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The Observer Paper 12/17/14

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Home arrow Wallowa Life arrow Canyon Notes arrow As the rubber of 2014 hits the road, resolve to eat more jelly beans


As the rubber of 2014 hits the road, resolve to eat more jelly beans

I didn’t take my tree down until the 15th day of Christmas this year for fear of getting into a long, involved project. To put the tree up it took the length of the movies “Christmas Vacation” and “Frosty the Snowman,” but it only took about 20 minutes to dismantle.

Vacations are like that, too. The preparation and anticipation take much longer than the actual trip, and suddenly I’m back home with bags of dirty laundry and a long to-do list.

And though I’d planned for Christmas months in advance, this year there was a pall over the blessed holiday. Finnegan was sick and I wanted to spend every spare minute with him until he slipped away. When I came to, I realized I didn’t have time to ship anything for my nephew and I didn’t want to bake, shop or decorate.

My parents delayed their trip to Wallowa County until the 23rd, so in true form, I didn’t get the tree until the 22nd. Also true to my nature, I chose a 15-foot tree.

The tree was big and heavy. A sled would have been helpful since it was also a few hundred yards from the car. Before wrestling it on top of my SUV, I cut another three feet off of it. By the time I got to the Imnaha Highway it was at a 45-degree angle. I pulled over to tighten it down before gingerly driving home.

 In the dead of winter, timing is everything. It’s best if I get the wood in before dark. Otherwise, I have to park in front of the woodshed with the headlights on. I got home in time to get in the wood, build the fire, feed the animals and bring in the tree as the light slipped out of the sky.

I dragged the tree inside, cut another three feet off the bottom and a foot off the top, wiggled it into the stand and went about my decorating.

The hole in my heart pulsed, but the twinkling lights and a few silly Santas adorning the china cabinet and buffet would at least let my mother know I was somewhat ready to feast and fest with family and neighbors.

Fast on the heels of Christmas came the New Year, for which I was not ready. The distraction of one more party followed by a day of football or skiing before the rubber of 2014 hits the road gave a little reprieve from
the inevitable New Year resolutions.

What hope, promise and tribulation await in 2014? For what do I anticipate? My horoscope said I should focus on what “home” means to me. My investment banker said I ought to open a money market account. Yet I can’t think of a better New Year’s “revolution,” as the round-faced cherub said in the phone commercial oft repeated during the bowl games, than to simply eat more jelly beans.


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