Monday, July 23, 2007

I have a Ritual...

I have ONE Ritual that occurs each year. It could be called Hibernating or Denial, doesn't matter either way, it just happens! Usually it begins in August. When the heat and humidity is so oppressive. And it begins with the thought of Christmas.

I begin doing this 'nesting' thing with a twist. I do the Spring Cleaning routine first. Then organize something new or reorganize something 'they' have gotten into and not returned to my precise obsessive compulsive state of being. They being the males. Males don't see things the way we do. They don't see at all! They have other gifts.

After cleaning and reorganize everything, I draw the blinds.

Now, I hate darkness. It isn't comforting to me, it feels like I'm trapped. So, during the normal course of the spring summer I open the West facing windows in the morning and close the East Facing windows at night. Then about 1pm. I close the West facing windows and open the East facing windows. None the less, come August I pull all the blinds and don't open them at all. Then out comes the Hot Tea...and the quilts. And the lights are kept very low.

A friend visiting walked into my home late one summer and said: "I can't see!" I said, "You'll adjust, give it a moment." And she did. The blinding light is another thing I avoid at all costs, thus the closed blinds. We sat with two small lamps glowing in the background and indeed the living room was cave like and cool. She passed on my offer of hot cinnamon apple tea. I wasn't offended.

A week or so later my best friend Dee comes over. She lives on the crisp edge of Reality most of the time. Rather than declining my hot tea offer she was aghast. "It's 100* out there, I want ICED tea!" I was offended.

She had shattered my cool cave-like abode with her Sensibility. I gave her my iciest glare for thwarting my attempt at making my reality a crisp fall day and thus...she could make her own iced tea!

It is during these moments of abject denial that I plot my Christmas decor, luncheon plans, Christmas tree placement and decide my Mantle decor that will easily switch from Fall with burgundies and peach tones to burgundies and pink tones. At this time I make the lists of things to pick up for gifts. I think about those Holiday Treats and Trays to have on hand for visitors. And will pull out my old magazine Holiday issues to peruse and think of the lovely mulled cider we will drink, the potpourri that will linger in the air and the twinkling magical lights we'll spread about the house.

And that is how I endure summer's unforgiving heat...with the knowledge that there truly will be Fall's crisp morning breeze, a fireplace to snuggle up to on a cool evening and the heart warming feelings that arrive about October 15th. That is when my Holiday begins, October 15th. My dear dad's birthday. I bring out the Fall decor for dressing the dining table and he goes on and on about how proud he is my home reflects who I am. What a sweetheart he is!

These days Dad can no longer put those words together as he looks around the gathering areas of my home. He tries, struggling for the words but I know what he is saying...he tears up a bit, slaps his hand to his heart and shakes his head once or twice while looking around the room and it is as though he is seeing my home for the first time...and he is pleased my life turned out well. And I don't want him thinking otherwise.

My dad has dementia, bless his heart. I told him years ago that when he no longer recognized me we would talk about his amazingly fabulous daughter. We laughed then. And I thank God today that I haven't yet needed to tell him how wonderful she is.

So, in reality, this Denial or Hibernating is as much a hope for tomorrow as it is a recognition of the blessings of today.

Won't you join me for a moment? Let's select our favorite hot tea and put the pot on to simmer. Let's grab those Holidays decorating magazines from the past and dream of what could be, make notes of things to do and count our blessings together.

Warmest regards,