Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas Eve

It's Christmas Eve 2005. As I sit here, turning redder and redder due to an allergic reaction to cinnamon soap (I just wanted to smell festive!), I think back to the Christmases of my childhood. Christmases as a Pfeiffer were the stuff the other kids dreamed of. Having a non-conventional childhood, some of my fondest memories are of my parents decorating the jewelry store for the upcoming holiday season. And Mom always had this Bing Crosby Christmas tape that she would play over and over again over the store speakers. I heard it day in and day out for five Christmas seasons inside that store. Needless to say, 15 years after they closed the doors of the store for the last time, I still think of Bing Crosby as the one true singer of Christmas songs. There is no one like Bing. Bing defines my holiday season.

But my absolute best memories of Christmas always involve my younger brother, Tim. We had a Christmas tradition that on Christmas Eve, he would sleep in my room with me. But we never actually slept. We spent the night talking about what Santa would bring us. We would fight sleep until the early hours of the morning. After hours of watching TV on the little grainy black and white TV in my room, and later the color TV that still only got local channels, we would finally give in to sleep. But two hours later we would wake back up. It would only be 4am so we still had time to kill. Around 5:30am, we wouldn't be able to fight it any more and we'd sneek into the living room to check out the gifts from Santa. The gifts I remember most vividly were not for me. I will never forget walking into the living room and seeing the child-sized pool table that Tim had wanted SO badly sitting in the middle of the living room. Sitting atop that green felt-covered table was Tim's other true Christmas wish that year - his very own pair of cowboy boots. I received absolutely wonderful gifts from Santa every year but those two for Tim stick in my mind more than anything. I do remember, though, getting the hot pink skateboard that I just HAD to have after seeing Back to the Future earlier in the year. I never did much with that skateboard - just sat on it and scooted up and down the sidewalk. I was scared that I was going to get hurt! But Tim's pool table and cowboy boots is one of my favorite memories!

And I remember going to my grandparents house on Christmas eve and just watching the clock until we could leave. Christmas Eve was the one night of the year when Tim and I wouldn't mind going to bed early. I remember watching out the car windows on the way home so I could see all the Christmas lights. Oh how I loved, and still love, Christmas lights! I remember Dad taking us to the tops of the Knobs above New Albany so we could see all the lights in the ritzy neighborhoods and then look down upon New Albany and across the river to Louisville. I think those trips are what instilled in me my love of city lights at night.

I remember getting up on Christmas morning and seeing soot on the fireplace hearth from where Santa had tracked it in!!! That was so exciting!!!

Christmas 2005 is the first Christmas Eve that I have ever NOT been at home with Mom, Dad, and Tim. Instead, I am in my own home with my husband, Tim, and our dog. Tomorrow we will venture home to spend Christmas with the family. I hope that with Christmases to come, Tim and I will have children to start traditions with. My absolute goal is to make sure my children have those very same feelings at Christmas as I did as a child. Tim (brother, not husband) and I had such wonderful Christmases...thanks to wonderful parents. I hope Tim (husband, not brother) and I can be as good as they are.

Monday, December 12, 2005

The Farm Inside My Head

As a young girl, I dreamed of the city. At night as I laid in bed, with the country breeze blowing through the open window, I would stare up at my huge 6-foot poster of New York City and dream of one day living there. All those lights, all those people, all that life - it was what I saw for my future. As I got older, I began dreaming about boys as I feel asleep. Maybe I'll get to meet the New Kids on the Block...maybe I'll get to meet Dean Cain someday... Over a year ago, I started dreaming of a man named Tim, who was at the time a friend that I hoped would someday be more. Now, when I go to sleep, it is at Tim's side as I am his wife. And because I live in the city, I no longer dream of that life. The city is not what it was in my young-girl-dreams. My dreams have come full circle. I now go to sleep dreaming of the country. I dream of the gentle rolling hills of southern Indiana and the deep winding hollows of central Kentucky. I dream of the picturesque spot from the top of the hill in Leavenworth, Indiana where the Ohio River makes a hairpin turn and a fertile farm sits on the Kentucky side of the river. I see my own children frolicking across a slighly shaggy lawn, laughing as their dog chases them. I see myself and Tim sitting on the porch swing of our modest home watching our children. I can smell the fresh sweet corn as I stand at the kitchen sink and shuck the ears. I can feel the cool fall nights as I stand outside in the dark, looking up at the stars, and revelling in the smell of woodsmoke wafting from the neighbor's house down the road. And I am now at the age where I believe in making dreams happen. My dream of the country is not far-fetched and not impossible. With the hinderances of finishing college, working full time, and cleaning up the credit report, dreams sometimes have to be delayed. But while I wait to make them come true, I visit my country home by closing my eyes. It is there - my family is there - we are all there in my mind. Until my dream is my reality, it is my biggest hope. It inspires me to work when I want to sleep, to study when I want to relax, and strive to make things happen. I will create our country home where Tim and I, and our future children, can live life more simply than we do now.