Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Another season is beginning.

Public Television has brought out their Christmas concerts and married them to fund raising pledge drives. PUD is busily hacking tree limbs away from power lines. Snow plows and sanding trucks are lined up at the mountain passes. Sensible drivers who must traverse those passes are buying new tires for their cars.

Every evening more of our neighbors drape lights around their roof lines. We bought new outside lights last year and stored them so cleverly that we needed to visit Ace Hardware and purchase new this year. The cardboard point-of-sales signs declared our lights were priced 50% below usual. $9.95! But since the cardboard wrapping the lights made the same claim, I am suspicious of a marketing conspiracy. Our lights are 50% smaller than the LED bulbs sold at $15.95.

Our new lights are mounted on the back of the house so they can be seen by the hundred some neighbors coming up Ocean on their way home. We also purchased pre-lighted swags to drape over the dining room doors. They can be seen from 51st Place cul de sac through our front kitchen windows. We only have five neighbors who might turn their heads as they anticipate the corner, so these are interior decorations.

The swags also serve as our tree. Heeding the admonition that what goes up must come down, we have conserved our energies and declared our decorations sufficient.

November 2010 the bulb in our front light post died and Harvey replaced it. He gave our residents the choice of red, green, or white. The discussion was hilarious and we ultimately voted for green. It has been green all year and is still shining appropriately for the 2011 Christmas season.

Maxine Kumin has written a book of “Essays on a life in Poetry.” Her title is Always Beginning.

In the midst of change and decline there is always a beginning of something new. We may not appreciate the resulting status, but homeostasis runs in our blood and we adjust. Each day brings a new beginning.  Four times a year, a new season.

Kumin, Maxine. Always Beginning. Essays on a life in Poetry.

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