At four o'clock this afternoon I was outside (wearing a dress and an apron), Sawz-All in hand, tree propped ready for lopping when my phone rang, and I stood out there in the cold and talked to my friend Jeff until my fingers began to lose feeling and I thought why am I standing outside? It's f---ing cold out here!
Because the phone rang while I was out on the deck, I felt like I had to carry on the conversation in the same location where I answered the phone. Still rooted in those old habits: as if tied to a cord. Uh, walk inside, dolt! Go towards the heat!
Nonetheless, the tree got its trunk trimmed and I shimmed and propped the damn tree in the stand BY MYSELF and tightened the screws and untightened the screws and repositioned the tree and stood back and looked at it and said damn. It's crooked.
And it's still crooked: crooked with white twinkle lights and about twenty ornaments.
My poetry group came over and I made crème brûlée and seviche and yam chips and a chili lime dip and cocktails. Lots of candles. Five minutes before people were scheduled to arrive I went out to the yard in the dark and cut strands of ivy and snipped the tips of the lowest branches of the Douglas fir. Inside I prised open a pomegranate and took the last of the satsumas and twirled the ivy and the fir snips around the candles and nestled the oranges in with the ripped-open pom. Lit the candles.
I took three old apples, leveled the bottoms of each, took a melon baller and scooped flesh from the stem-end, making enough space for a votive candle in each. Onto the windowsill with these.
Cava, cranberry-pomegranate juice, triple sec: swirled ensemble in a pitcher, poured into wine glasses, slung an orange twist over the lip of each glass.
Damn it was FESTIVE.
And what a great group of people: poets and poets and poets.
In my home.
On my turf.