Nailed by Love

Yep, totally susceptible to the power of suggestion. Something weird was going on around Valentine’s Day this year. On two different television stations, the weather forecaster said “Thanksgiving Thursday” when talking about what the weather would be on Valentine’s Day.

On the surface that might not seem too strange, but two different stations? Two different forecasters making the same slip on the same day? That’s a little weird, don’t you think? Maybe they were channeling each other. (Pun intended.) Whatever the reason, I now have a turkey in the oven. Since our CHRISTmas tree is still up, I (and the weather forecasters) must subconsciously think it’s still November. I have an excuse, but they haven’t been in our house to see the tree, so I’m not sure where their heads were.

I think my favorite meal of the year is Thanksgiving. I love turkey, and there is something spectacular about the smell of a turkey in the oven wafting throughout the house. I cook and cut it the day before, which has considerably cut down on my Thanksgiving Day stress, so Wednesday the house is full of wonderful smells. But, I really look forward to my fruit salad and mashed potatoes with gravy and eat more of than than anything else.

Ed is a dressing person. I’ll let you in on his dirty little secret, if you promise not to tell him I ratted him out. He makes a sandwich out of the leftover dressing. Yes, cornbread dressing on bread. In other words, he eats a bread sandwich. Not sure what that’s all about. It must be a guy thing, because my dad would have a late-night snack of cornbread covered with ice cream. I know, weird, right?

Not that I’m in any position to call anyone else weird. I’m sure you noticed I said our CHRISTmas tree is still up. I still can’t bring myself to take it down. If I keep procrastinating, I’m going to pass the point of no return and getting the house decorated this year will be super easy. The elephant in the room will still be there. We had a plumber come yesterday, and I asked Ed if the guy said we were strange for having the tree still up. He hadn’t, but he did say it was a pretty tree, so I’m sure he noticed it. Either that or he’s blind, because it’s right by the front door. When he got home to his wife and three-year old, I’m pretty sure our house was a topic of conversation.

So why is the tree still up and I’m cooking a turkey? Beats me. The turkey is because I’m easily suggestible, I suppose. The tree? That’s another whole story. I have a nightly routine of going into the living room, checking the door, and saying good night to the kitty babies lazing around the room. Actually, I do that because Bobby and Shadow will normally follow me when I say I’m going to bed. Bobby knows there’ll be some petting involved if he cuddles up next to me, and it’s easy to fall asleep when Shadow is purring on my pillow.

The nightly routine has taken on another task. Our tree rotates, and I stand there and watch it to make sure the angel is in the proper location before I turn the tree off. I don’t want her to face the wall all night, because she hasn’t been bad, so why should I punish her? (And you thought my dad was strange!)

There is something so peaceful about watching the tree revolve. Plus it gives me a chance to fluff up a bow if one of the babies decided to redecorate. Our tree is full of memories. The store-bought decorations are mostly lion and lamb, but there are a few non-lion/lamb ones. A small wooden train I bought for Bruce so he’d have something of his on the tree. A few Polish ornaments for Ed, and others that represent family members. The rest are mostly handmade by me, like crocheted snowflakes, hanging pearl strands, and bows. Mary made a bunch of crocheted angels for me, and they’re on the tree.

It’s hard to look at that tree without having memories flood back. In the last few years, we’ve lost quite a few of our extended family, so that may be why the tree is still in the living room. It reminds me that even though people I care about are gone, they’re still firmly planted in my heart, so they’ll always be with me.

Buried deep inside the tree, where it’s not seen unless you’re looking for it, is a nail. I got it years ago and it’s been on our tree ever since. It’s a crucification nail. You put it inside your tree to remind you what the holiday is supposed to be about. In today’s world where you see more Santas than nativities, that’s a good thing, don’t you think?

Maybe that’s why the tree is still up. You can’t turn on the news without shaking your head and wondering what the world is coming to. It’s depressing. But during my day, every time I pass by the living room and before I go to bed at night, I see a glorious symbol of hope. And I know that buried deep in that tree is a reminder that not all is lost. What we’re going through today is just something we have to do to get to the reward at the end.

I suppose there could be stranger things than having a tree in your living room all year, but as long as it’s there I know two things. 1 – It won’t be long until I’ll get Thanksgiving dinner again. 2 – Where there’s love there’s hope. And love hangs inside my tree. I just have to look at that nail to know how very true that is.

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