Saturday, December 05, 2009

It Must Be December…

We’re still full to overflowing with lovely Thanksgiving memories. Just made and packaged the first batch of instant spiced tea for seasonal gifting. Gentle piano/guitar carols are playing on the CD. And, we’re having our first snow. Yes, it’s December.

DH is up in the woods hoping the snow will make deer more visible and apt to roam earlier (as in before dark). We have some in the freezer, but with other children, grandchildren expected before month’s end, it wouldn’t hurt to seal up another deer or two for their freezers as well. It’s a good excuse for woods tramping, and since he seems to be less bothered by heart symptoms this week, how can he be denied the pleasure. There is something so soothing about snowy woodlands – until that clump of snow falls down your neck, anyway.

Childish of me, I know, but I do love snow – the fresh air cleanness, the silence, the dreaminess, the calm. Seems to me not many Decembers come to West Virginia without a bit of snow in the first week. This is perhaps a prelude to winter weather that won’t settle in for a while. Does give one room to hope, though!

It’s time to bring in a pine bough or two and add some orange slices, cinnamon and cranberries to the steam pot on the wood stove. Maybe also time to curl up with a wisp or two of childhood fancy? Presents were fewer in those days. I recall one “big” practical present (usually clothing) and as many little things as Mom could stuff, make and imagine on a limited budget. I remember apples, oranges, nuts, homemade fruitcakes, stuffed turkey and colored lights, tinsel icicles on a fresh-cut tree. Anticipation … it was all about happy anticipation.

And with that we choose to forget that rooms were a bit drafty in our cinder block house, space heaters burned in each room on the main floor and still the windows frosted, then melted through the day. We stuffed old towels around the sills of metal framed windows to keep them from dripping on the floor. Two bedrooms up stairs were split between boys and girls, and since there was only one boy and four girls, the girls slept in two double beds in one room. But heat rises so those rooms were always toasty. I don’t remember ever feeling deprived. Our country relatives thought we lived in luxury (and indeed we did) off in the big city of Charleston, but we liked visiting the country tremendously, too.

If December is the time for making a list and checking it twice … the doublet for mine will be still be counting blessings and planning how to share them.