Memories and Disasters

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We’ll get to this at the appropriate time

There are times I wish I had a larger circle of friends and holidays like Thanksgiving bring that out. Hope you had a nice long weekend and stayed away from the chaos that was the day after Thanksgiving. It was just the two of us which is nice but it is hard to cook for just two people. We already knew we were going to be eating the same dinner two days in a row.

Not a big spread but we had a very large sweet potato which I combined with some butter, cream, cinnamon, nutmeg and maple syrup. We don’t do the marshmallow thing. That’s a little too sweet and that’s what the pies are for. Also bought some Brussels Sprouts on the stalk at the market last Saturday. Never cared for them growing up because Mom believe that vegetables should be boiled to death and served with butter. That was probably Dad’s choice but it didn’t do much for me. Found out that you can cut the sprouts in half and then cook some bacon and saute the sprouts in the bacon and let them caramelize a little bit and you’ve got something worth eating.

Also did stuffing because you kind of have to. That is another thing where my tastes have changed. Growing up, we just wanted the bread crumbs with no nasty vegetables. Mom tried to sneak celery in a couple of times and we’d revolt. She ended up making two – the adult version and the kid version. Now, I don’t mind having the onions, carrots and celery. Probably also because it is some chopping therapy and I love dicing up some stuff.

Yes, I’m feeling like telling some stories today.

We did go out the day after but not to any malls. I’ve already described my feelings towards the whole Black Friday thing. But we’ve always put the tree up on Thanksgiving weekend. Again, it is strange because my wife didn’t grow up celebrating Christmas but she’s very in to the whole decoration thing and putting up a real tree. That’s what we did every year so I’m fine with it even though it is a lot of work to drag one in and set it up. Good thing I’ve kept up with the gym.

Anyway, we get the tree in the house, add water to the base and supposedly have it anchored properly. It seems to be fine so we do the lights and the ornaments and I take the obligatory picture to post on Instagram. All is right with the world. A couple of hours later, I’m sitting in this very seat and doing something online and there is the sound of something falling and glass breaking!

It didn’t look like the picture above. The tree was still in the base but it wasn’t totally anchored so it had fallen to one side. Where it hit and the weight of the base kept it from going totally flat (that would have been substantially worse). But we had ornaments that had fallen to the second floor and water pouring out of the base. I’m trying to get it set back up while she’s on the phone with a client. We do get it securely back into the base and upright and then we survey the damage.

The good news is we only lost a handful of ornaments. Several came lose from their hangers and we found the remains in the tree. We’ll probably be finding those until we take down the tree. It has remained upright since then so I am hopeful we won’t have a repeat performance. The base is great and has never failed before but I didn’t do what I normally do which is to crank it a few extra times after my wife has done the original work.

Our ornament collection is a mix of stuff. Lots of things we’ve purchased over the years because they looked shiny. We buy ornaments when we are on vacations (and magnets but that’s another story) so there are several of those. Plus we’ve been gifted things. Lastly, there are a few I took from my parents when they stopped putting up a tree. Some of those were from my grandparents so there is some history there. Not any value, just history.

One of the ones we lost was just a simply pink ball. Well not so pink and shiny any more because the years have not been kind. It is attached to a weird memory. My sister was born in December and she’s six years younger than my younger brother so there is an age gap. Well that Christmas, Mom wasn’t really in shape to go get a tree so Dad took us to do that. Then, Mom went to the hospital to have my sister. Let’s just say there were many distractions going on and I’m not sure tree care was high on the list of priorities.

Or maybe the tree was bad to begin with. Who knows. All I know is it started to rot and stink up the house. I think at first we tried to just ignore it but that wasn’t going to be possible. So it got moved to a porch with no heat. Not exactly a spot where you wanted to have presents. Without another option, Dad ended up finding an alternative. This was back in the day when fake trees were shiny and metal like the Charlie Brown Christmas special.

But it didn’t look this good

It was a pole with branches that you stuck into the pole and then tried to fluff out to make them look more real. Because we left the lights on the dying tree (and that was really Mom’s job), all that we had to decorate that tree was a set of these pink ornaments. To be honest, we may have put more on it – the problem with memories is that the details fade over time. I don’t really recall being all that upset about it but that may also have been a lost detail. It did become a funny family story over the years.

The aluminum tree sat forgotten and unloved in a closet for years. (We lived in a big house with lots of places to stash stuff) For some reason, I brought it out one year and set it back up with the pink ornaments and a string of lights. I mean it wasn’t the tree’s fault that it didn’t look as nice as a real tree. It got us through one Christmas and deserved other chances. When I took some ornaments from my parents, I made sure to get a couple of the pink ones.

RIP little pink ornament

I’m sure it is not the objects but the memories that they trigger. Then again, my personality type is sometimes prone to treat inanimate objects as if they were alive. Or maybe not alive but that they do absorb the memories and hold them within. Like I said, these things are not much to look at (shown above is a stock photo that probably resembles what they looked like brand new) but looks aren’t everything. I’ve got this wind spinner that I can’t get rid of even though it is rusted and broken because a delivery guy backed into it. But it was a gift from my parents so I hang on to it even though it really has no use anymore.

OK, I’m not this bad but I can relate

Well I’ve rambled on long enough. This time of year it is way too easy to get lost in past memories. Hope you have a good day!

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