Monday, December 22, 2008

Last Christmas

So, last year was just really icky. In my sheltered suburban life it was probably the worst Christmas season I have ever experienced. We just moved into a temporary rental while we searched for the perfect house. We were getting yanked around by a seller with, an unbeknownst to us, very moldy house. The rental was AWFUL. I mean awful. No, really, it was awful. After two days of living there we found that it was infested with fleas. Very stubborn fleas that took nearly two months to kill. D2 was crawling and just learning to walk at this time. It was seriously the most disgusting thing I've ever experienced - she would crawl around on the floor for a while, then I would scoop her up and pick the fleas off of her hair and clothing. ICCKKKK. I'm getting itchy just thinking about it. If that wasn't enough, there were very large over grown trees on the property that I swore was going to hit the house in a storm. During very bad storms, I would actually move my daughters cribs away from the outer walls of their rooms, just in case. Then there was the crappy electricity. Every morning Hubby would take his shower and a fuse would blow so he would have to shower in the dark. Ok, so that made me giggle, but still it sucked. Oh, and then there was the phantom phone line that would randomly call 911 in the middle of the night, sending a police officer to wake us up and make sure we were ok. Hmmmm..... and did I mention that the owner was going into foreclosure and we would get certified mail every other day demanding payment? Good times, good times.

Half of our stuff was in the f'ing POD. It was brilliant, actually, we used one of those portable storage containers to store most of our stuff while we staged our tiny home to sale. Then we left it in there while we lived in the rental from hell. It became known as the F'ing POD because nearly anything I needed and looked for was in it. The rest of our stuff came with us to the rental from hell, but most of it was never unpacked because I did not want it infested with fleas.

I never felt so disconnected from my life. New town, no friends, no computer, no land line. No stuff. I've been thinking a lot lately about this, and I've really been feeling for those in true need this Christmas season. I've given just a little more than usual. I was certainly not even close to being homeless, and no, I'm not saying I know what it's like to live on the streets, but I do know how horrible that feeling of displacement can be.

Last Christmas my Hubby held me together. I don't think I've ever leaned on him more. Between post partum hormones still out of wack, and just the awful experience we were going through, I very nearly felt like I was going to break. Hubby kept me together.

All of our Christmas decorations were in the F'ing POD. There was nothing to make the house feel even a little festive. But one night, while the girls and I were escaping at my parents house, Patrick went out and bought a fake tree and some ornaments, and a wreath for the front door. It was beautiful, a lit emblem of hope and better days to come. That little tree symbolized love to me.

This year I've been feeling such a huge sense of gratitude. My kids, hubby and I are not only flea free, warm and safe, but we have so much more. A great house in a great neighborhood, new friends. We put our little artificial tree up in the family room. Decorated it with some retro 50's type things, plus a bunch of kid friends ornaments. It's my little tree of love.


maggie said...

So glad this year is so much better! We just moved into an apartment that we do not love, at all, and the tree might not even make it up this year, but it doesn't sound quite as bad as your old place. Eek!!

Jiff said...

Isn't it great how the bad times make the good ones seem even greater?

Dumblond said...

What a relief that this year, you can really enjoy the holidays!

gosling_dad said...

Remember, "It's a Wonderful Life"

gosling_dad said...

My wife and I were stationed in Germany for our second Christmas together. Being away from family was bad enough, but I had to work late on Christmas Eve and the Christmas tree we had originally purchased at the Army PX lost most of its needles by was pretty dead! I got home around 5pm and ran down to the local market as the German man selling trees and his son had just loaded the last remaining trees onto his truck to leave. After I told him my story, he took pity on me and he and his son took every tree off the truck to find me "the perfect tree". He would not take any money and wished me a "Merry Christmas". It was a "real" Christmas that my wife and I would never forget. It doesn't really match your flea Christmas, but it helps me know that there are even better Christmas' and better times ahead. Happy New Year!

sharlene said...

Thanks for letting us borrow your tree of love (or flea tree)