open the box marked christmas past with care
for childhood joys and missing friends you’ll find
but memories of the lost-forever kind
that lie waiting to trip you up beware
or reconcile yourself to linger there
amidst unsorted photos of the mind
and laughter packed in odd-shaped boxes lined
with longing or regret for you can’t stare
them down reliably sometimes they just
wash over whatever happiness you
have accrued since there’s no way to predict
so pause until tears have passed and then trust
your present to sweep you beyond conflict
to the joy love promises to renew
Let the grading begin! After a week-end “off” I’m ready to hit the daunting pile of papers and exams so I can tally up the points and put this semester to bed. Along the way I find missing items and email my students to submit them post-haste! Their replies come quickly with apologies and the assignments attached, and by day’s end I am nearly there. Satisfying to tie up loose ends and see that things were learned over the past few months.
Humming a cheery tune I spend a domestic Saturday cleaning, baking, and not doing anything at all academic. In the evening P’s sons come over for “Thanksmas” dinner bringing girlfriends. The boys were tied up at Thanksgiving and we are leaving Christmas Day, so we created a holiday in-between to celebrate together. I check all cellphones at the door, as teens have a tendency to give texting friends equal access regardless of the events unfolding where they actually are, and we spend several enjoyable hours talking, eating, watching the fire and a Brazilian music DVD. Perhaps a new family tradition has begun.