Oops! Haven't been writing much of late, but I've been thinking. Most recently, I've been thinking about trees. Not the kind Thoreau might have contemplated. I've been thinking more about the man-made variety.
The first one is the Thankful Tree Nora and I made a few weeks ago. I read about the idea in the local paper and I brought along a selection of craft supplies so we could make one during our annual mother/daughter weekend in San Francisco.
Now, most people might not consider doing craft projects while staying in the lovely Omni Hotel in the city, but I knew that after long days of tromping all over San Francisco (in the rain this time) Nora and I would be ready to snuggle in our comfortable beds, rent a movie, have room service and this year, try a craft project. The idea of the thankful tree was to cut out felt leaves, embroider them with the names of things we are thankful for and then hang the leaves on birch branches. Paul and I were planning to drive up to have Thanksgiving with Nora in her new apartment and I thought it would be fun to create a unique centerpiece for our celebration.
The project started out a bit slowly. Admittedly our crafting skills were rusty. I had never mastered embroidery and Nora wasn't quite sure about imagining leaf shapes and cutting them with pinking shears. However, we persevered. Soon we had leaves cut out, embroidered and stuffed in various autumnal shades of felt. Our leaves proclaimed we were thankful for "Paul" (and our 30 years of marriage), "Nora", "Mom", "family", "words", "art", "retirement" (hopefully sometime soon) and "laughter." We could have done more but one of us (who shall remain nameless) lost her enthusiasm after her second leaf. I didn't see the completed tree until we arrived at Nora's on Thanksgiving. Her landlord had given her a bouquet of flowers and she added them to the base of the branches. Stunning!
I've never liked to travel over Thanksgiving holidays--seemed like too much of a hassle dealing with all the other travelers. But this trip was worth it. I made some of the dishes at home, Nora made some and we had one of the best Thanksgivings ever. Simplified, but so wonderful to celebrate with grown-up Nora and Paul.
The other tree I've been thinking about is Nora's new artificial Christmas Tree. We gave her a little four foot tree as a birthday present, knowing she needed something to hang her beautiful collection of ornaments on. She has some treasured ones from her childhood (but honestly, I have to admit that I kept most of them for my own tree...bad mother) and she's added quite a few recently--mostly glass, glittery and pink. My own first trees tended to be the more organic variety--stuffed felt and cotton ornaments, walnut shell mice, clothespin soldiers. Nora definitely goes for the bling when it comes to Christmas trees. The white lights on the tree reflect sliver and gold sequins and the iridescent glow of her bright, shiny balls. I have to admit I'm now a convert. I still don't have too much glitz in my everyday life but I'm thinking that Christmas may just be the time to reveal the secret yearnings and ostentacious glamour of "Oh, Margaret!"