A few of my favorite things


The winter holidays are the most emotionally-charged holidays of the year, for many people, including me. Since my mom died, the season hasn’t seemed the same. I’ve half-heartedly put up lights around our house and tried to enjoy. I do love the soft glow of holiday lights, and they always put me in a good mood. So, today I thought about some of the many things that made me happy this Christmas:

Speaking of lights, my favorite wreath is the one I made about 10 years ago, then updated last year, from a mountain bike rim and tire, and blue lights:

It was one of my racing rims, and I won a lot on it. I like how I was able to “recycle” it and make it into something joyful for the holidays.

**

My husband bought me a little plastic pen in the shape of a candy cane. The tag said “From Santa.” He bought it for $1 as a fundraiser at the elementary school where I work. It was a “surprise,” and he gave it to me on the last day of classes. I thought, I know that writing! I was right, it was from him. I absolutely loved it, and I loved that he got it for me.  It makes me especially happy when he does cute, unexpected things like that!

**

My school kids got me a little plastic ring with a purple “stone” in it. I know it was a cheap little thing, but it meant a lot to me that they spent their own money to get me something pretty. Sadly, the plastic “gem” fell out the second time I wore the ring. I had wanted it to last at least through the school year so they could enjoy that I wore it. I felt bad because those kids had to spend their money on cheap Chinese-made garbage that fell apart immediately.

**

My brother-in-law got me a gift card for Home Depot so I could get some plants. Of course, I was excited to use it right away. When I got finished choosing all the plants that I wanted, I had 85¢ left. I’m sure I will be able to use that as well! 😉 I bought snapdragons, pansies, dianthus, and couple of “Firebreather” iris rhizomes (flowers will be orange), which are different from the purple bearded iris that are abundant in our backyard planters already.

Here are the results of my plant-buying trip and the planting session that followed:

Backyard garden:

Front garden:

**

Being able to ride my motorcycles, all year. My riding partner, Hal, makes that possible, because without him, I wouldn’t be able to go (my husband does not ride). I suppose I could go by myself, but it would be a lot less fun. Here I am, loving my 2006 BMW F650GS, “Jewel,” a bike that was “dead,” but resurrected last year after five long months. Now she is essentially a new bike, at least as far as the engine goes. I thought about selling her, but when it came right down to it, I couldn’t bring myself to part with my Jewel. Too many good memories – for example, the first trip when I took her to Colorado (Hal was on his GS, the twin of this one, at the time), and all the wonderful trips between then and now. I still think she’s a beautiful bike, but I don’t take her in the dirt anymore.

**

Of course, there are other things that I think about, like how lucky I am to have good friends and family, but I don’t want to sink into melancholy by thinking about how the holidays have changed from joyful celebrations, to barely acknowledging that it’s Christmas Eve. My celebration tonight will probably be to do the things I normally do: call my Dad, post to my blog, and read. But those are comfortable, good things, and I will enjoy doing them. I also hope to stay up late and watch at least one music show, and experience “the magic of Christmas.”

Happy holidays to you, however you celebrate them.

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