Yesterday, finding I was going to be “stuck” with the tea party centerpiece, I decided to decorate it. It’s not much of a “tree” but how much of a tree does a woman living in the back of beyond with two lively dogs need? THIS is about right. So…
The angel on the top came from Philips Department Store in South Omaha, Nebraska in 1960. My dad and I went shopping for Christmas presents for my mom and brother and he let me pick out an ornament. At the time, I was enchanted with “Sweet Angie the Christmas Tree Angel” and I wanted to exchange the star we usually hung with an angel. We never did, but that strange little angel was — and perhaps still is — “Sweet Angie the Christmas Tree Angel.” I loved her and she’s been with me throughout this whole time when other things I cared about have vanished into the mists.
Yesterday I glue-gunned her broken wing back in place and refreshed the glitter on her dress. Her skirt is cotton thread starched into a mesh with gold glitter on the bottom. Her bodice is foil with some plastic stuff with holes punched out over it. Her arms are pipe cleaners. Her wings and halo are heavy-weight aluminum foil. She has a wooden head painted with a gentle expression that hasn’t changed through all this time. I believe she is supposed to be singing.
The bright, red ornaments came with the centerpiece but the others were on the tree we put up for my dad when he was in the nursing home the last two years of his life.
The little clay angel in front came from the Christmas fair held in Tijuana each year in front of the Cathedral. It was so much fun to go to that, this crazy, two-block-long open air market of vendors and spontaneous restaurants, the doors of the Cathedral wide open, the elaborate, life-sized, hand carved Christmas scene ready to receive the Christ child at midnight on Christmas Eve — not a Protestant thing at all. The way I was raised, “If crèche, then Jesus.”
Speaking of broken wings, on the injured shoulder front I have good news. Yesterday I was able to get down on the floor, do some simple yoga poses and get up again. First, if you can’t get up off the ground, you shouldn’t put on skis. Second, it felt good; it was a huge relief psychically and physically. It’s been a long haul.