Saturday, November 28, 2009

holiday season in the big city

one thing i love about the change in seasons is the opportunity to revisit old memories and make new ones around the same themes. in the spring, i get to recall the sudden blossoming of trees in fredericksburg, the bright colors along 147 as i drove to work in durham, warm days and the promise of even warmer ones to come. in the summer, the sound of ice cream trucks, scorching sidewalks and the smell of chlorine take me back to childhood. i relive the excitement of the annual june liberation on those last days of school. fireworks and sweaty naps in unairconditioned rooms and swims in the river. sunshine at 9 at night. in the fall, perhaps my favorite, there is the crisp air of so many trips to my family's mountain cabin ("the lot") and splashes of orange everywhere remind me of field trips to pumpkin patches or my first date with T, when we drove to Niagara Falls on a whim on our school's fall break. crunchy leaves and farmers markets and sunday afternoon football. the promise of a better Redskins year.

it's all about the memories. not the ones that already exist, but the ones we are making this year. holiday season is my favorite season because you can almost sense the nostalgia even before the present becomes the past. you can look around a table full of family, friends, and imagine what it will be like to tell stories about these people to future generations, or just to remember them when you're older, grayer. unlike at most other times of the year, it's almost second nature to appreciate what you have during the holidays. last year, T's grandma was here with us playing wii for the first time in our tiny apartment. this year, she's up in heaven watching our first-annual wii tennis tournament in her honor. last year, my uncle was down in Colombia and i wasn't even thinking about what he was doing. i just knew he was there. and now he's up in heaven, undoubtedly watching his granddaughter celebrate her fourth thanksgiving.

i like that this is my second thanksgiving in the Big City. its another year to walk the streets and see the christmas lights go up, watch the lines of people waiting for cannolis at the bakeries, taste the pumpkin bread at my favorite coffee shop, enjoy the decorations in all the rowhouse windows... cement these images in my mind so i can recall them more vividly when we've moved on from here eventually.

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