I usually take the Christmas decorations down on January 6th. In Catholic terms, that’s the Feast of the Wise Men, when Caspar, Melchior, and Baltazar brought gold, francincense, and myrrh to the baby Jesus lying in his crib. My mother called it “Little Christmas”. She would give us one last gift, something small but cherished.
I stood on the second step to my loft and pulled the lights down from the window with a quick, careless tug, scattering the wire brads which my son had gently tap-hammered into the window frame. Ornaments cascaded to the cherry table. I ran a finger over the feathers of one of our little birds. I thought I might let the bird stay on the shelf over the stove where it had landed when it fell from the ladder rail on which my son had placed it.
I feel a bit lonely today. I know that any of my friends in Kansas City would take a call but it seems kind of sinful since I’ve been bragging about the warm weather while they shiver in zero degrees. Earlier, I walked to the office Kiosk. The park manager greeted me with the gleeful pronouncement that I had a package. I carried it back over the shortcut to Angel’s Haven and sat down with a little knife to open the box. Inside, I found another gift from Patrick. Huh, I thought. Little Christmas came two days early. In the box were six multi-tier hangers and a package of Chicago-flag coasters. I sat on the cedar chest holding them, suddenly teary-eyed.
I’d like to say that I’m not homesick; and I’m not. It’s a something different. It might be whiplash. I think I’m grieving the rapid and thorough alteration of my life. I look forward to the future but still — so much happened, so quickly, after such a long period of planning. I thought about moving for the last three years. I carefully conspired with everybody; My son, my builder, my best friends, even the man whom I started dating just this fall. At the last minute all of the pieces clanged into place with an enormous, sucking whoosh and I found myself turned into a California girl with the ink still wet on this year’s Missouri license tag renewal.
I’m not complaining. It got to 65 here today. I’ve sent out a whole sheaf of resumes and job applications, and I’m hopeful that I’ll be employed by the end of January. I already have a trip to Kansas City on the calendar. The folks here in Delta Bay have included me in social gatherings a time or two, and on Sunday, a Rotarian friend from San Rafael will come to call. It’s all good.
But really, as Dorothy said, there’s no place like home. High Five, KC, and a quick down-low too. The music box on my little shelf plays I Left My Heart In San Francisco, but you and I know better, don’t we?
It’s the fourth day of the forty-ninth month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.