Santa Looks Good in a BouBou
Its funny, being this far from home and our family gatherings and traditionally overplayed holiday tunes and hot cocoa. But because it is so foreign here, in the political, social and natural climate, I could easily have glided through this holiday season with no remorse or regret or American nostalgia, but instead with an aire of forgetfulness. I’d had to have stayed in my village for an entire month and not spoken a word to Ryan or my family and have taken down my ever important calendars and maybe a picture or two, and truly disillusioned myself, allthewhile knowing that those acts, the acts of separation, would drive me crazy any time of year. And so, I did not fake it. I did not try to ignore these times of family and love and togetherness and instead embraced my sadness and sought out my friends here, my hand selected family, and we celebrated togetherness under the guise of Noel Nostalgia.
One thing that helps pass these times with little trouble is the lack of gusto, of tinsel and of singing snowmen at shop corners. For that matter, the lack of shops and corners and legitimate streets helps to dissolve any holiday memories provoked by visual stimuli. Also, it was 115F on Christmas Eve and there were multiple dirt-devils that forced cars off streets and random pedestrians into said cars. That same day, while in Colorado, Ryan and Fish sought out sledding spots and my parents cooked a roast at Sky’s house where he was busy prepping his puppies for -7F.
Its all relative.
The pads of Zoe’s toes would be gathering painful ice balls if it weren’t for Mama’s skilled memory, knowing that Vaseline between and on those old lady pads helps to keep them moist, unchapped and icefree. Daddy is surely trying to budget and figure out how to get a fireplace in the Salida house while Skylar is budgeting and attempting to go boarding as often as possible. Snowtires have been switched out and chains are sitting in the trunks, awaiting their annual call to duty.
Ryan is wearing his red stocking cap and his beard is warming his face while his scarf snuggles his neck. Bubba is cursing the snows effect on the roads but praisining its presence on the slopes. Biglow is probably taken to cleaning up the office and Wyatt is surely enjoying the frequent trips to the bakery and Zoe’s old spot by the fire.
The morning news is being watched, not for the politics or stories warning of the inherent dangers of apple sauce, but for weather updates, highs and lows, fronts and closures.
Although economics are playing the coal in the stocking role, they aren’t disjointing families, friends or ruddy cheeked smiles.
Even from the sun soaked Sahel, I can feel the internal, innate, invariable warmth and joy of the holiday season. So although you’re layering the longjohns and flannel and sweaters and I’m soaking in the spf50, we’re all in this universally tough but beautiful time of year together and apart.
Thank You to Megan Pilli, Daniel Dayton and Jon Burgess. Thank You to Ryan O’brien, LeeAnn O’brien, Mohanta, Bob and Skylar. Thank You to Janna Thornberry. Thank You to family and friends. Happy Holidays