Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Warm Christmas~Vignette

How do you define home?
Mine’s probably different from yours.

A house can make a home, but your home is not always your house.
A home is where your heart is, an old cliche that actually rings true.

My house is a home, but not my own. 

Looking at me, no one could guess this, but I’m a country girl at heart. So mine lays in the heart of the great state of Texas, with my recently widowed grandmother

Two years ago.

Stepping into an airport, Seattle chill slipping down our backs, a 5am ice cube wind creating goosebumps on our ribs. Boarding passes. Security. The same deal. 
No coats.
No shoes.
No belts.
Take the liquids out.
Walking under the grey arc, hoping you didn’t forget yesterday’s tip money in your pocket, that it won’t set the beeper off. Knowing that there’s nothing scarier than being examined by that hard-eyed security lady.
Relieved that you remembered to take it out this morning for this exact reason five minutes after you panic. 
That boring plane ride. Watching the sun rise. The top of St. Helens sticking out above the cotton candy cloud cover. Setting down in San Antonio. Hugs from the grandparents. The hour ride into Boerne, the roller coaster road. Chatting. Politics. Jobs. Business. 
Getting to the house. 
That good smell that comes with home.
Fruit. Good baking. That obscure ‘old people’ smell.

The old couch upstairs.
My bed.
More comfortable than any king sized monster you’ll give me.

Settling down around the tree downstairs. Poking around the branches, trying to find the ‘lucky’ pickle for the fourth year in a row. Hearing the door crack open, the hearty greeting of my uncle and aunt. My cousins, one just a year younger, one just a month older than me. Michael and Matthew. They’re the brothers I never had. Goofy and fun. You’d never know Matthew’s adopted. 
We set down for a late night snack. Fresh grapefruits. Sour and candied on the tongue, the juicy pink flesh with sugar on top. Candy meyer lemons that pickle our tongues, pucker with sweet. Sucking the sugar-like juice from each wedge, running down our chins. Picked yesterday from the Rockport house. 
Talking and laughing until early morning.
Eating more than we really need. 
Reluctantly hugging good night.
Laying awake, too excited to sleep.
Curling up in the dry air, warm sheets. 
Lungs filling with anticipation and excitement for whatever will come tomorrow.
For our warm Christmases.
With warm memories.
And warm.

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