Wednesday, January 2, 2013



I'm looking out my window. It's the beginning of the first work week of 2013.

It looks the same -- gray street, gray, white, and red brick buildings, lamps posts, parked cars, meters like sentries that demand how much -- $22.00 for a half hour of parking on our street (last year it was $18, the year before -- $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 three! Hey, 2-0-1-3 will harder to type than 2012 ...

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.


Poet_Carl_Watts said...

Good post :-)

Yes, Christmas creates excitement, no people create the excitement. After the event, they cease to create and they get grays...

Create a plan, get to know that lady who delivers your mail. Can you imagine going through out the day with people not speaking with you!

Communication, good communication will breed affinity and reality. With good communication, the lady will grow to like you. If you smile, she will smile...ah you've created some agreement, some reality.

Enjoy your new year. It will be as you create it with words and smiles.

Happy New Year Em and John

Carola said...

$22 for a half hour of parking on the street? That's amazing. I assume you have those pay-stations that people put their credit cards in. Who would pay these fees?

Anonymous said...

Yes, hard to think about the new year with all
the left over things from the holidays. We have a fake tree so no dry pine needles here.
it is sort of sad to see all the trees lying in the streets waiting to be hauled off. Maybe things will calm down since the fixing of the fiscal cliff. Hope so. Gotta think positive. kam

Unknown said...

Em, I love your Holiday Remnants EMTalkery today!

If I may share, A Christmas Tree Never Forgotten

I and a few dear friends learned of a family that hadn't much, a Dad and two children hopeful Santa might come. Nary a sugar plum in sight, nor much in their cupboards. A community centre friend knew of their predicament, their names, ages, their tiny wish lists to Santa, clothing sizes and where to deliver.

We filled boxes with all of the fixings; gift-cards for grocery in the new year too. Basics such as butter, lots of milk, sugar, salt, pepper, eggs, rosemary, gravy mix, potatoes, veggies, fruits, bread, lots. A fresh turkey and even the big foil pan in which to cook. Then mittens, hats, warm coats, snow pants, socks, warm Pjs, t-shirts, slacks too. The kids: a girl 5 and boy 7. We were excited to buy toys, games, books, a Tonka truck and more! A new dolly with that new-dolly-smell (a scent that makes my little-girl-heart's-memory reminisce and tingle). That sensory delight never leaves a little girl's heart. We wrapped, bowed and tagged them from Santa. Sparkly bows to delight their dancing hearts! Their Dad, a lovely man who works hard and does the best he can. What great Dad doesn't deserve spoiling too? We brought him lots of warm socks, sweaters, gloves, new work-coveralls, blue jeans, warm jacket and booklets of bus tickets to help with his day to day expense. They had no tree. We picked a lovely one to fill their home with the natural Pine scent, boxes of sparkly ornaments and plenty of multi-coloured lights; even a Angel for the tree top! We knocked on their door 2-days before the 25th, "Hello Merry Christmas!" we cheered! We set up the tree in a proper water-filled stand. The kids were jumping up and down with delight! The happy little boy was just bouncing off the walls as he was so excited! We helped the kiddies put on the lights and then the pretty ornaments. Oh the joy as they stood back to admire their tree, their eyes reflecting the sparkles. Just like magic their home was filled with pure Christmas Joy and Love! We brought oodles of bright, shiny gifts into the house and tucked them under the tree. We brought cheerful snowmen and santa gingerbread cookies too! As the kiddies decorated their tree, Dad sat in his favourite chair crying his eyes out, tears streaming down his face. His heart was filled with gratefulness and he said so. He asked who to thank but we answered Secret Santa and that we were helping deliver! Their joy and tears is far more thanks as our hearts too were filled with warmth as we drove back home. So they had 2-sleeps until Christmas morn; no doubt dreaming of SugarPlums!

Then came Christmas morn, I sat hugging my big dog and visualizing their faces as they unwrapped Santa's gifts, whilst tears of joy flowed freely down my cheeks and into my coffee cup. T'was a Christmas experience my heart shall never forget.

alien said...

Sadly your colourful account confirms once again my feelings towards Christmas as the world now celebrates it Em.Fully corrupted, the real meaning lost,Santa now,with his sack of disposable trinkets has replaced Christ as the reason for the season.God gave the world the most precious of gifts two thousand and twelve years ago,or thereabouts,we're still counting time from that
day.Seems dear lady the Celebration of Christ (Christmas) has no more value than the cast off trappings you see from your window God knows I see it everywhere. Take care dearheart,holding you and John in prayer.agape

Anonymous said...

Hi Em.
I look out at snow fields. The nearest neighbour is at least five hundred feet away. I can see our neighbours' houses, strung out along this wintery road like ice birds on a line. Welcome, but far apart.
The temperature today has warmed up from -19C to -13C. Almost too cold to go out skiing.
The view out my west glass doors shows a four foot drift of snow on the deck.
My husband and I spent the whole Christmas holidays skiing, cross country skiing from our back door. It was wonderful, and sometimes fun, but also gruelling.
Yesterday John went back to work. I caught up on chores that had been nelected during our days of skiing, and took a tentative dip into my wip, my work in progress, and found that it was a fun, pleasant place to be.
Some writers don't like editing, but I enjoy it. I'm lucky that way.
Today I plunged back into my wip. A full head on dive. The water is deep and cool, the sun warm, the breeze balmy. It's a place I like to be.
Our Christmas tree is plastic. We've had it for years. It sits patiently in our basement when it's not on duty. Although I know they are raised for the purpose, I'm glad that no trees were harmed in our celebration of winter.
I love trees.
The decorations will go back in their boxes and then into storage along with the tree in a few days (or weeks, depending on my priorities)
but for now, it lights up our nights.
We recycle and reuse so much of the wrapping paper and ribbons that there was hardly any garbage this year. We were all cleaned up the day after Christmas.
Out here, neighbours see each other mostly spring, summer and fall. In winter we might wave as we pass by each other in our vehicles, or we might meet the odd person out in the back fields, we on our skis with our dogs, they on their snowmobiles. But for the most part, we don't see much of our neighbours, or any living person, unless we make the effort to go out. I should say I. My husband goes to the city to work. I write at home. My friends are mostly on the internet.
And so we resume our activities, refreshed, or exhasuted, after a brief holiday.
Able to count our blessings.
Lucky to be alive.

Louise Sorensen
louise3anne twitter

Gus said...

Hey Em, you painted a real picture of your street through the eyes of a window. A bit like Harper Lee's 'To Kill A Mockingbird'. You remember, the sister of EM (a boy that time) telling us about her little town Mobile -- or was her town in a place called Mobile? Well any way, the sight from your window may look dull to you, but it's a very beautiful picture of a foreign place to me/Harper Lee's readers.

OR said...

Michael Jackson used to do that a lot. And look what happened to him. As Tina Turner says: " ... Ah don't want to lose you. [Da da da da da da ...]. So Em, please stay away from that window. Ha ha. Love ya Em -- and my friend-in-law,John. :-)!!