Wednesday, December 17, 2008

An International Tree

I have had what I call an international tree for years. Kitty has been backpacking through Europe more than once, and has been to Mexico a few times. She had a double major in college - both Russian and Latin American Language and Culture, lived for a time in the International Dorm, and spent eight weeks living with a family in the Yucatan. She often brou
ght me ornaments from her travels.

But one year we actually had an international group helping me decorate the tree. There was a Russian exchange student at school, and Kit brought her home for the holiday. A Pakistani boy drove them home and stayed overnight before making the trip back to his home in Ohio. They all joined in the fun. I can't quite get the chronological sequence of Kitty's boyfriends during her college days clear in my mind. Was that the period of time when she was going with the Indian boy? It may have been. If so, it was he who came to drive them back to school. If she was here, I could ask. Oh well. You get the picture. The international flavor was there.

I have learned more from my youngest child than I ever taught her. Bits of language - Spanish, Russian, Japanese, even a bit of Egyptian hieroglyphs - were only the beginning. Talking with her and with her friends, traveling around the country, and even once to Europe to visit her, learning and experiencing things I would never have had opportunity for otherwise, she has certainly broadened my horizons. I do love young people.
Teens and Twenties! They have such
enthusiasm! My own are no longer in that age range, but I still enjoy their company and that of their friends. It certainly beats hanging around with old fogies like myself.

The tree pictured here was not the one from that year, but I must admit, each year our tree looks very much the same - at least until we finally decided the big one was too much, and opted for a smaller on on a table. Always the star on top, an angel below it, and lots and lots of all sizes, shapes and kinds of ornaments from people, places and times we want to remember. The tree shown here is a very poor quality picture. I tried to sharpen it up , but failed rather miserably, which is why it's so small. The square ornament and the marzipan Santa are from Hungary, the ball from France of course. I'm sure you recognize the two Paddington Bears.They did not travel here from London however. They are simply representing their country.

There are too many others to show them all.

I really miss having a tree. But am still enjoying the ornaments, as you can tell.


me ann my camera said...

All of your Christmasy things are so special as are all of treasured memories. Mine are mostly in my mind now for we have kept very few of our toys and trinkets that we used to have on our tree as we have given many of them them to our children. Have a happy Christmas.

storyteller said...

It IS a lovely tree and your ornaments are delightfully special. I've stopped putting up a tree as well because it's more than I can handle alone these days but I do much the same thing ... enjoying ornaments given to me by friends and students over the years.
Hugs and blessings,

Lisa said...

Surrounding yourself with the special ornaments may not be exactly like having the tree, but it's not really the tree is it? It's the memories we made around the trees that can keep us going.

If I lived nearby, I'd come get that box out of your shed, and bring you a tree, decorate it with all your favorite ornaments and then we could sit and sip on something warm while reminiscing past Christmases.

Sylvia K said...

I love the picture of your tree! I stopped putting up trees years ago, but I do remember all the ones we had when the kids were growing up. One year when we had two curious toddlers -- the two boys, and two curious cats, we decided to set the tree up in the play pen so no one pulled it over on top of themselves. Looked a little strange at first sight, but it did the job. Thanks for fun memories!

Daryl said...

In my opinion this time of year is all about memories ... and you have some wonderful ones .. thanks for sharing


Kitty said...

the square ornament (painted angel) is from Slovakia.

-- signed, Factfinding Elf #4

Anonymous said...

That's so neat to see your ornaments and hear the stories. ou have some wonderful Christmas memories!

Unknown said...

You've certainly raised a brilliant and interesting daughter.

I love the Paddingtons. No matter where they're purchased, there is no taking the English out of them. ;-) said...

I love your square angel ornament Bobbie.
It's always nice to hear your memories, you have such good ones.

Linda Murphy said...

I love the beautiful ornaments and your reflections on what they mean to you. Those little Paddington Bears are so darling.

I still have ornaments that I made in Kindergarten (rather garish but lovely all the same). We have a bunch of favorites and ones that always have a familiar story and laugh behind them. I cannot wait to pass them on to my boys in years to come.