The holidays were so busy and with activity and chaos that when it all settled we weren't in a hurry to take down the Christmas tree. It was only after the holidays that I found the opportunity to really sit and enjoy it. But come down it must. So yesterday Gary and I set out to accomplish this task, together.This is new for me - this idea of doing things "together". I don't believe it has anything to do with being newlyweds, as some would say. This is a goal for the two of us who suffered our share of heartbreak, lived for years with spouses who were not committed to us and struggled on our own to change this cruel fact and are determined to make this marriage, this relationship everything it can be. It is such a joy in life to finally not be alone.
While Kullen is away at winter camp this weekend, the girls were here to give us a hand. I had gathered all of the Santas and stockings and nativity set pieces from around the house earlier in the day. I boxed away all of the Christmas cards we received for 2010 with the commitment to sit down next year when the decorations come out and read through them once again. When the four of us went about removing the ornaments and lights and trimmings from the tree, I couldn't help but think of all that might change in the year before we see these things again. So much has changed in the year since we visited them last and I am acutely aware of how much can change in the coming years as children grow into adults, parents and grandparents grow older, and time it seems stands still for no one. In this past year though painful like childbirth, the changes have all been for the better - more peace, more love, more joy. But I know that some years can be full of pain and struggle and loss. I have lived years such as that and though I have no desire to endure it again, it makes me stronger knowing I won't face it alone.
It was nice to see items that we took out independently from our separate stores to decorate the house for Christmas intermingled when we put them away. Gary packed the boxes away in the container in the garage until next year and I set about cleaning and rearranging the living room. With my birthday around the corner followed the arrival of spring, I will likely soon forget the depth of thought provoked by undecorating the Christmas tree, but then again there's always next year to remind me.
On posting a picture and wrapping the text: it has taken me nearly half an hour to remember how to do something I used to do in my sleep!