Stories From California

Socks. Tree. Love. - Los Angeles, CA

"How about holding?!!!!" the husband shouts at the TV.

I guess, the team that just scored a touchdown is not the one he marked as winning in his office pool. He leans back into the sofa. His feet rest on the couch table. Black socks between a plate of self made cookies, two tea mugs, a box of matches I wrapped in shiny paper, a stack of books and Sunday paper clutter. It's mostly advertising for last minute shoppers. Toys. Cameras. Sweaters. Diamond rings and necklaces. Washer/dryer combinations. My mind plays videos of people covering washers and driers in humongeous Christmas wrapping and the faces of those who receive the bulky gifts, a red mega-bow on top.

Next to the TV, our funky Christmas tree stands tall and twinkles.

We did not want to buy a tree this year and opted for branches from the front yard juniper. I thought, we were going to cut two, three big old limbs from the bottom. I thought, we would put them into our biggest vase. I thought, we would decorate those with a few ornaments and place the whole ensemble in front of our fire place, right in the middle, so you can see it when you walk down the hallway towards our living room.

That was not what the husband thought.

That was not what the husband planned.

That was not what the husband did.

The husband took the ladder out of the garage. And the power saw. The husband sawed off one of the biggest branches from the middle of the tree. The husband mounted that branch into the Christmas tree stand.

The branch became a tree.

Straight. Reaching for the ceiling. 8 foot 2. Beautiful. The best Christmas tree I ever saw.

We decorated it with multi-color lights and lots of ornaments. The big whale from Paso Robles. The screaming fish from Cabo. The shell from Hawaii. The birch wood cut-out from the Black Forest. The Sedona bell. The Utah gecko. The Yosemite bear. Cardboard puzzle bulps our nephews made. Straw stars my mother made. A card the uncle who died in Indochina as Foreign Legion soldier made. The drummer. The mini disco balls. The heart. 

I am admiring this Christmas tableau from the ironing board. I iron clothes for our trip to Germany. I am barefoot. I wear a T-Shirt and my thin cotton comfy pants. In less than a week, I will be wearing wool pants, wool socks and winter boots. I will be freezing.

I just now realize that the husband does not have any wool pants. I just now realize that there will be lots of cold wind, which he hates. I just now realize that he will be missing all the important College football bowl games. I just now realize that this man with the feet up between cookies and tea mugs is well aware of all these things.

I say a little prayer to myself.

One day, please, may everybody be as lucky as I am. 

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