It’s Not Christmas Without A Trip Down Memory lane

IMG_3458It’s still pitch black out. Most folks are still snuggled in their beds. I would be too if it weren’t for those constant videos in my head… and, when I’m just able to slow them to barely a whisper….

Rocket-man starts snoring.  Oh dear…not again.

I may as well be standing on a platform at the train station.

I reach over to nudge him in hopes that it disrupts and quiets his breathing pattern.

No luck.  The freight train sound continues.

In the dark I reached over to find my headphones on my nightstand. Let’s try a Headspace guided sleep meditation to drown out this rythmic din.  Andy’s oh so lovely voice starts out by saying: “In the stillness of lying down at night, we suddenly see and we hear all our thoughts.”

In stereophonic sound, I would add.

I struggle to follow the guided meditation and give up well before the selection is over, a first since being fairly consistent with Andy for some two months now.

Not wanting to start my day by getting my tinsel-in-a-tangle, I quietly surrender and make my way downstairs. I make myself a pot of espresso and soon find myself sitting in front of the Christmas tree at 4:30 in the morning.  Espresso in hand I drink in the merry, sparkling lights and memory-evoking ornaments dangling from every tree branch. For a moment I think about seizing the early morning stillness to sit on the meditation pillow since I caved much too easily not a half hour before.

I toss the thought.

I embrace the silence…plus, I want to enjoy my Christmas tree.

I shiver against the chill in the air so I reach for a throw that is draped on the sofa. I wrap it around me and in an instant I’m warm and feeling incredibly thankful for the present moment.

Which oddly enough takes me into the past….down memory lane.

My heart stirs at Baby’s First Christmas ornament, purchased when I became a mother. That one is thirty-five years old!  I look at it with a mixture of joy and sadness….IMG_2261

I smile at the little Hawaiian girl on one branch. She’s from my one and only trip (so far) to Hawaii a little over five years ago. I spent two weeks on Oahu and marveled over daily rainbows and breathtaking ocean views. There, I went scuba diving and watched in awe as a large sea turtle dined on bright purple tube sponge coral.

fullsizeoutput_26b

On another branch is an Eskimo Santa from….you guessed it….Alaska. What fond memories I have of running the Anchorage marathon and visiting my favorite Aunt and Uncle. They opened their home and their hearts and cheered us to the finish line. There was endless daylight and multiple moose sightings on that trip. And I’ll never forget the day after the marathon. There I was taking a walk in my Aunts neighborhood trying to get the post-marathon soreness out of my tired body. A lady driving a mini-van pulls up beside me. She’s got a friendly smile. I’m thinking perhaps she sees that I’ve got a hitch in my giddy-up due to marathon soreness. Nope. She’s just informing that a bear (yes…a BEAR) is wondering around the next street over. “You might want to get inside,” she says as she drives away.  IMG_5695

Rocket-man (who also ran the marathon) takes off running back to the house. Me? My legs wouldn’t budge. I cried out in useless indignation: “Hey, wait up!” Naturally I made it back alive. I “playfully” gave Rocket-man a piece of my mind for his “It’s every man for himself” escape.  “I only had to out-run you,” was his retort.  (Yes. I’m still married to him!)

Sigh….Yes, It’s not Christmas without a walk down memory lane.

So many years of memories are on this tree.  Too many to recount in this space without boring you to death….

Ornaments from my Germany years and London and Italy too.

White House ornaments from more than a decade of living in the Washington D.C. area…

An ornament commemorating my daughter’s graduation from Drexel University…

An ornament too for all those years of marathoning….IMG_5696

And yes, as much as I loathe football, there is one Steeler ornament (Troy Palomalu,43) on the tree.  It’s only fair, after all, that Rocket-man’s love obsession has a space on the tree.  IMG_0268

I’m jolted out of my trip down memory lane by the musical sound of an alarm clock coming from the basement.  For a nano-second I’m puzzled but then remember that my man-child still resides there.

So ends my early morning quietude.  It is just as well.  My coffee is now ice-cold and The Poodle is up from his own cozy bed.  The day must begin in earnest.  There is much to do before the house is full of Christmas chaos.

As I head to the kitchen to brew another cup of espresso I remind myself that all of these memories, from the dear to the painful and everything in-between, are all part of the beauty of living.

There IS bliss in that. ❤