the grocery and craft stores on the planet. I believe their plans for world domination are nearly complete. My throat closed up as my eyes began to water and I nearly bumped into Sledge, the inside the door bell ringer. He deflected me onto the poinsettias and Christmas Cds next to the singing Santa’s on Harleys. This worked out great because I needed to pick up a copy of White Snake Christmas and Hip Hop Holidays In The Hood. I tossed them into my cart and proceeded onto the crack in a candy coating isle. I needed to pick up some sugar coated sugar pops in syrup and then some broccoli with a marshmallow topping for dinner. I already had the candy cane shavings for the turkey.
…I don’t know why my teeth hurt right now.

Anyway, I had to hurry up with my shopping if I was going to make it to the tree farm before all the good ones were gone. After some searching I found the end of the checkout line back by the restrooms and employee entrance. It was moving right along though. They had two whole cashiers on duty and only one of them was in training. I heard through the grapevine that the bag boy had gone out to help a customer and hour ago and hadn’t been seen since. That was fine by me. We had a pretty good game of five card stud going on with the deli guys and he cheated anyway. Some one had to wake Mrs. Rosen every time the line moved but other than that it went pretty smoothly. Well, there was that scuffle up by the Stouffers Stuffing but, they patched it up after a few counseling sessions and were on good terms by the time they got to the canned goods isle. Eventually we made it up to the cashier where we exchanged email addresses and said our goodbyes. Bob owes me twenty bucks for that last hand.

I steeled myself to face Darla the belligerent bell ringer on my way out but luckily her parole officer was giving her a break for some personal business. Something about peeing into a cup she said. I slipped out into the untainted cool night air and gave thanks that the cinnamon Tara forming aliens had not made it outside yet. I was anxious to get on to the joyful task of selecting our holiday tree. Apparently it is no longer called a Christmas tree but rather the more ambiguous Holiday Tree. While I am sure this random renaming has its roots in good intentions it is woefully lacking in its grasp on reality. Like it or not it’s Christmas and we aren’t all running around buying Holiday Trees on Memorial day or Halloween. Nor are we opening Labor day presents and sending out Fourth of July cards. Nope. It’s Christmas and no amount of frosty aluminum
winter-scaping at the airport is going to erase that. Besides what would we do with all the AC/DC Christmas Cds if that happened?

Having escaped the parking lot with my limbs intact and a cart full of potential New Year’s resolutions I headed back home. The outdoor Christmas decorations had been put up earlier and they glowed cheerily from their position on the front porch-- where they lay in a tangled lump of holiday frustration and despair. Soon the Saint and I were headed off to the non denominational holiday tree sanctuary or as I like to call it, the Christmas Tree Farm!
It is a family owned farm and has been in the family since 1886. The current patriarch is a local horse vet. He enjoys growing specialty hay for the horses. His daughter and her husband handle the tree sales. One summer they planted a cutting flower garden in one of the fields and just put out a cash box on the honor system. This year they tried out pumpkins and they are working on developing their own raspberry/blackberry jam recipe. I have two test jars in my refrigerator.
The Saint and I arrived during daylight hours. It took us about five minutes to pick the tree out but our guy is a talker so by the time we got the tree tied onto the car the sun had been down for over an hour. I am pretty sure that I know more about this guy and his family than I know about my own. I even know where he’s having lunch most days downtown and what he likes for desert at night. I liked him immensely.

Since it was too dark and well past the Saint’s bedtime when we got home we set the mammoth tree outside for the night. The next day the tree would meet its fate.

This is the Saint’s beloved chainsaw with which he will give the tree a fresh cut. He uses this thing at every opportunity and one day I am just certain that I will find him using it to carve a mermaid or maybe a black bear holding a roll of toilet paper. Apparently it is an affliction that strikes people who live in the Northwest near a lot of trees. All you have to do is drive down some country highway to see that it is quite an epidemic. Its worse than heroin apparently and I’m keeping a close eye on him. First sign of fin or fur texture on the firewood and he’s getting an intervention.

Once we got the fresh cut it was time to bring that sweet smelling pretty into the house. This is the part of the process that usually shreds 80% of the needles off leaving the remaining 20% to dump on the floor. Right about this time as we are trying to shove the 6 foot wide base through the single sized door I am wondering just what in the world possess perfectly sane people to drag a needle dropping mass of foliage into the house. I have to rearrange my furniture and empty the vacuum cleaner bag repeatedly while picking needles out of the Berber carpet. Then I have to water it every day because not only is it slowly dying I plan to put fire starting twinkly lights all over the thing and then rig them together with a questionable power strip. I won’t stop there though. No. I’ll drag out boxes of old goofy things that have no other purpose in life than to sit forgotten in the garage all year gathering spiders and moisture. And then I’ll put those little fire starter materials that a boy scout lost in the woods would give his eye teeth for on that tree. A 7+ foot tree sitting in my modest sized living room taking up the space of an entire sofa. A tree covered in knickknacks that I haven’t seen in a year and I will wonder what in world are we thinking? What a ridiculous thing to do…

...and then I will flip that switch and I will know exactly what we were thinking. And I will wonder how we ever managed to live without this beautiful symbol of hope and joy.
But come January 3rd, hope and joy is going right back out the door and reason and sanity is back in!
In the meantime, pass the eggnog, and put another log on the fire. I got me some happy time to enjoy!


Friday, December 11, 2009

A Time and Place to Believe

It was a dark and stormy night.
Well, it was actually a cold and clear night. Stormy might have been a bit warmer. It’s been pretty darn cold and clear for some time now. There are four inches of ice on my ponds. Not little ice. Not the pretty take some cute pictures kind of ice. No. This is the kind of ice that has me bringing kettles of boiling water out first thing in the morning to let sit on the afore mentioned four inches of serious ice only to be laughed at by said serious ice. Then after about four rounds of these steaming cauldrons of liquid jackhammer are set on and then poured upon the ice the pick ax is brought in. Yes, that pick ax. I’m back to the pick ax again and it’s flipping December!
Now you may be asking yourself why I would do this. I might be asking myself the same thing. I might that is if I were a sane person and had not dug a huge pond out of a belligerent rock on the side of a mountain and then foolishly inserted fish into whole doggone thing.

Town center of Leavenworth

Oh, and yes, to those of you with ponds I do know about not whacking my little fishies senseless with Mr. Limpet sound waves. I use the pointy end of the ax just to get a hole started. And no, it does not work for me to keep the pumps running because I have FOUR INCHES OF ICE. The tubing up the falls is to close to the surface and will freeze solid if there is water in the line. So I cover what I can and then go out there every morning before I have my coffee and begin the process of icy humiliation. The other day I lost my balance while swinging said pick ax and found myself about two and a half feet out into the middle of the pond. But no worries, I have FOUR INCHES OF ICE. I just skated back to the bridge. Thankfully this deep freeze only happens once or twice a year and only lasts a week or so at a time. I would make other plans if that were not the case. Like moving back to Arizona.

I showed you this tree before covered in brilliant fall colors. Not a bad transition. This snow scape is a small slope in the middle of town that the kids sled down.

So the other day after my pre coffee, morning bathrobe ice skate I decided to take a look at the over taxed thermometer. You know just for that extra jolt to the senses that finding yourself splayed across a frozen pond in your bathrobe—all alone, doesn’t quite give you. Oh, and by the way, Leonardo DeCaprio and Kate Winslet are absolute liars. There is no way those two were making doe eyes at one another on that ship with all the time they spent in that water. I lost the physical ability to swallow my own spit and I was just pulling ice chunks out with one hand.

Back to my own personal thrill seeking… I checked the temp for that day and it read a quite balmy 13*. That’s right. A one followed by a three.
"Just one more time." I like to think of this as Mrs. Claus's shop window.
I like to look for comparisons in life. It’s my way of reminding myself that it can always be worse, so therefore, it must not be too bad right now. It's logic that works for me. Try not to judge. Well 13 blistering degrees does pose a bit of a challenge. The Saint was completely convinced that this really was as bad as it could get. Smelling a challenge like blood in the water I dove right in. It was cold. Eventually I did manage to find somewhere with a colder more hideous temperature than 13* and it was within driving distance! I said “Sweetie, put your coat on we’re going for a drive. Oh, and wear your big wool socks…and maybe some long johns.” The Saint just sank deeper into the chair and pulled the afghan tighter. “Come on honey, it’ll be fun.” “I’ll pack the arctic survival gear. You tell Rescue Services where we’ll be.”

The location with a colder more hideous temperature than us was Leavenworth, Washington. It was 2*. No, not followed or preceded by any number, just 2. I figured once we had spent a little time crossing the huge rugged mountain range and ice choked waterways to spend some quality time in a place with the friendly bone chilling temperature of 2 our little 13* really would seem balmy. Provided we made it back alive.

Holiday avenues and the candy shops I told you about. If you enlarge this shot you will see there is a holiday pretzel tree.

Surely this has to be Santa Claus's very own shop window and the nativity scene is heavenly. Pun intended.

Leavenworth is a very beautiful 2 hour drive from here. I told you about this little town and it’s pioneer spirit not too long ago but I held out the very best until now. I wanted you all to see just how amazing this town looks every Christmas season come December 2nd when they have the holiday lighting ceremony. It is an enchanting and magical place. It is the kind of place that I dreamed of as a child whenever I saw those tiny Christmas villages or nativity scenes. A place where it is safe to be a child full of wonder and joy for all the things that may lie ahead. And once a year like Frosty the Snowman this town comes alive with magical wonder.

The red trolly is delightful. This little house is a wedding chapel. I once arranged a small winter wedding for a friend here at this chapel. They drove through the streets in a horse drawn carriage just as it began to snow. I still cry thinking of how beautiful that was.
I took my Sainted husband there not to torture him with frost bitten fingers, although that is what he claims, but because it is what we do every year. We go there because, well it is just like walking into one of those perfect wonderful worlds where everything is loving and feels like home inside those warm lit windows. Hot cocoa with marshmallows await every child coming in from sledding down the snowy hills, their boots full of fluffy snow. Christmas trees glow with hope and promise and for this one sublime little sliver of time everything in the world is wonderful and seems perfectly possible. Yeah, I did go there to remind myself that things can always be worse. I also went there to remind myself that things can always be a whole lot better too. You just have to believe sometimes.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Village People

This is the story of the towns folk of Snowden. A little town quietly nestled in a verdant and fertile valley of farm land. Like all small towns this town has it’s main characters though there are so many more people we have yet to meet. Today I would like to introduce you to just a few of the interesting people who populate this sleepy little town. While I understand that it is impossible to truly know any one soul let alone do justice to their complex and unique personalities I hope to at least give you a peek into the lives of some of the people many of us see as we pass by the holiday displays but rarely take the time to look closer. Perhaps if we did dare to peek inside those warm glowing windows we might find someone just a little like ourselves.

Please meet Poor Mrs. Henderson. She tells everyone that Mr. Henderson has passed away even though what he did was a lot more like run away —with a stripper named Rocky that is. Rocky wasn’t named for her good looks or even her good times but rather for the inventory of her head. Everyone in town knows that Mr. Henderson ran off with a stripper. Everyone in town attended his funeral and offered Mrs. Henderson their most sincere condolences.

And then there is Old Mac Gower’s farm. He grows Christmas trees and no one fully understands how this is done as a profession but grow them he does. Mrs. Mac Gower raises silkie chickens and keeps a garden. Her personal favorites are Brownie and Buttercup. The others are Hazel and Henny Penny. She always seems happiest when working in her garden or watching the antics of her beloved silky chickens.
Last winter their place was flooded out by the great 100 year flood which hit for the third year in a row. At this rate they should be good for the next 300 years or so. Local farmers took in Mac Gower's animals till the water subsided and they could go home again. The townsfolk banded together and helped them get back on their feet and out of the mud.

Jake and Sara, that's them there on the bridge beneath the falls. Jake is new in town. He recently moved here from the big city. He and Sara have been dating steadily since last spring. He thinks that Sara is everything a small town girl should be, wholesome, honest and pure. And Sara intends to keep it that way as long as she can keep that stupid Scott Jacobson quiet, not to mention his pesky sister Marla. Besides, it doesn’t count if your drunk anyway. And how was she supposed to know that those cute little Jell-O poppers were spiked with vodka? Everyone knows stuff like that doesn’t count. Not really count anyway.

Mr. & Mrs. Johnson founders of the Currier and Ivy League School. They are sitting on the park bench near the back of the campus. They are high school sweethearts who married in their Junior year of college. They worked their way through school and opened the Currier and Ivy League school for juvenile delinquents. They believe that with the best educational opportunities children from wayward backgrounds will turn into productive members of society. They work hard at setting a loving example of upstanding behavior within a loving and respectful environment. They also understand the importance of sending a strong and powerful message. Mr. Johnson throws a pretty mean eraser coming in a close second to Mrs. Johnson’s skills with a ruler. There is rarely any trouble out at the Currier and Ivy League school. Besides it’s all the way out on the edge of town. The ruckus usually dies down by the time any news of it makes all the way into Snowden proper. The troopers only had to visit a few times.

And then all about Santa Claus and his Homies. The big man in the red suit otherwise known as just plain Santa in these parts has lived here before there was even a foot path cutting through the fields. He and his little Homies have always kept to themselves up there on the hill doing who knows what at all hours of the day and night. You can hear all sorts of hammering and such with sounds of power tools the likes of which no one can identify. He’s been brought up on charges several times for disturbing the peace and few times for running some sort of holiday militia. The charges were dropped though because no one could find any actual laws against owning a cache of plastic guns or Transformers. No matter how disturbingly annoying they were. The new comers in town are from the big city and have never trusted the old guy. One year Santa received a Christmas card with one of those modern messages that read “Watching you and your's this holiday season” He figured it was a new version of the more classic “Wishing you and your;s a happy holiday season.” Santa just laughed and rubbed his beard as he said “Well, times sure are changing boys.” He didn’t understand these modern holiday sentiments but his Homies were catching on and they started spiking the reindeer food with E-Lax. Oh, it was going to be a very special holiday season alright.

Icicle Falls is the tallest and most beautiful falls in the valley. The lodge was built around the same time the hydro plant was put in. Both were built by Worthington Myers and his partner Ida Smalls. Some years later the fish shack opened up down below. It is a favorite place for romantic moments and when the ice takes the pond in winter it is the very best place in the world to ice skate. A few years ago someone wanted to open up a casino down below but the deal fell through. No one could quite understand the need for a gambling establishment when everyone knew perfectly well that the gambling was good as it gets whenever you ate the fish at Fishy Abner's Fish Shack. Boy that ol’ Abner sure knew how to roll the dice with a fish order.

Emma and Sam, they are the little skaters beneath the falls there next to the fish shack. Emma is eight and has a mad crush on Sam who is ten. Sam isn’t quite sure who Emma is but will live to rue this day about eight years from now when Emma is a very sweet sixteen with a very long memory. Sam is currently pretending to tie Emma’s ice skates which she thinks is absolutely the most romantic moment in her entire life. And no doubt it is…so far. What she does not know however but will soon learn and never forget is that adorable Sam Masterson is tying her skates together so that she won’t be able to follow him around the pond like a love sick puppy. Poor, poor Sam. In exactly eight years and six months he will be begging like a starving dog while a beautiful and bewitching Emma refuses to even throw him a bone. Sam will get the gift of hindsight this Christmas-- to be opened at a later date.

Then there is the strange little train depot with its tiny trains from somewhere beyond the hills. The people there must be tiny indeed. The train depot is actually never used, on the inside. At least not by any of the locals. Mostly its for show to impress the visitors passing through. You see the depot was built years before when Claus was the only resident in the area for miles around. When the town first began to grow the trains only ran once a year and even then only on the coldest day of the year. Most folk had no reason to take a train that only went in and out of the mountains. They went west into the big city and never even considered the train or the depot. As the years went on the train began to make more frequent stops into the town of Snowden and it was soon discovered that the train and depot were built for very tiny people. It turned out that there was no way any normal sized person would ever fit inside one of those tiny little cars. This oddity was clearly another one of Claus’ suspicious holiday militia dealings. The towns folk were none to pleased with this and determined to let him and his tiny militia people know just what kind of town Snowden really was. So every year when the tiny trains begin to run, a group of towns folk gather out in front of the tiny depot to sing “Watching Over You This Holiday Season” “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Trouble” and the ever popular "Look Who's Coming to Town."

Mr. Emmet Simmons the photographer and his horse Nikon are always on hand to snap photos of the cars cargo and any shady characters. Occasionally out of town visitors will mistake Mr. Simmons for an actual photographer and line up to have their photo taken with the ever photogenic and personable Nikon. To keep up appearances and not blow his cover Mr. Simmons usually obliges and actually follows up by sending the portraits. After all he says "They did pay for them." Unfortunately Mr. Simmons is a lousy photographer and the portraits are rarely in focus unless of course there happens to be a train passing through at the time. Then somehow the depth of field is terribly out of whack so that no one is in focus, at least not the people posing for their picture. You can however clearly make out every single detail of the little passengers on the tiny holiday train.

Andy and his son Drew cut their own Christmas tree every year. Now that Drew is old enough to cut his own tree they have added a new tradition. Father and son decided a few years ago that they would cut two trees. One for their own family and one for another family who might appreciate a little extra help that year.

Then there is Carol from Carnation and her little flower shop. Carol is from the big city east of Snowden. She worked in an office for most of her adult life and she hated it. Carol always wanted to own a flower shop. It was her lifelong dream to live in the country and be surrounded by beautiful flowers. The idea of owning her own flower shop was just like heaven. She could spend her days surrounded by flowers creating beautiful arrangements and best of all she could share that beauty and peace with others. She saved and planned for years. She studied flowers and crafted her imaginary business plan. Then one day in February on a cold, bleak and grey Tuesday she walked into her boss’ pretentious office and handed him her resignation, walking away without a word. She hasn’t stopped smiling since.

Next is Mr. Lupine’s pet shop and veterinary clinic. He grew up on a farm in Snowden. He has lived around animals all his life and never once thought of being anything other than a vet. He knows every pet, livestock or farm animal there is in the entire valley. He has even mended the local wildlife on occasion. He saves his extra money every year to buy feed for those wild animals who might otherwise go hungry on those extra snowy days. It has also been rumored that he secretly leaves bales of hay for struggling horse owners. No one knows for sure but there are never any hungry horses in Snowden.

And finally today, the Crack-in-a-Cup coffee shop. It is where I spend my days sipping a hot cinnamon Dulce latte. I try to avoid the lemon poppy seed muffins. Its something I do for all of us. Really, no one wants to see that. So I sit here with my steaming cup of crack in a cup and I watch the people go by. Sometimes even the tiny train passes through on it’s way back into the mountains puffing along its shiny little tracks. The children play in their eleborate snow forts acting out wars of innocence with snowflake weaponry. Lovers kiss beneath crystal waterfalls and insist on believing wholeheartedly in forever. The small town of Snowden carries on in all its quiet mysteries and complicated simplicities. Dreams are planted and some of them grow. Some of those dreams lay dormant for years only to burst forth without warning into unimagined splendor. Small towns like this live within in us all. They are the fertile soil of the heart and mind where Christmas has a magical way of living year round. The giving spirit, the hopeful soul and the ardent dreamer all come together during Christmas. It is a time when we all become little children and passionate lovers, choosing to believe wholeheartedly in forever just one more time.
A special thank you to Rosey Pollen at Dung Hoe who showed me how to put snow on my holiday blog.