images from Christmas, little snippets of things:
standing outside in the cold Christmas Eve, revelling in the silence and the gorgeous moon. realizing that it wasn't silent at all, just absent city noises. catching glimpses of rabbits and deer in the woods.
me standing under the eaves of the garage, leaned up against the house in my pajamas and coat, trying to have the first cigarette before mom gets home, and feeling like i've been caught when she pulls in, which is silly, as my parents aren't crazy about the habit, but don't give me grief about it.
realizing that not everything is fixable - and that's okay.
getting the best gift of Christmas from my dad - framed copies of two pictures of him as a child. black and white prints, one of dad graduating (kindergarden? first grade?) in his Red Sox t shirt, one of him bundled up in a wool coat ready to go for a plane ride. made me so happy, i got all weepy and gave him a big kiss.
calling dad on trying to reason with three compulsive women. 'not gonna work, my friend.'
finishing up my nails so i could look all dressy, and promptly goofing up the polish. showing mom how to buff her nails.
feeling way too antsy and restless, waiting in a quiet house for things to happen. going for a walk so as not to make everyone else in the house nervous. i walk thru a gang of kids playing tag, sidestepping them and making my coat swirl out. at the end of the road is Tom's Lane, leading out to the marsh; it was all squashy the first day, crackly with frost the next. the first time i walked down there, i didn't have the camera. i stood on the bench and leaned back against the rock, staring at the clouds. they looked like a soft mountain range covered in powder, and at the right end of the range was a skid of snow, blown off in the shape of the perfect surfing wave. the next day was bright and sunny. no clouds, just birds. i called to them, they called back - 'twee too hoo, twee too hoo'.
taking pictures of the old street sign, rusted and deep brown, blending in to the brush.
eating Westerns for dinner for the first time in ages.
being thrilled that mom made mince tarts, and strategically placing the plate of them between me and dad, anticipating The Battle for the Tarts. we both got plenty.
visiting with gram, who was all tiny and alert.
reading a Spanish novel (in translation) and a story about Bishop Shaw, both oddly satisfying.
getting to my best friend's parents' house, at the end of a long few days, settling in my the fire, and having a grand time. they surprised me with a stocking (purple, altho not The Stocking) stuffed with tiny treats. i love my friends.
worrying about scalping my niece, as we tried out the battery operated Hair Torture Device.
driving around with dad, looking at Christmas lights and wondering how much the lights on the block dim when one particularly enthusiatic lighter switches on his thousands of lights. the neighbors don't need to turn on their own lights to read, as dad pointed out.
trying to be quiet like a mouse in my parents' house. being afraid to flush in the middle of the night, lest i wake someone up.
having milk and cookies at bedtime, something i never do at home, but did nearly every night at home. home growing up, that is.
telling stories, watching faces, tailoring words to what they need to hear.
letting out my parents' cat, unaware that Bad Animals (predators, like foxes) are on the prowl during the day, and rescuing the cat from the driveway.
dressing down, then up, then down, for each of the holiday events. getting covered by muddy emmadog paw prints, which was my own fool fault.
realizing that my parents' house finally feels like their home.