A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Free Tree

One of the perks of being a procrastinator is last-minute bargains. I finally went out to hunt for a Christmas tree, four days before Christmas, and I got every frugal New Englander's dream: something for nothing. Although I was sort of in a rush, I decided to stop by my transportation-challenged cousin's house and offer her a ride to anywhere she needed to go. I took her suggestion for a Christmas tree--right next door to where she lives--and, boy, was it a good idea. It was so late in the season, they were giving away everything.

I picked out the biggest tree they had left, plus 60 feet of balsam roping, three swags and a wreath. Geri helped herself to a few decorations, too. Three bungee cords secured the tree on top of the car, and the trunk held the rest. Still plenty of room for us and the dog.

When I got home, I discovered that the swags were too large for the double doors. I'd only taken one wreath, so I'd have to use the swags to construct a matching wreath for the second door. Since by then it was dusk, I pulled the tree inside, but left all the rest of the greenery on the front porch. The next day, I discovered the three swags were missing. Well, they'd been free and I didn't even need them, so I silently wished the thief a merry Christmas and no bad karma.

Ali made a fresh cut on the tree and we set it in the front bay window. I used the roping around the front doors, along the porch railing, and up the front staircase. Just enough was left to fashion a wreath without an inch left over. I found enough holly, boxwood, pine, azalea, and dusty miller in the yard to fatten up the wreaths and the roping on the stairs.

I'm not exactly Martha Stewart, but it doesn't look bad, considering it didn't cost a dime.


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