Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts

03 January 2011

Brown Paper Packages

This morning a mysterious box appeared on our porch from some of our favorite people on earth. I laughed when I discovered it. I brought it inside and set it on the dining room table. I waited all day to open it. All night too, nearly. Wasn't that nice of me not to rip right into it when mine wasn't the only name on the package? Wasn't I the epitome of self-control? I had to pretend it wasn't there, had to ignore it. Wasn't easy. I mean, these are best beloveds we're talking about. And a history of interesting packages from said beloveds.

Hey, it's a coffee machine! (Wait, we don't drink coffee!) Hang on...

It's a box of John's incredible pickles! Party time! (Could you hear me wishing for some of your okra spears? I've been craving them since October. Seriously.)

And a bee-YOO-tee-full Christmas photo of the kiddos and one heckuva lucky red cat, but I'm not sure if I should post it. What do you say, pickle pals? Mugs or no mugs? 

Now we are waiting for one very special occasion to crack open these bottles. We are waiting for, say, tomorrow. That's special enough, or will be once the beets and okra start flying.

Thanks, friends! We love you and are working on a plan which will allow us to take a tuck in the western U.S. so we can be close enough to see you once or twice in a while, at least. 

I've been hearing this song in my head since we opened the box:

Green pickles, red pickles
Send 'em to Utah with a stamp
The stamp of love (the pickle stuff)
People people
Paper paper
Paper paper
People people
People people
Pickle pickle
Pickle pickle
Paper paper
Put the pickles in the package
Send the package to the people
Let the people eat all of the pickled beets
And okra baby

21 December 2010

Bring Me the Head of Frosty!

On my way back to bed just now I looked out the kitchen window and realized that the freshly-made snowcouple in my next-door neighbors' front yard are now missing their heads as of sundown. Is this some kind of Solstice prank? Is it a mischief to satisfy the twisted cravings of some resentful Utahn who missed the full moon/lunar eclipse last night, thanks to cloud cover? When I get up in the morning and look at the rest of the snowfolk on my block, will they have also lost their noggins? What gives, thieves?

These aren't the first heads to disappear from our 'hood this week. Two Sundays ago, I was leaving the house very late for church, and happened to witness the surprise delivery of a beast of a Christmas ornament to my other next-door neighbors (also my friends). Picture a delivery truck and a scramble of everyday-looking people, mostly grumping at each other (a couple of them shirking their duty and singing silly carols at the others from across the street) while they unloaded something large which at first resembled a blowup lawn decoration in the shape of a snowman. As the layers of plastic wrap(!) began to be peeled away, I saw that it was a giant tree with a stupidly happy and top-hatted Frosty head in place of a star, and long arms sleeved in festive Christmas plaid with which to hug itself and possibly grab children. Tell you what, it was really hard to tear myself away and drive to church with that kind of show going on.

Later that evening, I knocked on my neighbors' door, eager to inspect the holiday damage. Mom, Dad, and kids were all sitting in their now-crowded living room in chairs lined up in a row, staring slack-jawed at the Frosty tree (whose neck looked a little uncomfortable, what with his being so tall and trying not to scrape his top hat on the not-quite-high-enough ceiling) and the landslide of other large and unexpected gifts that had also been grumpily delivered: entertainment center, enormous flatscreen TV, blue-ray, and a giant inflatable for the front yard—three snowmen in a snow globe.

Frosty struck me as full of silly goodwill and Christmas cheer, a soul whose spirit could never be dampened nor defeated. He seemed not to care (or even notice) that he was out of place in their quiet, understated home. "OH, BY GOSH, BY GOLLY, FOLKS, HOPE YA HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS!" What made the situation even more comical was Frosty's improbable mass, which seemed all the more exaggerated by the diminutive size of his new housemates; we're talking about tiny people who live next to me. People frighteningly dwarfed by an enthusiastic tree-man.

When I visited a couple days later, there was something distressing happening to Frosty. The young daughter of the family was up on a chair, and appeared to be giving Frosty some kind of chiropractic adjustment. I heard a clear Crack! as she grabbed his (fake) carrot nose for better leverage. Crack! again, and Frosty got a hitch in his sniffy-up.

Next time I stopped in, Frosty was gone. Oh, the glittering tree that once was his body was still there, and its silvery ornaments gleamed with pride, having been stripped of goofiness, as Frosty's keepers had wrenched the head free, and removed the appendages, which once had been so eager to embrace the season. I was told: "J. came by today and wanted the head for a costume. But she wouldn't take the arms." The tree did look pretty after having received such intimate alterations—who would have ever noticed those fancy baubles with such a friendly bumpkin forever introducing himself and stealing the show? I never did. I can't exactly  say I blame my friends for deconstructing Frosty's personality, but oh, by gosh, by golly, I do kinda miss him. I cannot see a tree when I look at their renovated (fake) tannenbaum; for me, it will remain a headless snowman.

And now this, this rash of lost heads. I don't suspect J. Nope, somebody must have watched Frosty's beheading through my neighbors' front window; this is a copycat crime. Or maybe this is someone's idea of a protest against the mistreatment of snowmen in captivity. I guess it could be the local snowpeople's own demonstration of solidarity: We will all lay down our heads until Frosty again wears his own (fake) smile. 

Bundesarchiv, Bild 102-12806 / CC-BY-SA [CC-BY-SA-3.0-de 
(], via Wikimedia Commons

20 December 2010

Hi, Neighbors

Long-time beloveds and more recent inductees into adoration who crossed our threshold today:
  • brother Brian (who likes toast with oomph)
  • Annie Lennox (via CD—thanks, Brian)
  • all three Homo sapiens inhabitants of Tribal Headquarters (Dad in a cloud of sick-day vision, the women fluttering anxiously behind)
  • skinny Dave (whom I intend to feed)
  • Melody's offspring, Luke (who seems like a lovable guy in his own right, but automatically warrants a place on this list because he's got his mama's blood and steadily merits her approval)
  • President Amanda (with her megawatt smile)
  • Leland and Charla (even though they came while we were having dinner at Mama Pupusas'—phoo)
  • Santa, née Bruce (out of uniform and wearing a safari hat and no whiskers, but ho-ho-ho-ing merrily as ever)
  • the shake rattle and roll Tanner boys (come a-bearing season's drum beatings)
A great day for visitors!

19 December 2010

Flower shower

Today is June Roses Day. My third. Your third too, though you might only be learning about it now. Don't despair if you didn't celebrate it today; as creator of the holiday I give you leave to make up for lost time in the coming days. Extend it, if you like. June Roses Day, like Christmas, really could be kept all year long to great advantage. Do your homework; click the link above and begin to explore your options. Then plant, tend, pick, or press your beautiful roses. Remember, remember them.

I had intended to spend some time today reminiscing about the Provo Tabernacle, which was completely gutted this week by a terrible fire, a whirlwind of a fire. That's still on this week's schedule, but my day was taken up entirely by meetings and appointments, and by time spent with one very sick husband (mine, in case you're wondering). That's alright. I had some good moments today—most importantly, I had a deeply and sweetly surreal experience which let me know that I am lovingly remembered by someone who means the world and more to me. This isn't the time to elaborate on the particulars of that, but I know I will share here some of my processing about it when the hour's not so late and the talking feels right. I just wanted to send out a quiet thank you to the powers that be for showering me with some beautiful roses which I will remember and cherish all my life.

Here's an abbreviated grateful list for the day:
  • a snooze button
  • oatmeal
  • a clean house (or part of one)
  • being okay with slept-on hair
  • epiphany: music works like water
  • our ward choir's beautiful rendition of "O, Holy Night"
  • watching a family begin a tradition of worshipping together
  • knowing when to miss class to listen to a friend
  • the sweetness of this
  • a stranger's warm smile
  • being busy all day with people busy caring for people
  • high-grading the bishop's candy stash
  • being thanked
  • being trusted
  • Gingerbread Moose Munch
  • other people's barbecue
  • the fun of being pestered by an impish long-time friend (I'm talking to you, Ray.)
  • sharing faith
  • sharing Christmas
  • sacred songs of the season
  • talk time
  • fresh carrot-orange juice
  • Henry Van Dyke
  • Rob's Christmas song (so so very)

24 December 2009

On the eve

Dear friends,

Thanks to each of you for being a wonderful, cheering influence on me this year. Life is better and sweeter with you in it. I wish you all a beautiful Christmas, hearts full of comfort and joy, and the brightest of hope in all that lies ahead of us. May God bless you in this precious season and always.

Much love,

17 October 2009

I eat and obey

I was away from home most of the day, but had my knitting bag with me. I completed my first Christmas gift! My goal is to be finished with the gift-making and gift-choosing by Thanksgiving at the latest, and if I can, as soon as the end of this month. I managed such a feat one year and had the most relaxed holiday season ever. I'd like to enjoy that experience again, and perhaps even make it a personal tradition.

After I got the gift done I decided to make myself a hat, since I don't have a lovable one anymore. I stole a moment at home in between things to rummage through my basement stash of yarn—I'm trying to use up what I have before I let myself buy any new fibers (we'll see how long that resolution lasts)—and to my delight, I found two forgotten skeins of a soft beautiful wool a friend gave me a few years ago. What color were they? Can you guess? PURPLE! Again with the cookie. Well, what's to do be done with my one and only bonafide superstition, except to eat and obey? Sometime I'll have to tell you the story of how a fortune cookie led Rob to me. Maybe you'll be a believer too after that. Ha!

So I'm now in the process of knitting myself some good luck. I look forward to wearing my rustic royal handknit lid. As good as any crown, I say, and far less heavy on the brow.

28 August 2008

Money (That's What I Want for NieNie Day)

Hey, I ain't too proud to beg.

So, here's what I'm auctioning, a limited-edition letterpress/woodcut broadside:

Here's a description of the piece and why you'll love it.

And here's where the bidding is happening, from now till Saturday night.

Don't forget the other great auctions happening this weekend. You can find the master list of offerings here. Maybe it's time for you to consider taking out a second mortgage.

15 August 2008

Rockin' South Fork

We celebrated our #18 in style. Pete Townshend style.

(Happy anniversary, baby. 18 strings for 18 years. It's about time you had your own brand-new guitar. xoinfinity)

24 December 2007

Beautiful Savior

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
~Revelation 3:20

Merry Christmas, dear ones. Thank you for the gifts of fun and friendship you've shared with me in 2007. My wish for each of you is that you will throw open your door wide to all that is true, sacred, peaceful, and joy-filled. May we all seek to know more intimately our Friend who was rightly named Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.

Love & blessings,