Monday, January 4, 2016
XMAS TREES AT THE CURB
I'm looking out my window. Tomorrow will be the first Monday of the first work week of 2016.
Yesterday, in the buildings across the street, like last year and the year before, I could see decorated Christmas trees on quite a few different floors -- bigger trees than ever before -- all appeared to have been expensively, creatively, decorated.
There's already a tree lying at the curb, in the street below.
Soon, all the trees will be in the street, along with steel dumpsters that are piled high with red, green, gold, and silver things -- ribbons, bows, labels, cards, protective tissue, wrapping paper -- all the pretty things we picked out carefully, purchased, debated over how to handle, then wrapped, tied, taped, and fussed with.
Ah Christmas trees ... After the holiday you can keep the tree up for a week or so and pretend not to notice the branches becoming brown and pine needles beginning to cover the floor, until you notice pine needles in other parts of the house.
Nobody wants pine needles on the kitchen floor, or in the bathroom.
So we'll move our tree into the hall. Like our neighbors in the tall buildings across the street, who elevator their trees down -- our tree and theirs will be carried to the street, and laid to rest ignobly on their sides at the curb.
Sometimes, the trees lie there and brown turns to gray until the garbage guys 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 somewhere from a sprout to be five feet tall, to be just right -- beautiful despite a slightly crooked spine -- exactly right for us to choose it, buy it, and make it into ours.
Well, it'll be Ground Hog Day, then Valentine's Day, first day of spring, 4th of July, Halloween, and in a minute it'll be Happy New Year two zero one seven!
At least I gave a holiday present to the mail lady who replaced our postman who suddenly disappeared. She never says hello, just buzzes when she has something that won't fit in our box. Last week, when she buzzed, I buzzed back and said, "Hey, I'm Emily -- what's your name?" I got her to spell it out and left an envelope in the mailbox with Faith's name on it -- just a twenty dollar bill. Xmas eve day, when she buzzed she said, "Merry Christmas Emily."
Things have changed since last year. They're building another ten story building in the parking lot across the street, but hey, even my noisy, bustling business street turns into a small town neighborhood, if you know the UPS guy, garbage man, the parking lot guy's and the mail lady's first and last names.