Both Sides of the Fence

A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!

All I want for Christmas

Christmas, Solstice, Equality, Retro POP handset, Wonder

Yesterday I finally shopped for Christmas trees but came home empty handed. The ones that took my breath away were too expensive, and the ones left on Stein’s lot had twisted or too-fat trunks. You can do most things by yourself, but wrestling a tree into a holder is a two-person job. So maybe there won’t be a tree this year. I haven’t decided.

But as you will point out, I’d better decide soon.

Not feeling terribly Christmas-y this year. Funding for my job may be running out sooner than expected. Job hunting isn’t how I’d imagined the new year. But we play the hand that’s dealt us.

Speaking of which, I’ve been noticing the trend to haves and have-nots right here in Tosa more than ever before. At a grocery store near the village, the baggers had missing front teeth but smiled broadly while the Salvation Army ringer sang sweet gospel hymns. Four blocks west, a platoon of young folks in high business dress marched to one of the nice eateries down there. Their faces were set hard, probably because of the rain, but you never know. Covers aren’t good measures of the books inside.

One of the great things about the Midwest has been our insistence on behaving as if all people are pretty equal. We grew up with the command “don’t get a swelled head, now,” and by gum, if we did we tried to hide it. There’s a downside to that, but for the most part our relentless equality fills me with secret pride.

Maybe what I want for Christmas is not to lose that.

And this morning, I woke up to the first snow and four deer in the garden. The adults were grooming each other while the young ones broke into the old pumpkins in the compost pile. So there was this gray sky, and the charcoal tree trunks against it, and the deer in winter taupe camo on the leaf-broken white, and that bright spot of orange.

You may go to bed sad, but in the morning there is wonder.

This Christmas—or Solstice if you’re not a Christmas person—may you see the beauty in everything, feel wonder, remember that this too shall pass—whatever it is—and plan to do what you can to preserve what is deeply good and true.

(Okay. I also want a Native Union MM01 Moshi Moshi Retro POP Handset in Soft Touch Red with an A2 converter, since my cell phone is of the more quaint variety. Imagine, a real handset like the one you used to have on your rotary phone, one you can tuck against your shoulder and actually hear the person on the other end. Kids, are you reading this?!)


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