What is it about Holidays and our memories?
Here it is the day after Christmas 2020 in NW Arkansas, and I’m eager to open the front and back doors to let the new year in… and the old year out.
These celebrations are important, but ya know I can’t remember every Christmas, birthday, and New Year from my past. It seems like they’d be etched in my mind, who I was with, what we did, and where we were.
One year in the mid 1940s, when I was four years old, my parents and I lived in the Old Maverick house. Part of the Woodstock arts community. Saint Nicholas knocked on our door and all covered with snow came right in the farmhouse. He said he’d left the reindeer at the White Horse Inn. (Where they served me “girlhattens” when the adults drank Manhattans). It’s funny the things we remember. We hauled water and cooked with coal.
When I was a teen, I once went to Waco, TX. My stepmother and I stayed in a nice hotel, while my father played piano in his jazz band, the Keynoters? The wore matching jackets in wild colors.
One year in the late sixties, I cheered in London standing on the roof of a building with my first husband as the snow fell iridescent as slow-motion multicolored confetti.
When I lived with my mother in Houston, the parties would last as long a four days. Everyone back then took alcohol like it was the elixir of life and chain-smoked cigarettes. But that was the fifties and television convinced us that “that’s what all the fashionable people do”.
One year Arthur and I went to a party where the hostess had each of us write down our resolutions and sign it. She pretended to officially register our words. That may be the only year I fulfilled all of the list. Lose weight, record an album, spend more time with my father….
And birthdays… can you remember where you were for each of your birthdays? I can’t.
Each New Year feels like a clean beginning, clean cup move down, musical chairs. Each year I have hope. It will be an opportunity to do it better.. whatever it is at the time. The new year is when I remember the never-agains, near misses, and victory laps. Each year I start a new Journal with the intention of faithfully recording each day of this amazing journey.
I do remember the emotion, the feeling that I was living a landmark moment in my life. And maybe that’s the memory I’ve kept. The thrill of new beginnings and possibilities.