Utah bound, road trip!

Today, my husband and I leave for Utah. The photo above shows our destination. One of our sons, his wife, and two children live outside Salt Lake City, and they can’t travel home for Christmas, so we’re going to visit them. We’ll drive for thirteen hours, over a day and a half. My biggest regret with car travel is that I can’t read to pass the time. I get motion sickness if I try to read more than a few words. Such a waste of time.

I usually take notes of things I see or songs I hear, and the thoughts they inspire. In the past, those notes have sometimes been indecipherable because I couldn’t look at the paper as I wrote, but this time I’ve decided to type them directly into my laptop. I type by touch, and though I can only glance at the screen for seconds at a time, I’ll have better luck deciphering my typos than my blind-handwriting.

I’ll also write some blog posts along the way, so you’re not getting a break. Sorry. Right now, blog posts are about the only thing I’m writing, so I have to keep that up. A couple of days after as we return home, our son who lives in Nebraska will arrive for Christmas. I don’t anticipate getting back to the business of writing fiction until January, and by then, I’ll have a long to-do list compiled.

In any case, know that I will be reading any comments you leave on my blog, and I’ll be reading your blogs, but commenting on my end will be slower than usual while I’m away from home. Of course, you know me, I’ll probably be checking for an available internet connection a thousand times a day. If nothing else, I’ll respond via iPhone. Don’t expect verbosity.

[tweetmeme source=”cassidylewis” only_single=false]

A thought on tradition

As I sit here writing this post on Saturday night, the virtual fireplace roars and pops in all its high-definition glory accompanied by orchestral holiday music that reminds me of classic black and white movies. Thoughts of childhood filter through, though considering I have memories that go back to the age of two, not many of them are of Christmases. Our family often struggled financially, so I expect this commercialized holiday was rather low-key at our house.

My first Christmas memory is of the year I was five and spoiled Santa for my sister. My next memory is of my ninth, when I got my last baby doll—yes, nine. We grew up much slower back in the olden days. The next one I remember specifically, I think I was sixteen. That was the year my mother bought a silver tree. Silver as in aluminum foil! Due to its nature, we couldn’t trim that abomination with our traditional colored lights, so she’d bought the rotating color wheel accessory. I detested that tree. It took its presence as a personal offense. To this day, I blame that misguided experiment for inciting my slavery to Christmas decorating traditions.

Three years later, I celebrated my first Christmas as a married woman. At that time, we lived in Germany where my husband was stationed with the U.S. Army. I shopped for my decorations in the village, and my husband and his friends drove up in the mountains to cut down our tree. While holiday music played on Armed Forces Radio, I hung blown-glass bulbs and clipped on delicate glass birds. I arranged and rearranged them seeking a perfect display from three sides. When I finished, we went to see a movie on base.

Two hours later, we arrived home to find our beautiful tree on the floor and shattered glass everywhere. My birthday present kitty had wrecked my Christmas tree. Most of the birds survived because they were secured to the branches, but half the bulbs were now glittery pieces. We drove a nail in the wall and secured the tree upright with fishing line. Military pay didn’t stretch far enough to replace the broken ornaments, so I had to stretch the remaining ones over the tree.

The next summer, many of the remaining bulbs and a couple of birds broke during shipment home of our household goods, and others disappeared through the following years. Now I have only one, slightly battered, golden bird left, and I give it a place of honor on my tree every year. Though I no longer have real trees  because of family allergies, mine is traditional in every other way. Tomorrow, I will spend most of the day decorating it. My collection of glass ornaments has grown to hundreds and I still arrange each one with care.

Your turn: What is your Christmas tree like? If no tree, what holiday tradition is your favorite?


[tweetmeme source=”cassidylewis” only_single=false]

Forty-eleven things …

It’s a week until Christmas and I have, as my father used to say, “forty-eleven” things to do. I hope to get caught up on all your blog posts I’ve let accumulate in my reader, but I won’t have time to write any new posts of my own until after Christmas. If you’re bored, look in my archives to see if you missed something good, and don’t forget to read the comments because those are often more entertaining than the post.

sierra_view

To all the beautiful people who come here, no matter what holiday you celebrate this time of year,  I wish you a wonderful week of visits with those you love, lots of goodies to eat, and a cozy spot where you can read, reflect, or just rest.