Sunday, December 19, 2010

Our Walk Down Ornament Alley Begins in 1981.

It was 1981 when newlyweds HOB (Husband of Betty) and Betty headed out to California in that '69 Buick Skylark. Oh brave new world!

When we packed for that fateful trip in September, we did not pack Christmas ornaments. So, when the tree went up in our small apartment, it was pretty bare. I walked over the Long's Drugs and bought this ornament which says "Love, The Nicest Gift of All. Christmas 1981."

That first year it was like us--pretty much alone. We had come to California to carve out a new life for ourselves but had not anticipated how we would miss our families on those first few holidays. This ornament sat in the middle of the tree and took up as much space as it could, but the boughs around it were pretty barren.

Through the twenty-nine years that followed that first one, this ornament has always hung in the same spot on our tree--front and center. Every year more ornaments have joined it, circling it, ornaments from friends, from our travels, handmade ornaments from our children, even ornaments from our workplaces.

It, however, remains in the center--the hub of the wheel.

It is like William Carlos Williams' red wheelbarrow. So much depends upon the love that started it all, represented by this heart purchased the year we were married.

31 comments:

Tracy said...

You are absolutely right, LOVE is at the center of it all; without it where would we be?
I really love the ornament and the reference to it being alone on the true signifiying your 'aloneness' in the journey away from friends, but we really aren't alone, are we?

Seams Inspired said...

Aww...you almost brought a tear to my eye this morning. :o) What a sweet way to memorialize your first Christmas together. Thanks for sharing. Happy Sunday! :o)

Daisy said...

It's beautiful, Betty, and so is this post. Made me feel all gushy inside. :-D (That's a good thing, by the way.)

Peggy K said...

**choked up**
I sit here trying to come up with the words to make a sensible comment. I can't. You got me big time on this one, Betty.

Out on the prairie said...

Ahh, a tale so true. Theholidays are empty without family. When I first moved west I spent my first by myself. The following year I started a "family" of friends who like me weren't going home. We had some good celebrations this way, sharing traditions.I had a 1st year ornament for the marriage and babies as well.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Although I live alone .......2 of my children live within 45 mins and the other one in Spain, it's not the presents I have recieved over the years but the memories that can never be taken way.

I enjoyed your post very much.

Yvonne.

Leah J. Utas said...

awwww...that's beautiful.

Shrinky said...

That is so beautiful. Our tree looks like a crazy lady decorated it - oh wait, um, I fell into that one, didn't i? It's far from designer or tasteful, laden with what most might consider junk - but every bauble up there is laden with a special meaning.

Hope your Christmas is filled with love and laughter, bonny lass.

Hilary said...

That's really beautiful, Betty.

Sarah said...

Looks like you took good care of the ornament and the memories.

Nicole MacDonald said...

Awww :) Have been thinking we should do the same thing :) might start this year

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Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

We thought about our first ornament as we decorated the tree this year. Like your, many more have joined it over the years.

Tabor said...

I am impressed that you have not lost or broken it over the years. That is usually what happens to holiday stuff at my house!

Ann said...

Aw what a sweet story. Got me all choked up here.

Old Kitty said...

May this wonderful and precious and priceless ornament grace your christmas tree forever and ever!!

Take care
x

KleinsteMotte said...

LOVE that's the part that gets me moving. We all need some and at this time more than ever.

Jimmy said...

I like this one and the fact that this ornament still occupies the same spot in the middle of your tree gives you a good feeling, a feeling that life is worth it and the love surrounding it shows that you can make it against all odds.

baygirl32 said...

what a great post Betty

Baby Sister said...

That's so sweet!! I think I'll do that when I get married...

Jane said...

It's really great to have special ornaments that tell a story! Love yours!

Jane

Joanna Jenkins said...

Sniffle, sniffle-- I love that story.
Merry Christmas to you and yours.
jj

faye said...

Ornaments do bring back the
memories. Certain ones are
reserved for the same spot
every year.

Cheeseboy said...

Very sweet. I think our #1 ornament is a broken Scooby Doo with a Santa hat on. Not exactly the same meaning.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

That heart is appropriately elegant and shiny after all these years.
xoRobyn

SquirrelQueen said...

Betty, what a sweet story. I can understand why this ornament is, and always will be, very special to you.
Love is the nicest gift of all.

slommler said...

What a beautiful love story! Brought a tear to my eye and warmed my heart.
Merry Christmas
Hugs
SueAnn

Pat Tillett said...

My "allergies" are bothering me a bit after reading this one...

Madi and Mom said...

What a very special ornament...bought with love and filled with memories that keep on giving.
Hugs C

gayle said...

That is a beautiful memory! A special place for a special ornament!

Liz said...

there is a special love between Betty and HOB...and I love that it's memorialized in this ornament!

i love that you have a special place of honor for it, too.

i think i'm doing an ornament post for thursday. we'll see. :)

Leanne said...

Awe, betty. I know that you warned us about the mushy posts this week . . . but geeze ... couldn't you have handed out some tissues, too?

You are just too cute for words!