Monday, January 2, 2012


I'm looking out my window. It's the first Monday, the beginning of the first work week of 2012.

It looks the same -- gray street, gray, white, and red brick buildings, lamps posts, parked cars, meters like sentries that demand how much -- $18.00 for a half hour of parking on our street (last year it was $14.) It's a busy business street in the heart of Manhattan.

Yesterday, in the buildings across the street, like last year and the year before, I could see marvelously decorated Christmas trees on quite a few different floors -- all large -- bigger than the trees I saw last year, and all appeared to have been expensively, creatively, labored over.

Soon, maybe even today, they'll be in the street.

And steel Dumpsters will be in street, piled high with cartons, gift boxes -- piles of red, green, gold, silver things -- ribbons, bows, labels, cards, protective tissue, wrapping paper -- so many pretty things everyone picked out carefully, purchased, debated over how to handle, then wrapped, tied, taped and fussed with.

Like the Christmas trees. After the holiday you can keep the tree up for a week or two -- you can pretend not to notice the branches -- green becoming brown and brittle -- browned, dead, pine needles beginning to cover the floor around the base of the tree, migrating, magically moving into other parts of the house that have to be kept clean.

Nobody wants pine needles on the kitchen floor. I don't want pine needles in the bathroom.

So, we'll move our tree into the hall -- trees are elevatored or carried to the street, and laid to rest ignobly on their sides at the curb.

Sometimes the tree lies there and brown turns to gray until the garbage trucks and the garbage men arrive and the remnants of what once was your marvelous -- oh, this is IT tree! -- are disposed of.

Ours was a lovely tree -- a little crooked, but it grew and grew somewhere to be ready for us to chose it, buy it, make it into ours.

Well, it'll be Ground Hog day in a minute, then Valentines .... Happy New Year -- hello two zero one two! Hey, 2-0-1-2 will harder to type than 2011 ...

Oh my goodness, I forgot to give a holiday present to our postman -- well, tomorrow I'll give a holiday present to the whomever delivers the mail -- the woman who replaced our friendly postman who retired wasn't friendly. Maybe she'll perk up if I say I'm Em, what's your name?

Yep, things have changed since last year, but if you know who people are, even my street turns into a chummy neighborhood.


Anonymous said...

Hard to believe it is 2012! Our tree has been around for about 12 years and still looks beautiful when Sarah puts it up. So we don't have the debris problem in Kansas. If I came to visit you-I would be only able to afford 30 minutes parked in front of your building! Lol! Expensive! Our curbs are full of brown leaves-most of the neighbors don't have fresh green trees at Christmas. The winds have blown leaves up against our backdoor and Roxy and I bring them inside somehow. I don't know how long I will leave my tree up this year. It goes down when Sarah comes to visit next which might be February. Oh well-it is beautiful to look at.... kam

Linda Phillips said...

What a lovely piece Em!

Carl Watts said...

Eggs thrown against a car leaves cracked shells.

A beautiful omelet pleases the body with fuel, warmth, satisfaction and always leaves cracked shells behind.

The purpose and results intended makes all the difference.

Its what you focus your attention on. The ugliness of the broken shell or the satisfaction of the omelet; the many days of beauty of the decorated tree or the disposal of a no longer needed item.

You get what you put your attention on. Focus on evil/ugliness, you will not be very happy. Focus on the beauty, the good, harmony and you will get more of those :-)

May your new year be focused on beauty, harmony, productivity!

Flourish and prosper :-)

Maureen Jacobs said...

My decorations have been down since last Wednesday, we have TWO trees, one for each child. Everything, including our Anna Lee elves are tucked away. Florida never seems to feel like Christmas up north. Fall and Christmas are the two things I miss about Philly.... And, of course, the mummers.

Ameer S. Washington said...

And so the days go on and yesterday folds seamlessly into today. It's the same old drum, beating to the same old song. I sure hope that new post lady comes around and offers a smile. No one needs a grumpy mail lady.

I did see the same thing you saw, and the debris didn't get picked up until the Thursday after Christmas, so we had quite a few days to look at the remnants of America's favorite holiday. So much for one day. Gotta love it.