December 11, 2006
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
An Ozark Morning Sky, Lowell Arkansas
I knew Christmas would be somewhat unique this year... Hasnt it been every year for the last six or so, since we spent that first Christmas in Kauaii with my Mom in 2000. Like each Christmas since it has been a mixture of joy and tears, for many reasons... some a bit obvious... Sad due to being separated if not by miles then by circumstances or misunderstanding... happy because every year it has been a new adventure, challenge, or mystery waiting to unfold... I am trying to capture this feeling this year while I sort out my personal future.
For most of those years I have been a "Stranger in a Strange Land" either in Hawaii or Arkansas, or with in myself... and funny its the even years where the strangeness was more within myself and the odd years more about my surroundings. 2000 was the Christmas we were sure that we were off to Hawaii and that something was terribly wrong with my Mom, more than we had ever known. She had allowed me to book the trip with just her and I alone, not telling me that she was unable to walk and semi incontinent. Thank God that John went along at the last minute and that this situation came to light. It was then that we made the decision to leave her behind in California where the medical care was better.
2001 was the year of comming to Hawaii, and exploring a new land and a new culture that looks at everything a little bit differently. 2003 was our first Chirstmas in Retail with our own business, a streach of our faith in God and each other that we really could do this...2005 was, of course, our first year in Arkansas, our new home and our new church.
just as the odd years were more happy than sad the even years seem to be a bit sadder than the odd. 2000 as I said above was filled with uncertainty ever as we celebrated the holiday on beautiful Kauaii...2002 was a hard Christmas filled with apprehesion...we were watching the jewelry store that I was working for to see how their holidays were sales wise as we were making plans for our own store that we were in the process of developing. We were holding our breath as we sunk what was left of our savings and mortgaging the house to finance this dream. 2004 saw the death of that dream when we realized that we were appointed to return to the mainland...Liquidating the store and selling our home... I remember walking up to the farmers market everyday to smell the evergreen trees mingled with the winter fruit and flower smells of Hawaii that are the olfactory signature of Hawaiian Christmas... Evergreen mingled with papaya, plumeria, pikake and white ginger... Winter vacationers and their suntan lotion adding a topnote to the perfume of Island holiday...The sounds of religious carols streaming from a predominantly Bhuddist business, the employees singing merrily
2002 was the Christmas of developing my business trying to really make our Hawaiian dream a reality by being self employed and 2004 of closing the store and moving back to the mainland... also it marked the only time I was able to see my Mother during our sojourn in Paradise... A difficult visit it was too. I was to learn that some of the negative expressions I received while there were repeated towards other visitors so I know now in 2006 as I struggle with the changes in my self that it wasnt all about me after all
And this year? with work and church and other things I really havent done all that I wanted to for the holidays. I have always believed that you gave each holiday its due, and you didnt start working on Christmas until after Thanksgiving... Hogwash, next year we will push Thanksgiving into Halloween which we dont do anyway... and maybe I will get my tree decorated before Christmas week...
But on the whole, I see a turning and a settling in. While we are sad and have a bit of melencholy... the days are cold.. (we still have snow on the ground 9 days later very unusual for this area, most days last week were below freezing)we are not really prepared for it. But we have heat and we are snug in our little house and glad for it. Our tree is up and decorated... and a cheery glow comes from the lights. I have gone out and bought all new holiday music and that has brightened our home...and I found myself singing along...Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Let your heart be light
From now on, our troubles will be out of sight
Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Make the Yuletide gay
From now on, our troubles will be far away
Here we are, as in olden days
Happy golden days gone by
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us
Through the years, we all have been together
If Our Lord allows
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough
And have yourself a merry little Christmas now
I intend to....