Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunset in the Snow

Sunset in the Snow

Yep, we had some snow recently. I'm thinking we had over a foot on Friday and half of that today; I took the shot above from our balcony right when the sun appeared just before it set for the longest night of the year. We were quite happy to ensconce ourselves at home for the weekend, I have to say. We did some errands yesterday and had brunch today, but the bulk of our time was spent at home. Da Man had about ninety finals to grade, and I wrapped presents and addressed Christmas cards while watching a range of things on On Demand, like episodes of Facts of Life and movies like How I Got into College. Tonight, though, we had to shift our attention to packing. We leave tomorrow for a week or so in Texas, the trip we've made every Christmas for the past few years. But it looks like this is going to be the last one for a while.

In my last entry, when I wrote about the upcoming transitions I am expecting to undertake in the next few months, I was not thinking of trips to Texas for Christmas. But I was in a pretty foul mood for my last few days on campus. While I might have been justified in being annoyed by some things, I was feeling it much more intensely than usual. Then, I realized that much of it had to do with the fact that I've been dreading going to back to Texas this year. Last year, being the first Christmas after my mother's death, was bad. And this year is pretty bad, too.

Going to Texas at Christmas, going "home," makes me feel my mother's death much more intensely than anything else I do. Christmas was always about her. It revolved around seeing her. Everything we did on these trips had to start first and foremost with her. And when we go there this time of year, it feels like we trying to do the same thing we do, but we can't do it, so it makes her death more obvious and much more present. I was talking about it with Da Man on Thursday, and we asked ourselves why we were ripping the wound open like this every year. Why don't we stay home with just the two of us? And why don't we take the money that we save each month for the trip and go somewhere else at the end of December or start of January. We could see people in Chicago or Columbus or even in Texas. Or we could go to a new city or even a place like Puerto Rico.

Realizing that put me in a much better mood. We'll certainly go back to Texas now and then. I know we'll be there for my nephew's graduation in 2011 and for my niece's wedding whenever that is. But I want Christmas to become our holiday. Already, it makes me so happy to think that we wil not be rushing around next year trying to finish the semester and get ready to leave at the same time. We can just be at home living our lives together.

So I'm not really looking forward to the trip this year, though I know I'll be glad we did it. It'll be good to see people, and it'll be good to get away. But it'll be good to come back home, too.


  1. I can so relate to this on so many levels. I'm no big fan of packing up and going anywhere at the end of the semester, and this year, we're going to pick out our father's headstone on the day after Christmas (if we're not snowed in). We'll be combining it with a visit to the North End for some cappucino and cannoli, so we'll be mixing the bitter with the sweet.

    It sounds like for you two, it's time to break out of a pattern and to establish a new one. Good on ya!

  2. Nels, I stopped going "home" for the holiday about ten years ago for many reasons. I can't claim to appreciate the loss that you have experienced with your mother. I've had different losses. I cling to the idea of moving forward. I wish you luck with the resolution you've had over this.