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This is the first christmas I have not minded sitting around, for what seems like endless amounts of time, in draughty dressing rooms because I have found the joy of putting pen to paper. So when I saw lovely Rachels challenge I had to have a go. Here is my offerring and with loads of Christmas good wishes I hope you enjoy it. If Ciao puts in specific criteria...Please take absolutely no notice of it........
Just Another Winter's Tale. ******************************
Christmas comes but once a year its' wonders to behold. What a strange thing to be going round my brain. It was that waking moment. The moment just before your brain is flooded with sights and sounds. It's the feeling that you are being spirited from that sweet, comfy, safe place called sleep and into the bright sparkling new day. But, today, when I awoke, I instinctively knew something was not quite right. It was too quiet! What was missing? No bird song. Why were the birds so silent?
Please let it be sunny. No rain today please. Don't let it rain. That would be the worst thing that could happen. No rain please. I silently pleaded with all the gods I could think of. I was not relying on just one. I wanted them all to do their bit.
I crossed my fingers and got out of bed, pulled back the small side curtain of the bay window and, although I really did not want to look, I slowly opened my tightly closed eyes. The scene through the window took me completely by surprise. It did not look like I had expected it to. Overnight the weather had changed dramatically and any other Christmastime I would have been delighted, overjoyed even, to see the scene that was before me. Who wouldn't want a white Christmas? Even the songwriters wrote songs to celebrate the fact that everyone should be dreaming of a White Christmas but, oh no, not today.
Where there used to be a path and a garden there was just snow. I stared wide-eyed through the window. I could see that all the cars were completely covered. They just looked like big white hills made out of snow. There were no distinguishing places to be seen. The garden was flat and plain white. The only thing that barely resembled anything plant-like was a bare twig pushing up from its white blanket. It belonged to a rose that I had not completely cut back. It seemed to be standing proud and defiant and sayings "look… I am still here." I felt quite sorry for the poor bedraggled little twig.
The hedge that bordered our garden with the next was bent double under the weight. It all looked so perfect. Almost like a blank canvas. Quiet, beautiful, sparkling and clean and at any other time I would have been delighted, if not excited, to see such an amazing scene but today I just wanted to cry. I couldn't tear my eyes away from outside.
My attention was drawn by next-door's cat who was trying to get from under a car to the back door. It was making small leaps and kept disappearing then reappearing in the snow, jumping and landing about 6 inches away. It looked like someone had attached a string to it and was jerking it up and down like you would a puppet. This would have been worthy of getting the camcorder out but there was only one thing that I wanted to be filmed today.
The sky looked white and there were no clouds. Just a complete and unbroken white sky that was heavy with more snow. How the children would love this. And how many parents would make footprints in the snow for Santa? And cut a potato in half to make hoof prints for his reindeer tonight? I couldn't help smiling at the thought of little faces so amazed by it all. Making Christmas real for the little ones is so special because very soon they will stop believing.
No one else was awake yet. Only me. The final preparations had gone on into the early hours and we had done perhaps just a little too much celebrating to help us pass the time. After all it had taken a whole year with lots of fits and starts along the way to plan this wedding and now it would all be ruined.
How could they get a horse and carriage through all this snow? What would happen if it started to snow when people were arriving at the church? Had we enough umbrellas? I looked at the clock. it was 8.10am. Seven hours to go. Who would have thought it would snow. Certainly not the weathermen, but then, when did they ever get it right and after all the beautiful crisp wintry sun we had been having. No one expected snow. It just didn't seem possible. After all it never snowed at Christmas in this part of the country, did it?
My thoughts turned to my daughter and her beautiful full-length ivory silk gown. She would be so upset as she wanted everything to be perfect. This was such a very special day for us all. And what about the little bridesmaids? Would they be warm enough? Had I time to fly into town for material to make them little capes. Perhaps trim them with a bit of fake fur.
If only I had known when I got my all clear after the cancer treatment that there would have been all this fuss. And I couldn't remember for the life of me whose bright idea it was to get married at Christmas time. We must all be mad! Was it the fact that after lunch on last year's Christmas day that handsome, lovely George had gone down on one knee and had declared his undying love and had held up that tiny little chip of diamond which, to me, looked like he had plucked a star out of the night sky? Well wouldn't you think that at the age of sixty-one years young I could find something more important to worry about than snow an my wedding day.