Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Mrs. Ditchman came upstairs last night and found me sitting in the dark, staring at the screen, but it didn't phase her. Rather, she just said plainly, "It looks like we're moving."

Which I thought was a rather optimistic turn for 2012! It was just the kind of keen, late-night/early-January metaphor of insight that only my hard-working, ever-disciplined, eight-months-pregnant spouse could make. She's right, I thought, as we have been in a mire, of sorts, these past 12 or 24 months -but we are moving now. And even a little bit of forward motion, a clap and release of potential energy becoming kinetic, is a welcome feeling.

But I wasn't sure. So I said, "Huh?" To which she said again, "It looks like we're moving." She gestured downstairs. "The boxes." And then I knew she was referring to the packed away holidays, and the twelve or so crates that parade out of the living room this time of year, calling it a wrap. Or should. I hadn't got to it.

It really must be twelve boxes. Like the song! And we could write a song, too: In the first box of Christmas we brought out for the tree... etc., etc. And then we could sing the song, and unpack the holidays all though the advent season, a day at a time, and all the while sipping wassail and merrily donning gay apparel! But there is no spirit in packing the holidays all away. It drains you. You're glad December's over, guiltily, and you find the strength to box it up. But hauling the boxes up to the attic was the final act of closure, and I hadn't brought myself to do it.

Spent a dry New Year's Eve dryly staring at the dry Christmas tree in the living room, waiting for it to ignite. I mean I was rather dry myself, completely sober for the day, and similarly waiting to ignite. We were weathering a stomach bug, as a family, and it brought us together for the final holiday to wipe each other's hindquarters and 
tolerate together the accompanying fetor. (Nothing quite says "Happy New Year!" like the sound of damp flatulence coming from your 3-year-old, followed by an exhaustive description of recent toilet contents from your loquacious kindergartner.) So I guess, in some ways, New Year's Eve wasn't entirely dry, and in other ways, it was outright explosive.

And then got up New Year's Day to watch the traditional rose parade, only to find that it was put off a day, with their never-on-Sunday tradition. Well, that was it then: CHRISTMAS COMES DOWN! And by the end of the day it was just glitter and pine needles and the Twelve Crates of Christmas and the tree on the curb.

So it looks like we're moving, but it just looks that way. They say a true test of friendship is who shows up to help you on moving day, but no one ever shows up to help you strike the Christmas set, and then move the boxes to the attic -such are the friendships of legend. No matter. I'll get to it. And by February, this time. I promise.

Truth is, I was thinking of moving the X-mess boxes to the garage, but there's no room in the garage, which has bothered me of late, so I was thinking of making room. It would be easier if everything was in the garage, and nothing was in the attic, and then it wouldn't concern the fire inspectors when they come by on false alarms (which has been known to happen at my house.) And, you see, I was thinking of installing a skylight in the master bathroom. But that involved re-routing some large ventilation ducting, and that meant clearing out the attic. But I can't move stuff into the garage until I move the large, expensive sheet of oak-veneer plywood out of there, which I need for that living room shelving I never built -and I can't get to that project until I go through the rest of my deceased parents' belongings, which are boxed up in front of that. So you see, there is an 
Order to things. It may be a long year. And then Christmas rolls around again.

Now I know why some old folks just leave their lights on the house and their trees up all year-round. Throw a sheet over it for the summer, and then whip it off like a magician come November 1st -start Christmas early and brag about it!

Then again, maybe we should move, after all. I know twelve boxes that are already packed.