Monday, December 5, 2011

scenes from a country cottage: a borrowed christmas

 

these are the hamburger years. the years of sewing on patches and cutting coupons and drafting a new, tighter budget every other week. of washing down baseboards and scrubbing steel sinks.

very few things are ours. at this stage, they are hand-me-downs. the old round table from my uncle in the corner. the light wood desk from my aunt, repainted a happy red. the kitchen table from my parents. there are stories in my house that are not my own. rather, we live in a little collection of sorts, an family antique gallery, just nice enough to display but worn enough to spill on, leave a sweaty cup on, or prop our feet on that it doesn't really matter.

it becomes especially apparent every december, when i lug the tupperware out from the basement. our christmas decorations are mainly borrowed. our stockings were made by aunts and cousins. our tree comes from our sweet neighbors. the ornaments come from mama, who started collecting them for me when i was a baby. when we turn the lamps off, the lights twinkle against the old blinds, an orchestra of color.

it's a loaned road, filled with loaned time. and we are the mosaics that walk along it. i can look at the stockings, with their particular, perfect stitches, and remember the skilled hands of my uncle. the crocheted ornaments sing of the skill of my grandma. the baby's first christmas ornament reminds me of my parents, young and just starting out.

so if i am to be a compilation, i'm happy it's of these folks. these memories and these christmases. for especially this month, i am reminded that really, when it comes down to it, we're all just renting this space, this blessed, borrowed life.

20 comments:

Kristen said...

Beautiful, just beautiful. I loved reading this so much. It's fascinating how, when I was younger, I thought I would fall into adulthood faster, but it really is such a slow process, growing up. And now I don't mind it so much nor do I wish it away, it's just part of the process. I love how you spoke of borrowing and loaning.

Gentri said...

I love this. :) a beautiful life for sure.

Jennifer said...

We are in the same place. Just about everything in our house is borrowed, thrifted or hand-me-downs! Our Christmas decor is a lot like that too. I borrowed our Christmas tree this year! This is beautifully said.

Jenni Austria Germany said...

this is so sweet. my parents often reminisce about their early married days and discuss how even though they were struggling financially, they miss it sometimes because it was such a special season of life.

Niina - It seems pretty obvious. said...

Beautiful, well that's what Christmas is really about, memories :)

Claire said...

It's great when things are handed down as they bring with them memories and stories of a past life. I got my Christmas tree from a charity shop and often wonder where it lived before :)

Emma Frances said...

Your writing is absolutely beautiful! And I love that your home is a compilation of things from the people you love most!

kira said...

I love this, I feel the same way about my decorations. The ones that mean the most to me are the old ones handed down throughout the years.

Daydream Living said...

Hi sweet Courtney,
I haven't been around lately in blog land, but I will try to keep up reading your posts, always such a pleasure to visit here. I've found a blog recently that is so inspiring to me, I thought of you, don't know why, but her strength and faith made me think of you.... no connections between the two of you, but still, I thought, let me send you her link, maybe you will like it too. Take care and I will come back soon,
hugs, Maureen xx

Daydream Living said...

oh, here is the link...
http://www.lilblueboo.com/

Georgia said...

just came across your blog, i love it!
-Georgia

http://swonderfulgd.blogspot.com/

Mo Pie, Please said...

Such lovely decorations! We are in a similar boat - so many different things from so many different people. It makes our house our home though.

Anonymous said...

This is beautiful, as usual, Courtney!

~Tiffany
http://tiffanyd22.blogspot.com

Shalyn said...

This really spoke to me since we are in the very same circumstance- everything borrowed and hand-me-downs. The way you describe it is so perfect and your home looks lovely.

Meghan said...

soo cozy!

chambanachik said...

This stuck me so much- I relate to it completely. I think there is so much beauty in these years, and though it doesn't feel beautiful oftentimes while we live it, I know we'll look back on it all in wonder.

Traci said...

The mantle is very pretty. I love the reindeer!

Cara-Mia said...

It looks lovely! Borrowing isn't so bad. :)

kate said...

wow. this is absolutely unbelievable. i cant even begin to describe the way your words set my heart on fire. your writing is so sweet and so good words cant even do it justice. this might even be my favorite post ever.

"so if i am to be a compilation, i'm happy it's of these folks. these memories and these christmases. for especially this month, i am reminded that really, when it comes down to it, we're all just renting this space, this blessed, borrowed life"

wonderful. just wonderful my dear.

DaisyGirl said...

I have had to take a step back from reading blogs, so I read them in spurts these days. Which is what I'm doing now. And I was reminded of why I enjoy your blog...you make me refocus on being happy and content in the here and now.

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