Talking to the Dogs

I don’t have one of those Christmas trees where all the decorations are color coordinated and matching. I have a living tree that I haul in the week before, and drape with a lot of old decorations. Including one very ugly angel made out of pink pipe cleaners and pink netting with this really weird gold curly hair. For me, though, decorating the tree is one of the biggest parts of the solstice. Because of course, each decoration has a story.

The last time I decorated the tree I realized that when I am gone, the stories will be, too. My son might some day pull out that angel and think his mother was insane for keeping it. I want him to know its story, how I made it in kindergarten and thought it so beautiful that I pitched a red-headed hissy fit if it wasn’t the first thing on the tree. Every year. So I started writing the story for each decoration, so that some day my son will know why I get teary when hanging things like a small elderly porcelain Santa that used to be part of a string of lights belonging to my grandmother. Until the string caught on fire one Christmas Eve.

Today I worked on baking, in order to make plates of goodies for friends. One of the things I made is a very heavy, dark, winter cake, full of spices, nuts, and raisins. Not a fruit cake. Auntie (the grandmother who owned the string of lights) always baked it, and on Christmas Eve the house would smell of allspice and cloves as it came out of the oven.

But today I was alone.

And so I told the story of the cake, of the memories associated with it, to our two dogs.

And they listened attentively, salivating.

8 thoughts on “Talking to the Dogs

  1. listening and waiting for something to drop….;-)
    Just wait when I am there, then you can tell me all those stories while I watch you baking…
    YOu know that out Tree was always color coordinated, since we are Germans…but I always tried to get my mom to hang those 5 or 6 little bells on it too, they were all in a different uni color, like one was green, one gold, one red, one blue and one pink. So they would not really match, but I loved them. I dont have a clue where they cam from, but I loved them. I hope that my stepdad will give them to me one day when he remembers that I asked him for them…instead of the cristal bell….the one that my parents used to ring as a sign for us to step into the living room on Chirstmas eve. That meant they were ready for us and the Christ Child was gone and we would have our gift giving.
    yeah those memories….
    btw I love Arwen and Valas pictures!!!


  2. I tried to ‘like’ this post, but your like button is doing something I don’t understand — Anyway, I really liked this post. Such a beautiful heartfelt story, and I love how you told it. 🙂

    PS: Maybe something in your settings has changed across the board, because now I have to fill out a form to comment, too.


  3. I’m so sorry, Lisa! I just came back and noticed no problem, so I gave it some thought. I was using Firefox last time as my browser. I don’t know why so many people rave about Firefox. I’ve had it for about a month and every time I use it I find some new way it can make a task twice as long to do. Please accept my sincere apology.


    • No worries. I’m just glad you solved it so easily. I’ve spent a couple months struggling to figure out what is wrong with my laptop and then my husband gave me a cooling pad for it and all problems went away. I blame computer illiteracy…


  4. Your dogs are cuties!!!!

    Our tree isn’t color coordinated or anything like that, either.
    It’s a mesh of blinking lights and non-blinking lights and old garland and new garland and an ornament that looks like a stack of pancakes and some other random ornaments. It’s topped with the Boss Elf from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

    I love that every ornament has a special meaning to you, and that you hope to preserve that for your son. It’s what the season is all about. 🙂

    Happy Holidays to you and yours!


    • Thank you! And what a nice surprise to see you here. I think Boss Elf would make a great tree-topper by the way. The dogs are characters. When my Irish Wolfhound, Strider, died, I swore no more dogs. Then along came the mutt, Arwen. I swore not to like her. I told her repeatedly she wasn’t Strider. How she wormed her way into my affections I don’t know, but she is a sweetheart. And living out in the woods like I do, it’s nice to have her here as she’s a great watchdog. Much better than the rottweiler who loves everyone.


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