|Arayo and the King Kong of Reindeers at Sara's house|
The Energizer Bunny (er, ah, Elf) made it to town last week. Really, this is a woman I should avoid, if for no other reason than if I spent too much time around her I'd feel…… hum, Inadequate? Lazy? Actually, there are many levels on which I shouldn't like her - but I really do. And, since it is Christmas and I think Christmas is made for me to grouch - I'm going to share with you this woman's issues…..
First, some background. Sara is one of several of us in town who's parents passed away, leaving behind a home. Now, to inherit a home in Southeast Kansas means you've really inherited - just roots. No matter how nice the home, you're not going to get much for it, so there really is no push to sell it and move on. Besides, Oswego isn't a horrible place. It has some real upsides to it. Safe, sleepy, (read that boring) and full of some pretty darned nice folks…..
Sara is normally out in Santa Barbara, but she comes here for Christmas every year - flying in a week or so before the 25th to begin putting everyone in town to shame (especially me - bah humbug). As soon as she hits town, she gets out her boxes of lights, her tree, her beautiful decorations. Her house becomes ablaze with all the festive holiday stuff - and it is stunning when she's done with it.
Sara's house is exactly two blocks from mine and the glow in the north gets brighter every night she's around. (I, on the other hand, have a handmade Santa in the closet. Sara's bustling activity makes me consider pulling him out, running that rod up his rear and popping him on the mantle, but I did that last year so perhaps I'll wait another year or two before going to all that trouble again. Besides, I think I just took him down in August - I got tired of listening to him complain about the heat.)
In the midst of Sara's decorating, she holds her annual Christmas party - making invitations, running them all over town, inviting everyone that she knows - and she knows about everyone. The doctor, the pharmacist, the postwoman, the minister, the carpenter, her neighbors.....
Last year she decided to redecorate her granddaughter's bedroom - painting walls bubblegum pink, converting some rag into stunning curtain rod wraps, pulling in a Christmas tree perfect for a teen, and stringing lights, hanging things on the wall - It was pretty amazing and she pulled it off in the blink of an eye. I know - I was there for much of it and I'm still in shock. (See "Life is Too Short of White Walls" )
This year, on top of the normal decorating, party planning, shopping and such, she set up a studio in her garage and pumped out half a dozen or more 3' square masterpieces. No apologies for making the rest of us in town look bad - nothing! She makes Martha Stewart look like trailer trash - imagine how she makes the rest of us feel.
And, if this all isn't enough, in the midst of all this work - when Arayo was catching poison frogs last week, Sara crawled out of bed and came over at 11 pm to check on us and help me walk around the yard, waiting for Arayo to upchuck. Sara's a darn good elf, in spite of these other traits.
I've asked Sara why she doesn't just leave all the decorations up? Why go through the effort of putting stuff back in boxes, packing it away, only to come back a year later to do it all over again…. She hasn't given me a good reason - yet.
But, we love having her come back to town, and we're glad her family feels a connection to Kansas - even if they didn't grow up here. Sara adds a bit of energy and bling to this tired little community. Though, after thinking about her - I believe I'll go take a nap.
Check out Sara's work at Sara Lytle's Website