Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Oy to the World
I sent some small Christmas presents out yesterday to siblings: silver half dollars minted the years they were born. I would have sent dollars, but the US didn’t mint silver dollars during the war years and some of us were born during the forties and early fifties. The coins weren’t expensive – not much over face value – but one of my favorite things is a pair of farthings (English quarter cents) minted the year I was born. I had them set in roundels that didn’t require punching a hole in each of them, so I could wear them as earrings. It helps that on the reverse of the coins is a charming little wren.
Tis the season for nostalgia. To decorate my tree I found two sets of bubble lights – remember them? I saw them on a family friend’s Christmas tree when I was about six or seven. Little bowl-shaped bottom, a clear glass stem rising from it filled with colored liquid, and a light in the bowl that made the liquid boil. Like magic! And they’re back, it was wonderful to see a string of them at Menard’s, lit and bubbling away. I think all of us who put up trees have a collection of old and much-loved ornaments that make even the brand-new tree a display of memories. And here was an ornament that was both new and old.
I’ve been Christmas shopping for other family and friends and for some reason enjoying the season even more than usual, mixing old and new. Right now I’m playing a strange, new and already-favorite Christmas album: “Oy to the World – a Klezmer Christmas.” Some of the music from “Fiddler on the Roof” is Klezmer, Jewish music played in a minor key. Imagine “Joy to the World” played fast and jazzy and in a minor key. Wonderful!
Here’s a picture of the tree that doesn’t do it justice.
I forgot to get this up earlier because I’m having a serious attack of bursitis in my left hip and finally called the doctor. I have a wonderful rheumatologist but you call and get the receptionist. You explain the problem. He tells the nurse, who calls for more details. Then you hear from the doctor – via the nurse – that he’s writing an order for physical therapy. The process takes all morning, and meanwhile other things go undone.