Christmas in Texas

As many of you know, this past summer I moved from my long time home in Colorado to my new home in Longview, Texas. I was excited about the warm winters and lack of snow. I’ve never been a winter person. Give me 70-80 degrees, and I’m happy ūüôā What I hadn’t anticipated is how the seasons just blend together. In Colorado, we have four distinct seasons. One ends and another follows (that is, except for spring when it’s been known to snow on Mother’s Day, but that’s another story).

Anyway, in the fall freezing temperatures appear in September, sprinklers are turned off, mowers are put away, and the grass goes dormant for the winter. Then the fall leaves turn to brilliant shades of yellow, red and orange, and quickly fall off of the trees. The end of September and the month of October are spent raking leaves. By the time mid-November hits and it’s time to put up the outside Christmas lights, there’s a clean slate. Nothing much interferes. Oh, we had an occasional snow, but the snow serves to make the lights more festive–the bright colors shining through the white.

Not so in East Texas. I enjoyed putting up the lights without the need for my down jacket, mittens and scarf, but the grass was still growing. I carefully staked the Christmas ornaments into the front lawn, only to have to move them to move the grass underneath. And then, the leaves finally turn and begin to fall- IN DECEMBER. Lot of leaves. Tons and tons of leaves, that gently fall to the ground and cover the ornaments. Once again, ornaments are moved to rake underneath them.  Every week, more and more leaves fall.

We’ve been in a basic drought since I moved here in July with very little moisture. That is until this week. The weather has decided to make up for all of those sunny days. Three days ago we had four inches of rain and today is predicted to be much the same. Why do I mention this? Because of all of those nice little extension cords criss-crossing my lawn. Everywhere one cord meet the other, moisture gets in, and shorts out the lights resulting in blown fuses. Just when they were all dried out, it’s raining again. Hard. The other night I did something I’ve never done in the month of December, I didn’t turn on my Christmas lights! I didn’t want to spend the entire night flipping breaker switches.

All in all, I’m happy to be in Texas. I admit, I do like a white Christmas, preferably with all the snow melting by the 26th,¬†but¬†when I saw the 9 degree temperature in my¬†former town this morning, I didn’t miss that. I guess I’ll take 70 degrees and soggy lights.

Merry Christmas¬†or Happy Holidays¬†to you from me. Whatever your beliefs, or whether you’re in snow or rain, sun or clouds, warm or cold, its the loving spirit of the season in our hearts that count. May you all have a blessed start to 2018!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Halloween!

I always anxiously await the first day in October when I can put up all of my Halloween lights and decorations! You see, from October through April each year my house and yard are constantly decorated, from one holiday to the next. I start with Halloween, then move to Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and Easter. Then comes the boring slump of no holidays to decorate for a long six month stretch. (Of course, there are lots of pretty flowers during that time, but its not twinkling night lights). So October is exciting to me, to start over with orange and purple light strands, pumpkins, ghosts and spider webs.¬† I think my neighbors look forward to my yard each year too, especially the kids. I’m not sure why I love it so much, maybe it is because even though I will turn 60 next week (argh!!) I still feel young at heart. Or maybe it is just that sparkling lights always seem magical. Whatever keeps me decorating each year, I hope I can continue throughout my entire life. Want to enjoy the joy of any holiday? Just drive by my house!