o christmas tree, o christmas treeee….

now playing: bret alexander, “gentleman east”

boy…where do these days go?

out of work today, sick as a dog – can’t breathe very well, except through my mouth, which has left my lips in pretty sad shape (the constant air passing over them gives them a beating that even chap-stick can’t stand up to)…generally listless and achy all over, and not feeling terribly functional.

there’s a ton of stuff that i’ve wanted to post here these past few days, but it’s gonna have to wait until tomorrow, when i have a better command of my faculties, i think.

tonight i picked up the kids and we went for a drive as the sun was going down – jayda and dylan were in a not-so-rare-these-days frame of mind…dylan cracking jokes and taking advantage of his comic opportunities and keeping jayda and i in stitches. we saw a pretty neat sunset in the hills to the west as we were making our way back towards home…i remember thinking how habits engrained in them early on in life still seem to surface all these years later. jayda, especially, loves going out for drives to nowhere in particular…and i’m pretty certain that i’ve sown that seed. i’ve been taking her for drives since she was a month old. when she was very small, her mom and i took her to tennessee…and one of the mornings we were there, she wouldn’t stop crying, so i put her in her car seat and we drove from savannah back to walnut grove, the small village where i grew up. i drove her past the school and through the back roads, to the cemetery where my grandfather was buried – she slept for the entire trip…even when i took her out of her car seat to carry her to her great-grandfathers’ gravesite.

one other specific time that i remember was when she and dylan were both still very small…small enough that they could both be shirtless without raising an eyebrow…i put them both into the back of the van and rolled down all the windows and we drove south, towards lancaster and amish country. the sun was out, and i had marty higgins‘ first album in the tape deck, and it was just a perfect day to have the wind blowing through your hair, with good music mingling with it as it floated through the car.

they’re so conditioned to spending time that way that once, a while back, when we were discussing where to put our christmas tree in the apartment we had at the time, i made the statement that “while it should traditionally be in the front room of the house, i think it should be in the place we spend the most time in.”

dylan replied, “then you should put it in the van.”

if i’d thought of it at the time, i’d have gotten one of those pine-tree deodorizers and let him decorate it.

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