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.