Home for the Holidays

home is where we loveOne of the many things my mother did to make the holidays so wonderful was to create her “Christmas Scent” on the stove: simmer water, add orange peels and whole cloves. Delicious. Betty always rocked the holidays. Her elegant style and over the top Christmas cheer is something I miss dearly. I miss her Victorian tree, lights twinkling, Christmas music playing on her turn-the-dial , flea market find radio, and Betty’s smile. I miss her Christmas sweaters too.

mom and me

The photo above was taken on Christmas Eve at my best friend’s house the year my father passed away (2003). He passed away in the middle of the night December 11.  My mother held his hand when he died, feeling his pulse race and then fade to nothing.

I miss John and Betty, as I knew them — a pair of Christmas elves decorating our house on Maxwell. One Christmas I counted over 100 trees in the house (seriously). Then there were the nutcrackers that lined the front hall and stairwell. Anyone that has ever been to my house on Maxwell knows Betty and John were unique decorators. I can’t forget the stuffed lion, Mabel — she would don a Christmas cap. Below is a photo of Mabel on my wedding day (November 23, 2003), which was held in my parent’s bedroom shortly before my father passed away.
mae and meg in front of mabel (the stuffed lion from Africa)

In college, I took Amtrak home for the Christmas break and that was always an adventure, the High Plains of Southeast Wyoming, always a magnificent treat — white landscape, soft curves rolling out forever. That feeling of knowing I was West, among wide open spaces. There is no place like home.

There is nothing more beautifully blue than a Wyoming sky!

There is nothing more beautifully blue than a Wyoming sky!

wyoming photo

The photo above is of the High Plains of Wyoming. This was the view that welcomed me back to Wyoming.  I would hang out the train door practically, giddy with excitement to be home after a long journey on the train.  Wyoming was my secret, a place none of my college classmates knew of. Most people I went to college with thought I rode a horse to school.  I was fine with that, for in my heart I was always horseback galloping under Western skies. Each time I came back from the East Coast, I become more enamored with the landscape, with the people and the more I knew I did not belong on the crowded streets of the Northeast.

The photo below is of my father the last Christmas we celebrated together. I miss him.

My dad


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