Saturday, December 6, 2008

Deck the halls.

Each month, Jo and Charlie, neighbors for all the years we have lived here, invite everyone from blocks around to their "First Friday" event, to unwind and share food and drink. There's usually music and lively political discussions. Because of the 3 Day Walk and then preoccupation related to work, we've missed the last several. We were welcomed back warmly last night. It made me think how very important it is to have connections outside one's family and one's work, to be involved in others' lives to celebrate or sympathize with them. And we have our rituals to cherish. Each year, we light our streets with Christmas Eve luminarias, all the way to the Ravenna Park ravine and out to 65th. Neighbors have been doing an Easter Egg Hunt in the spring and an ice cream social in the summer for more than 25 years. A summer block party with a band from the neighborhood was added a couple of years ago. And this year, we are going to revive the Christmas caroling tradition on December 23rd. So you could say we are all a part of one another.

I'm decorating the house today for the first of two open houses this month. Yesterday I nipped in to Hunter Tree Farms' lot to pick up a wreath for the front porch. We've been buying fresh greens there since we arrived in Seattle. I try to add a couple of new holiday decorations each year, so today I'll visit Martha Harris' flower shop in Madison Park, hands down the best decorations anywhere. As I polish and clean my treasures, it occurs to me that my life is both long and wide and I have had many adventures, many of them manifest in the ornaments themselves. If I am a pack rat of any kind -- and there are many who would doubt that -- it is of seasonal decorations and photographs that mark times when I, like the seasons, am open to change and happy for all the turns that my life has taken.
Fa la la la la, la la, la la.


Penny Kellam said...

You are so wise to recognize and remind me of the importance of our personal communities. It's so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day "stuff" and lose sight of the connections that are truly important.

Looking forward to seeing you for a few minutes on the 20th....


Lauren said...

Beautiful decorations, Annie, and what balanced shots, too!