Dad’s caregiver, my oldest sister, went home for Christmas, so I took my turn with Dad this past weekend. The pace is slow there. I took my sewing basket and made some real progress on the dishtowels I’ve been embroidering for years. And I finally got some wreaths made. When I am an old woman, I will still gather branches and create a wreath for the door.
I had a heyday prowling Mom’s lovely yard for evergreen boughs. The arborvitae cuttings from under the eaves were deep green and supple. The junipers in the corner had branches loaded with purple berries. Spruce, and of course feathery cedar, are abundant. For accent, I gathered pine cones and a few tenacious clusters of crab apples.
I stood at the table where Dad could see me and anchored the greenery to lariat circles. The same table where Mom labored over a million creative projects - cutting out dresses for her six daughters, wrapping gifts, and of course painting watercolors. The holiday season would find the table covered with fondant centers for dipping her famous chocolates. And later in life, research materials were strewn about when she tackled her most ambitious project, a western history book.
And so I felt very much at home working on the wreaths, and took them one at a time over to Dad for his approval.
Mom has only been gone 3 months, so of course her presence is everywhere. It was comforting to fry chops in her old cast iron skillet, drape her original beaded garland on the tree, and sleep under one of her handmade woolen quilts.