Home For The Holidays

Holidays bring on memories….one of my favorite is how Mom would decorate the house.  Of course that was predicated by a grand old house cleaning, stem to stern.   This included everything from polishing the dining room furniture with Old English and a cloth to polishing the fancy gold flatware we’d be using at said table as we feasted upon an amazing meal.

Mom can cook.

This whole thing would commence shortly after Halloween and continue through Thanksgiving…the house would already be spic ‘n’ span for that, but we’d have to do some touch-ups for the Christmas/New Year celebrations.

I used to love polishing the dining room table legs. I’d pretend they were trees and I was hiding in a forest, or countless other scenarios while rubbing that polish deep into the grain. I’d do the chair legs as well, and why not? Then it would be on to the server, then finally the china cabinet.  I couldn’t reach the tall parts….not even standing on a chair. Mom or Sister took care of them, unless one of the brothers could be drafted.

One of my most favorite memories is of the dining room window.  It wasn’t much of a window, really…kind of a long window grouping that wasn’t very tall.  It was highly placed on the dining room’s rear wall, leaving plenty of room for a server (not sure what else to call it) under neath.  But she took that humble feature and transformed it into something very special during Christmas.

She’d tease me….I knew she knew I loved that particular decorative element, so she’d tease me.  We’d have to dig out the special curtains….wonderful, special things they were, too.  White, almost transparent panels with softly ruffled trim….there were actually three parts to the window treatment.  First were the panels that went across the window, like regular curtains do.  Then came the sides and finally the valance.  The sides criss crossed in the middle and tied back, creating a nice enough effect.

But when she put the electric candelabra on the window sill and lit it against the night sky, the sight was amazing.  Textures bent the light into a million cascades of folds and ruffles. Absolutely beautiful.

I miss my family, especially around the holidays. None of us are getting any younger, so I’m gonna get back to see them in the coming year.  Been a long time, and it’s time to reconnect.

But for now, Fifty Five Is The New Home For the Holidays…even if it is only in memory.

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