Thursday, December 31, 2009

Good Bye 2009

Because the sky will celebrating tonight as well, with its blue moon ...I leave you with this musical reminder to look up when you go outside to bang pots and pans, shoot off some left over Fourth of July fireworks, pop those streamers and blow your party horns to welcome in the new year.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Peaceful Day

As 2009 is drawing to its close; good morning says Mother Nature with snow falling. I suppose it's her way of saying, or getting the last word on the year. Snow always lends hand to a sense of tranquility. Permission to be lazy--if allowed. Today's snow is no different. Although I don't think I'll see folks making snowmen or sledding--as it's not that kind of snow--it is a picture of white beauty nonetheless.

I let the dog out, dropped some Kibbles-n-Bits in her bowl, where she fueled herself before exercising her dog legs by running [her dog-self spun track] in the backyard. She is in high gear as she sails in circles on three legs with snow kicking off her paws and the cold air pushing the fur on her face back. She will not come matter how many times I blow the whistle. It's pure bliss and happiness to her--snow.

I could live comfortably in my bedroom all day. It is like heaven in here...I would never have to leave (except for food). I have a heated mattress cover to keep me feeling all toasty warm. I have the Clapper to turn the light on and off. I have a flat screen TV nicely framed in the wall at the foot of my bed where I am watching Robert Redford portray Jeremiah Johnson. The winter scenes in this movie are majestic. I even have a sweet little Christmas tree in here to add charm as I watch out the window the snow falling.

The house is still. Quiet. Resting. Calm.

I feel that this nearing of the end of 2009 is at peace. To that I say warm soup and happy Wednesday wishes to all.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Start of the Me Week

There is a wonderful sensation in knowing that it is Monday and I can lay here in my bed free from obligation and required chores. No alarm has woke me, I just woke. I lay here in my warm bed watching a movie and thinking of dozing off again. I might do some laundry, I might not. I could clean out a cabinet, I could not. This week belongs to me! No company to prepare for, no entertaining on the calendar. It's like vacation from work truly has begun--finally. It feels good!

Don't get me wrong I love everything that came with Christmas...including the stress of preparation. But, there is something to be said for the deep breath I inhale and then slowly exhale when it is all over. Cleansing.

I am going to throw on sweats and an old ratty T-shirt, toss a movie in the DVD player, lay on the couch draped in my new brown Snuggie-- that makes me look like Obi one kenobi-- watching the winter weather from the window chillaxing this Monday away.

Oh December 28 how I love you!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Memories

I suggested to my girls that they all marry a Jewish boy so I can remain selfish in my Christmas observance way. I want to always attend Christmas Eve service as a family. I want to always come home after church to a feast of rib eyes, crab legs and twice baked potatoes. I want to always have them gather with their cousins and grandparents on Christmas Day free from having to appease another family's holiday traditions. I know it is probably a dream but it sounds good for now.

Can we talk about Christmas Eve service for a minute? The holidays bring out the "CEO" church goers in droves. It is those who take up prime seating leaving these regular attendees sitting in the obstructed view section of the sanctuary. Okay so the obstruction isn't a bad obstruction; it was the Christmas tree after all, so one can't complain too much. What I can complain about is single mom who can never seem to control her boys--holiday or any regular ole' Sunday. The minute the hellions entered the sanctuary they began disrobing, then perusing the isles barefoot. One drank a juice bag where he let it drool out all over the floor. Then the two little hellions began cruising around on the alter. THE ALTER! In the middle of the very sacred service. At one point the mother left with her boys only to have the boys return motherless. Next they squirreled there way on the alter again and hid behind the pulpit and then the alter, there she was on the alter herself trying to find baby hellion while big hellion circled the Christmas tree. Everyone else had there babes dressed in Christmas taffeta, patent leather Mary Janes, ties and sweater vests sitting with reverence and discipline. I was ready to stick my foot out into the isle to trip baby hellion as he passed me making monster noises while eyes rolled all around. I even thought of ripping the wallet chain that hung off some biker broad's green jeans to use as a lasso to reel in the hellion. It wasn't till, Baby Jesus sat up in his manger and said to cool it that single mother decided after receiving communion to high tail it out of church before someone ordered Herod from the dead to send an angry mob to follow her home.

Regardless of the hellions' antics I was feeling all Christmassy and Jesus filled hearing the bell choir chime their bells, the choir singing, the congregation singing together all my favorite carols and holding my flickering candle in a dim lit church while Silent Night verses were sung to a guitar softly playing between spoken excerpts of explanation. It gave way to the true meaning and spirit of the holiday.

Then in the night Santa came. He laid gifts all around the tree. Three presents for each of the girls...cause three is the amount of gifts Jesus got, so, if it was good enough for Jesus it is good enough for them. And it was. Always is!

It was the year of Christmas shoes.

There was the much needed black heels for Princess A

soft and furry Coach moccasins for M

and Ugg boots for D

Even I got Christmas shoes, new black leather boots for which there is not picture for proof. We even gave our niece Alyssa Christmas shoes--graffiti style Chucks.

At noon the aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents started rolling in and the nog cocktails were slamming. Gift distribution began again. After paper and ribbons danced in the air by teenage girls my mother-in-law's husband handed each of the "big girls" a small package and said with tears in his eyes and warmth in his heart, "this is something for all of you helping me get through mom's surgeries." My sister-in-laws and I all opened at the same time to reveal beautiful diamond earrings. Even Aunt Jan got a pair, she is mom's best sister friend, hair stylist, manicurist.... It was so unexpected. I believe we all did what anyone would do for someone they care deeply support and carry along another family member in time of need with no reward required.

While we girls were all ooooing and aaaahing over diamond earrings, King Ralph was gathered with the guys in the red room all oh-yaing over his new Harley Davidson Babe calendar his cousin/motorcycle riding partner gave him. It was a picture of frat boys as they starred at each month's babe. Ah, ya, Richie the answer is no the calendar will not look good on that bare wall in the kitchen behind the island or in the living room...I'm thinking garage. By the looks of the month King Ralph has open for display he plans on spending his birthday in the garage with Miss July. Oh husband!
Of course no Christmas is ever complete without taking a first cousins picture with my nephew [and his wife's] name written on paper to remind us (and them) that the Air Force keeps them far from home--in Alaska and we miss them being with us.
Then there is always the "hot cousins" picture, because no one can refute the fact that this bunch of second cousins can turn the heads of boys.
I rolled over this morning looking at a clock that said 5am...not this morning, no I was allowing myself to sleep like Santa after a long night of spreading joy and dream about all those vision of sugar plums and such. It was a great couple of December days!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

The wisemen who have traveled the house for a month found there way this evening to the stable presenting Mary and Joseph gifts for the baby Jesus., saying to all--It's Christmas! The nativity scene is complete.

The girls just gave King Ralph and I our Christmas gift, a priceless gift, a small musical recital. It was the first time Princess A and D played the flute and the piano together. M tried her hand at singing. Music fills my heart. On this day, for that reason, even more.

I am now taking some time to gather with family, reflecting on the days when our little girls were filled to the brim with the magic a fictitious man in a red suit brought to there naive beings. That offered a sleepless night of great anticipation. When the pitter patter of small tender feet ran the hallway to the tree before alerting an exhausted set of parents, "he came, Santa came!" Waking to a glee that cannot be duplicated--but recorded for reflection. When pretty papers danced in the air tossed by tiny hands and those hands were sticky with peppermint flavor from treats stuffed in stockings. Kisses tasted the same. Mmmmm sweet memories.

They grow. They evolve. They still fill me--us. Always will.

Now, knowing they still believe in the spirit it planted in their hearts and continues to grow there gives me thrice the Christmas spirit.

May your day be a day filled with the same joyful spirit as ours.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I tended to a few kitchen Christmas Day needs early this morning in the quiet of the house while the thunder crackled outside and the rain poured down. I watched the 1947 film Christmas Eve starring Dolores Moran while I whipped up a few eats ahead. I needed the solemn peace of the morning house to center myself for this day. A day that has a list of last minutes runs for this and that. The things needed to pull of yet another perfect Christmas.

Yesterday was a day that resembled, or should I say I resembled, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. I had my crab on and the household knew it. It seems I was losing my way to Christmas and I needed my own personal little Cindy Lou Who to show the way back. When everyone wakes I shall start my parade of apologies. I have woken this morning to what I hope will be a day that returns my cheerful holiday spirit. By the looks of that dam Christmas countdown I added to my blog I feel the panic to complete my to do list even heart palpitates even faster now! But I shall let that clock tick down while I forge ahead with the day with the love a mother should have in her heart. I will keep my serenity in check. I promise!

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Clampit Christmas

Or was it a Clark Griswold Christmas.

We spent our Saturday in the country, where folks burn there cedar tree brush and the dinner scraps are thrown to the critters of the woods and the lake glistens through naked trees under the winter moon and the crisp winter air. It's a place where if you string lights on your house for Christmas you have invite company over to see them because the house sits to far from the road and not many inhabit the surroundings.

Yes, it was Christmas at the father-in-law's. Avery Christmas.

We had a great time assembling with the cousins. Regardless of age those darn boy cousins are still trying to find ways to harass my I stayed close to protect them. I heard murmurs of don't fall asleep tonight because we just might.... I guess all those beverages sipped while bellied up to the basement bar just gave way to peaked imagination (that never came to fruition). We played our new Scene It game, where my team dominated but lost in the end due to a tie breaker-- where no one had the talent (or guts) to throw it down with a "best impersonation" of "Jack Nicholson" required by the game. When you have a relative who is in radio, who has plaques hanging on his walls signifying his talent for voice impersonations, is on the opposing team, you just thrown in the towel. I believe we congratulated there comeback with a unison chorus of hand covered cough that barked out "bull-shit." No sore sports or sorry losers here.

We had the traditional gifting of shit-you-don't-know-what-the-hell-to-do-with. There was no fighting as in years past but I still managed to leave, yet again, with the one thing of value--a hurricane candle holder. Which I have already found a nice place to work it into my decor.

The best part of the weekend had to be when my father-in-law invited us all out to see his Christmas lights. My sister-in-law and her husband arrived on Friday night at 630pm to what they described as a pitch dark scene. Then at 730pm the house's light display goes on and by connection to timer goes off at 830pm. So when my father-in-law summoned us all to admire the beauty of his holiday handy work (and he truly did have a nice Christmas lights display on his house) I gathered the relatives from the outside "smoking area" adding "time is of the essence here" and Uncle Al smiled [what was his biggest smile of the weekend]. I grabbed my coat, opened the front door and couldn't help but to laugh. There stood my daughters, King Ralph, his niece and his father in a straight line, shoulder to shoulder, silent, starring in admiration at the lights on the house. It was a comedy scene that looked like it came right from movie Christmas Vacation. Before you knew the timer turned, the lights went off and the house was lit only by the winter moon above.

Then we all went to bed. (The guest bedrooms mattresses are a story for another day, as is the scary doll bedroom).

Now, resuming my Christmas. Bake. I must bake today!

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Annual Reindeer Relay Report

Princess A is home :-)

D and M have survived finals...minus the anticipated sleepless nights of D's nerves.

I made another appearance in the annual Reindeer Relay.

King Ralph and Princess A popped into to see me at the peek of my athleticism. The volume of 865 holiday party anticipating children ready to digest mondo amounts of sugared treats was deafening to them. I am immune to it.

Some will try to dispute the final outcome but there is no doubt as to who the 2009 Reindeer Relay champions were--the "Vixens!" Sure the principal, a vixen, made it on the naughty list first and her shoes were not exactly relay worthy but we finished first. We might have cheated a bit by grabbing more than one toy at a time. We were team players through the whole relay despite the fact that I was moved from the nice to naughty list for running (a clear violation of the relay rules) to which I say, someone needs to see me run to know I was just walking in a brisk manner, not to mention what kind of a relay is it when you can't run. I mean really people have you seen reindeers who spend their Christmas Eve walking house to house? No they a bat out of hell; or in the case of Christmas, the North Pole. The fact that the first three names on that naughty list are Vixens is clearly a display of jealousy. I can't even begin to think to comment on all those ridiculous check marks that follow are names. Check marks, smeck marks!

Tis' the season to feel great about being on the winning reindeer team. This calls for a round of nog for everyone.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Today is M's birthday. Her golden birthday. Seventeen on the Seventeenth.

Unbelievable that my baby girl burst into this world seventeen years ago teaching me that I had the strength of a pioneer woman; as I was drug free for her delivery. It feels like yesterday that I held my chubby baby with her red hot chili pepper colored skin and a mop of dark hair in my arms. That Princess A proclaimed to her aunt that she had a baby brother, more than once. That we brought our new baby girl home and placed her under the Christmas tree,knowing no other Christmas would offer a gift so awesome.

And the rest is history...still in the making. Each day providing growing love and pride.

Happy Birthday M! XOXO

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Making His Fashion Statement in the Darndest of Places

When I got to work yesterday my brother found me as I walking out to be with a student to tell me Joy's husband had passed away. We made quick conversation about what time to head over to the funeral home. Then we went on with our day.

So after a whirlwind of after school pick and drop off of kids, I went home chocked down dinner and headed to the funeral home.

As my brother, my BWF and I entered a funeral home in the city we had never been to more or less heard brother turns to me and said, "this place smells like Grammy's house." Oh-my-gosh he was right the place smelled just like my grandmother's house. Then we entered the funeral parlor looked around and my brother turns to me and says, "those are Grammy's chair." There they were the exact same pair of chairs that flank the end table in her living room. My brother then commented that he was waiting for the Chipmunks Christmas album to begin playing and he would have felt like he was standing in my grandmother's Downersgrove home.

Then we waited to greet Joy.

As we waited I commented that her husband looked good. I didn't know Joy's husband but for some reason I was expecting a man who was feeble from years in a nursing home suffering from Alzheimer's. Not the case. Then my BWF whispers to me to look at his sport coat. I thought, Joy, simple woman of simple means. Then as we were nearing to leave I commented to Joy (as I don't often do this at funeral because...) that her husband looked good. It was then that she said "ya he does except for that darn coat."

Joy's husband laid there in his casket with the most hideous 1970's era heavy polyester mostly red with blends of yellow, green and navy blue large hounds tooth sport coat. "He loved that ugly thing" she said, "we all hated it". She continued telling us how every time he put it on everyone in the family begged him to take it off. Joy said she use to tell him that his ugly sport coat needed to go to the cleaners but that he always followed with that he needed to wear it on Sunday. And on went the story. One day he entered the room wearing the sport coat when his own mother insisted he take that coat off that it was hideous thing and if he didn't she would make sure he was buried in it.

There we stood in the middle of the funeral parlor all laughing realizing new life doesn't always have to be laden with sadness. My BWF said "well he got the last word" and I said "and his mom got her way."

So Arthur entered the gates of heaven looking similar to Norman Fell's character Stanley Roper from Three's Company. Without a doubt felling like he owned heaven.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Count Down

I don't know what possessed me to put that Christmas count down on my is putting me in a panic everytime I see it! I have so much to do. True I have shopped much, wrapped much but I am not finished. I haven't baked much, actually at all. I still have to put finishing touches on the decorating. There's the grocery shopping for the Christmas dinner too. Aaaaahhhhh!

While I stress about this the girls are in a panic about finals. D has visible signs of her finals stress--not sleeping being the biggest. King Ralph has plans of stocking up on NyQuil and after she appears in our doorway to proclaim "I can't sleep" he is going to pour her a "so I can rest" cocktail. "So I can rest" goes for both finals panic-er and the parents. Maybe we should just all have NyQuil cocktails together. Visualize: the fire place roaring, the tree glistening with its 1500 lights, King Ralph in a scarlet red smoking jacket sitting in the brown leather library chair and the family gathered together sipping--NyQuil. Man that's the kind of crap Charles Dickens story comes from.

I am not sure if I want the clock to stop and push forward?

Nevertheless I have to push forward to work. It's Monday.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Meaning Keeps A Coming For Me

Till Thursday afternoon it was getting hard to go into the mail room at work. The mail room was the holding place for the wrapped gifts of the family the staff adopted for the holiday season. If there is a recession, hard times being felt by this country it wasn't looking so in that mail room. If someone took the ornament that said "cookie sheet" they came back gifting with a whole baking basket. If someone picked the ornament that said "games for ten year boy" they came with a wrapped tower of games. Same went for the personal care items. There was no sense that people were "forgetting to look around us", remembering to give instead of take; in this season can happen so quickly as the media hounds with reminders of the gluttony and greed this season makes way to often.

Just as last year I spent part of my Saturday morning loading boxes of food, household goods and satchels of wrapped gifts into the cars of those less fortunate. It never ceases to amaze how some wear the emotions of gratitude on there faces and embrace us in that brief moment of thanksgiving capturing our hearts. Well, brief in the sense of what we see but certainly not brief in their hearts. We kept hearing over and over "all this". Yep, all this!

Even before I realized D and Limelight would be singing this song for the holiday concert it was my pick for my favorite of the season. And so fitting for the day's work.

For me, another display of advent. Hope. Love. Joy. Peace.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Rise at 5am, It's Time to Make "Bandwiches"

You know before I headed to work at 730am I was singing this song at 6am amidst a sea of marching band kids, loaves of breads and stacks of meats and played at a decibel unkind to any grown person at that freakish hour of the Saturday morning.

If you ask what I am packing in lunches next week I will respond in an Emerilesque manner--BANDWICHES!

Friday, December 11, 2009


It is the season of advent. A time for coming out of the darkness. A season of hope, love, joy and peace.

I don't often have to go looking for these meanings of the season, they seem to just drop into my lap. Thursday, like I do every day of the school week, I walked into the dish room at 11:25am to say hello to Joy, the school's baker and dishwasher. A woman who is always wearing a big smile and you can feel the warmth of her spirit radiate; giving definition to her name. On this day I found her standing there, a simple woman of simple means who is by far one of the kindest and warm hearted woman you will ever meet (who makes the best chocolate chip cookies!) appearing as though she did not feel well. Her eyes red. Her skin flushed. I commented that I didn't believe she looked well when she began to cry. You see her husband has been in a nursing home for years suffering from the affects of Alzheimer's. Joy goes to sit with her husband after long days at a job that pays her minimally. That Thursday was different for Joy, a day when the meanings of the advent season of hope and love, joy and peace would now challenge her in a way far different from how I was finding fufillment for myself in the candle's meanings. Joy got a call that her husband was going to be coming out of the darkness. It wouldn't be long before light would radiate for him in a place other than his body with his crippled memory standing still in darkness. As Joy stood there crying I embraced her and she grabbed onto me so tight as not to let go and buried her head in my shoulder. She knew this day would come, but was she ready? Is anyone really ever ready to say good-bye? To someone they have loved so long?

Not expecting to see Joy at work on Friday, this simple woman of simple means came to make sure she would have bread on her table and oil in her lamp. She explained how she and three of her kids where taking turns being by husband/dad's side. How she awaited her daughter's, number four's, arrival that evening from Florida. Then she said without a tear in eye but a heaviness in her heart that they do not expect her husband to make it till the 23rd.

There it was for me to see...the meaning of the advent season. Finding it in a dark way but knowing that the candles flame give way to light. The hope that one does not have to suffer but would know, has known, love as he comes out of darkness. That Joy finds peace in her good-byes.

This week is fittingly the week in which we all light a candle for "Joy".

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Holiday 102

Here I go! Already. On Saturday. At 7am.

Chore List
1. Wrap some presents (while the girls sleep)
2. Get pine garland and lights on top of kitchen cabinets
3. Finish decorating the basement
4. Hang wreaths on windows
5. Try to finish up shopping (probably isn't going to happen)
6. laundry
7. make chicken picata for dinner
8. start to address Christmas cards
9. ride M about finishing her Bandwich sales for the month
10. Work on figuring out who dropped a Secret Santa gift for me on the porch yesterday

I've wrapped three gifts so far this morning. How much more productive I manage to be is hard to say.

Friday, December 04, 2009

FRIDAY! Amen!!

My TGIF started with an ugh! because I had to drag my warm self into the cold 23* outside world in order to get M to school for a DECA before-school-starts-meeting. I know I have stated before but I'll state it again, I HATE DRIVING TO SCHOOL! The bus is why I pay taxes.

Then I progressed into the double ugh of TGIF. Why can't kids wear a pair of socks? My kids always seem to have two different socks on, which leaves me with the other two different socks that match the ones on the kids feet. By the time I found a matching pair I realized I could no longer wear the shoes I intended, so I was stuck wearing boots. When I wake in the morning I can sense what kind of shoes my feet feel like dragging my body around on all day--and it didn't say boots today. It was reading black Sketchers.

Let's go for triple ugh. We have lived in our house for 17 years. For 17 years one of my closest doors doesn't open. So when my mound of shoes decides to spread to the other side of abyss I have to eject the whole sea of shoes from the darkness. Which causes me to get off schedule. And get crabby. Which means I have to call King Ralph as I drive to work to tell him the next home improvement is new closest doors or I am taking an ax the exsisting ones. I think in that moment I was not kidding.

Let's go for the quad ugh. Tomorrow will be a week since I fell to the ground face first. I only told a few co-workers the story of my stupidity and managed my make-up to cover the mark of said stupidity very well. However today I had to tell my story at least 10 times as I heard "do you know you have a bruise on your cheek?" Either my make-up failed or the olive green blouse I wore under the florescent lights highlighted the yellowish tint my bruise now shows. (the only good in all this I got the grass stain out of my favorite white t-shirt). The tender touch to the cheek bone has almost subsided as well. I still can't figure out how or why I fell?

For every uhg there is an aaaaahhhh. Driving the girls to school means I got to listen to the Josh Grobin Christmas CD which plays one of my favorite songs, "Thankful", one extra time this morning; allowing me to remember how pretty D and the Limelight [choir] sounded Monday singing the song at their Christmas concert. Wearing my boots made putting on my Slipper Genie that much more sweet when I got home. Telling the story of me falling on my face got a few chuckles so some how my stupdity added humor to a crazy Friday.

So what's left...making the long list of Saturday chores.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

It's Not the Wine Speaking It's the Tree

This morning I woke to the weatherman saying words like “snow” and “dropping temperatures”. It is words like that, which cause me to have to rethink the wardrobe choices for my feet. I went from comfy flip-flops, to “real” shoes that were open toed. Then I progressed to the next level of “real” shoes that were closed toed. Then was today, today I searched the socks basket for black trouser socks so I could survive thirty minutes of recess duty. Closed toed shoes, trouser socks, and all this workingwoman fashion requirement stuff made for this relaxing evening.

I sit here this evening my feet warm in their black socks, eating a grilled chicken salad with blue cheese dressing while sipping a couple of glasses of moscato wine (left from Thanksgiving and who wants to see good wine go to waste?) and starring at the Christmas tree in the great room.

My tree, our tree all-aglow frosted in its 1500 white sparkling lights speak to me. I stare at it and it tells me stories, stories of friends, family and times of growing, and traveling. This year I placed smack in the front middle of the tree a new s’more ornament that my friend Georganne gave me and Sylvia when we met for the world’s longest, and best, breakfast date—a memento of our days as camp counselors in the Covered Wagons unit. When I look at that ornament it warms my heart that I have friends I enjoy being with. I see an ornament from Mount Rushmore and my mind starts to travel back to the month long camping trip we took across the west and the miles we tracked hiking in the mountains and the laughs we shared as a family. I spot the hand blown glass Biltmore Mansion ornament, remembering the beauty and grandeur of the home. Then there is the St.Louis Cathedral ornament I bought this summer when I took a group of teens to New Orleans for the youth gathering--great time that was! I see the U.S Capitol ornament I bought the year we met up with my Air Force pilot nephew in Washington DC. I see the Disney World and Disneyland mementos hanging from the lighted branches. I see ornaments showing hometown support of sport teams. I see ornaments that King Ralph’s aunt’s loving hands needlepointed into small lace trimmed soft pillows that read “First Christmas’ and the birth dates of the girls. I see ornaments that my aunt and uncle sent from Chicago. I see a blue glittery snowflake made of interlink craft sticks, a craft ornament M made with her friends at her ninth birthday “craft and crash” birthday slumber party. I see hand crafted memorial ornaments honoring the passing of King Ralph’s maternal great-grandmother and grandmother. I see a snowman wearing his Michigan jersey reminding my sister and her family now live miles from here. At the top of the tree is an angel made of cream-colored cornhusk that I crafted and has survived many of basement floods. Oh the stories they each tell.

Each ornament has meaning and memory. Each tells its own story. What is your tree telling you?