This green and gray is starting to get me down in ways being snowed in for 6 weeks last winter never did. It's a strange thing to have my back yard frozen in an absurd green shade....never needing to be mowed for weeks and weeks and weeks.....topped off by the eternal grayness of the sky. It's almost as if someone has a painted a picture of a rainy summer day, and plastered it to my window for the last 3 months. The sun reluctantly reveals the rain at 8 AM, and hastens away to sunnier parts of the world at 4 PM. The "air of coziness" within our home has been replaced by full spectrum light bulbs which burn away the darkness after 4 to help out with S.A.D., and give our home the advantage over the outdoors....its brighter inside than outside. Weird. Just weird.
Christmas was, for us, a few days of rushing around realizing we had no idea how to do Christmas with our family. It's the first one we've spent at home together, other than the one when Violet was 2 weeks old, and we were all sick. Ben has spent 2 Christmases in Iraq, and we spent the other two with family. By December 22 all we had was a tree. No presents or food. We decided to make a run for it, and do everything. I shopped for him, he shopped for Violet and me...I bought food.....I cooked all day, glad for the distraction (from boredom) and he wrapped presents, and we finally stuffed the stockings Christmas Eve. I had cooked all day, and wanted a break, so we went out for sushi Christmas Eve, and decided to make it a tradition. The restaurant was so empty, it echoed as we walked in, and the server looked at us almost in disbelief. We had Christmas Eve communion at church....it was way too short! We left church reluctantly, disappointed no one there looked like they needed an invitation to Christmas dinner. So we headed home.....to our little house which glowed so brightly with its full spectrum light bulbs.
Christmas morning we were awakened by Violet at 6:30 AM. This was the bright spot in our Blasé Holiday. It was awesome to see the delight in our little girls' faces ......even Gracie was in love with her Bunny. (though moreso the wrapping paper from all the presents). I cooked the entire rest of the day, and we feasted on 11 different dishes that night. I cooked because.....well, there was nothing else to do.
Yes, this all sounds a bit sad. But it kind of was. We talked to our family on the phone, and listened longingly to the background noise of cousins and babies and teasing grandparents....and it was hard. It's hard not to have it all. To be home last Christmas with cousins and everybody.....was awesome. But there was an Ache, knowing Ben was not there. This Christmas, we had Ben.....but no one else. It wasn't as bad, but it was still lonely. I'm amazed at the power Family has over our lives. You just don't realize it until it's missing.
For now, I just can't wait to take the tree down and get back to work. I have scheduled Dr. appointments for all of us in the upcoming weeks. Ben will start school tomorrow, and we leave town for my aunt's in Vancouver Thursday. Stay busy, forget how far the east coast is. And Florida. That's my goal. The grass is always greener.....well, it's greener here in Washington than anywhere on EARTH....but it doesn't help. The sky is still grey. And my house glows brighter than the sun.