Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Winters from my past

Last night it snowed. And snowed.  And snowed some more.  This morning when I headed out to start my vehicle, I found that my sweet husband had cleared a path from the front door of the house to the drivers side door of the Sequoia.  He does little things like this that are not little things to me, and it's all part of why I love him so much. 
I've been thinking of winters in the past, and the memories associated with each one, some good and some not so good.  I'm going to share a few of these memories, mostly for myself to clear my head I suppose. 
I'll start with the first memories that entered my head on the slippery roads this morning, the annoying ones like chopping wood in the freezing cold, slipping and falling on the ice while I carried baby Camilla, and all of my children getting RSV, each on different years. 
Dwelling on the annoying memories brought worse ones, like the Christmas Steve had to work and Adam and I spent Christmas Eve with Ryan's family, feeling out of place.  The car accident near the college which spun us around twice and smashed Camilla's leg between the door and the seat.  The winter in Provo when Steve was unemployed and I made the kids stockings small since all we had to put in them was a bag of candy the bishop brought.  The first divorce, right before Christmas.  The second divorce, 9 years later also right before Christmas.  The year Latrisha's baby died. 
Strangely, with these thoughts in my head, I was suddenly overwhelmed with gratitude that my children are all with me and that my life is what it is.  The bad memories were replaced by sweet, fun, and happy ones.  Christmas two years ago in Fountain Green.  Jan and Annalee under the house with me in below zero temperatures replacing pipes again and again, sometimes in the dark and sometimes early before the sun had warmed the day but always laughing with or at me.  Me and the kids sitting on the cold linoleum in the kitchen with our feet in the air by the woodburner.  Watching Steve roll over and over down the hill we were sledding on and him laughing in the cold snow that he hated more than anything in the world.  Chase dropping our Shih Tzu in the snow and laughing when it disappeared.  Christmas caroling with the missionaries when I was a teenager with Jared and Sariah Hill.  Me and Becky hurrying out of the family room to avoid feeling awkward when we saw the tears in mom's eyes the year dad replaced the synthetic stones in her mothers ring with genuine stones.  Colin pulling his winter hat over his face and down to his neck so he could stick his head in the snow like an ostrich.  New Years Eve with Karl and Tammy in the big family room at mom and dad's watching the ball drop as the clock struck midnight when Karl looked at my dad and with genuine disbelief and said, "Wow, 1995 already.  Can you believe it?"  Colin falling off the roof on Christmas day and breaking his arm and dad getting mad because mom took him to the emergency room.  Mom answering the phone "Merry Christmas" instead of "Hello".  Kevin chucking a can of stain in the family room Christmas night as we watched it explode all over our new gifts.  Colin chasing down whoever was leaving packages on our porch for the 12 days of Christmas (he didn't catch them).  The tree falling over 3 times in the family room with Joan on the ladder.  Finding Stella's letter under the tree that said she loved me, and knowing it was true even though I was awful to her.  That same year we unwrapped and rewrapped our presents so mom wouldn't know, even though I'm sure she did.  Ice skating on the pond behind our house.  Sledding by the highway with Liz Cranney.  Grandma Sadlier giving us gloves for Christmas. The year Granpa Elliott lost our Christmas gifts and found them months later in his top drawer.  Moon boots and snowsuits in the entryway.  Everybody getting leatherbound scriptures for Christmas in the Naples house.  Snowmobiling at the Naples School.  The ugly trees that looked like sagebrush dad would bring home from the book cliffs and mom would turn them so the gaping hole in the middle faced the window, away from the family.  Fudge and peanut brittle in the electric skillet.
A lot of these memories came as I was typing other ones, and most of them are in order of my life, from the most recent to memories from more than 20 years ago.  I may complain about my life and I may find myself resentful and bitter at times just before Christmas but when it comes down to it, I only put a fraction of my past in this post.  I have so much to be thankful for.  So many times that my family has been there making me smile and teaching me lessons that I'll always keep with me.  I'm sure in the next few days I'll post more recent memories of the last 13 years with my kids and the memories we've made together, since this post is mostly about my childhood memories and not theirs.  I love that thinking back over the years I'm finding good memories that overpower the yucky ones :-)

1 comment:

Me said...

Thanks for sharing. Holidays are filled with many memories. Some we cherish and others we'd rather forget. The good thing is we're still alive and can continue to make good memories to replace the not so pleasant ones.