Five Golden Rings

December 29, 2009 @ 5:42 pm | Filed under: , ,


Well, it has been a funny old Christmas in these parts. About half of us, including me, were sick with a rather vicious bug on Christmas Eve & Christmas Day—fever, chills, aches, cough—and others succumbed over the weekend. Today, Tuesday, the fifth day of Christmas, most of us have climbed back to normal. I’m sitting in the playroom watching three girls ride scooters in rings around the patio, while half a dozen sparrows scold them from the bushes. The feeder sat empty since Wednesday (you can tell I was really sick) and the birds are very happy to have their feast before them at last.


On Christmas Eve, around light-twinkling time, I was starting to feel a little sorry for myself, knowing I’d miss Mass the next morning. Then I thought about Billy and started writing the post I’ve been carrying in my heart for a very long time, and that snapped everything back into perspective. We had a lovely Christmas, fever and chills nothwithstanding. Happy children, the Babe in the manger, candy canes, beeswax candles tied with red ribbon, sparkly lights on the neighbor’s palm trees, a snuggly blanket and a little girl at just the right age for that stack of Jan Brett books she found in the basket. Scott took the healthy kids to church on Christmas morning and I stayed home with the little ones. Later he made a ham dinner. A good day. They are all good days, even the hard ones.

Today I feel almost back to normal, except for the lingering cough. I wandered into the backyard this morning and started pulling weeds, and suddenly there were pruners in my hand and I was whacking away at three months’ worth of neglect. I chopped the overgrown salvia bushes back to reasonable clumps, and beneath their straggly branches we found legions of seedlings: columbine and nasturtium, mostly.


And in the veggie patch the delightful surprise of a tomato plant and some tender cilantro seedlings. It’s all looking very springy back there and I know that must sound so strange to all my friends in the wintry parts of the world. Three years here, and this climate is still a wonder to me.

Against the back wall, a geranium is blooming: here’s where I find my Christmas red and green.


Now it’s later, and Scott is chopping potatoes for soup. It got cold here fast when night fell, chilling my toes, but the girls are still out there riding. Rose’s Christmas present was a new bike, inspiring a new passion for all wheeled conveyances, it seems.

Whack, whack, the knife on the cutting board. Shrrr, shrrr, the wheels on the cement. “You know what just occurred to me?” asks Scott. “Meryl Streep really did have to learn to chop onions at a dizzying speed.” He’s thinking of Julie & Julia, and he’s right, that was one of the scenes where I forgot I was watching an actress play Julia Child. Tonight, after the kids are down, I think we’ll watch part three of Lark Rise to Candleford, which we started last night. I’m so enjoying seeing Lydia Bennet of the BBC Pride & Prejudice all grown up and doing well. (Though I wish she’d spend less time riding horses with the Squire. Worrisome.)

That’s the fifth day of Christmas in these parts.

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6 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Sheila says:

    After I saw Julie and Julia I wanted IMMEDIATELY to get one of those postcards done. I LOVED those postcards.

  2. sarah says:

    I’m glad you’re starting to feel better, and that the bug didn’t completely ruin Christmas.

  3. christie says:

    I love that Lydia Bennet. She looks a little bit like my neighbor, but my neighbor has a very different personality.

  4. Ellie says:

    {ya, know, I think your website is having that problem again, where new posts don’t show up right away? I was clicking about last night, bored and empty, and neither of these new ones were here, even accounting for time differences. I’m not sure what the fix was last time? I don’t think it was a cache problem on your readers’ end? Or I could be misremembering, because it didn’t happen to me last time. Anyway, maybe it’ll unkink itself …}

    I am so glad you all are on the mend; it’s so hard to be sick during the holidays.

    I cannot fathom green and growing things, just now. Lucky you! 🙂

  5. Penny in VT says:

    I’m very glad you’re all better Lissa, and that the sparkle continues.

    Thank you for the garden photos, they are so wonderful to those of us knee deep in snow. I’m beginning to think that four seasons may not be all they’re cracked up to be (shh don’t tell the kids)!

    “They are all good days, even the hard ones” Love that.

    We’re about to read the Hogmanay chapter in Martha 🙂

    (ps: Thanks for the tip about the Wii – I am *definitely* going to hook up to the internet)

  6. Michele Q. says:

    A blessed Christmas to you and yours my dear!

    Without a doubt I am quite jealous of you warm weather and flowers. It was 17ºF this morning when I ventured out to meet my sister for coffee!