Deck Them Halls and Ho Ho Ho

[Merry Christmas to me! Driftless Grace now has a shiny new domain name,]

December 12, 2020

I moved to my apartment building in December of 2017. (If you’re a longtime reader of this blog and feeling confused, I’m now onto my second unit in the same building.) Those first weeks were magical. I loved the feeling of being somewhere totally new, where I had been hoping to put down roots. Grad school and my job as a TA hadn’t yet started, but the semester was so close that it didn’t make sense to go out and find a different job. I spent that month wearing a track in the snow to and from my local library. Because of these and other associations, snow in mid-December always improves my mood. Today was no different.

As I stepped out for a short walk around the neighborhood, the bracing air instantly reminded me of being in college “up north”. I used to dash across the space between my dorm and the campus store to buy dinner, flinching from the cold but secretly enjoying every second of it.

And then there’s Christmas — of course. The neighbors snowblowing next to their inflatable Santas were in a jovial mood, and I suspect they were thinking of Christmas. I know I was. Having grown up here in the Midwest, I never feel ready for the holiday unless snow has fallen and stuck. Today not only satisfied that requirement, but the sight of snow banished my November megrims (a 2020 word) almost completely. Plus it was a treat to see all the decorated houses in their varying degrees of subtlety.

This place has provided my window on the world for three years now, except for when I lived with Mom in the months after we lost Dad. Little did I know that our family’s tragedy was only Act I of a time of immense changes for myself and the world. As I neared the end of my walk, I still couldn’t quite explain what I was feeling. Then I realized: this snow is the first thing in… well, forever that happened the way it was supposed to happen. The way we all hope it happens. Or at least the way it happened when I was a kid, which is plenty for me.

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