Something’s Missing

It’s two days after New Year’s and I am putting away my Christmas decorations for another year.  It’s kind of sad, no more nutcrackers holding up the antique cookbooks on the book shelf, no more golden glitter reindeer on the ledge above the TV set, no more LED lights twinkling along the garden fence.

I took down the ornaments on the tree and Mom and I carefully rolled up the gold ribbon we had used for garland this year so it would still be in good shape next year.  We took down the wreathes from the foyer doors and the swag over the entry foyer doorway.  I looked out on the porch and saw that Dave had already taken down the big golden bells from the front door and the outside porch lights.  I went out the front door with the intention of pulling the little Christmas trees out of the front planters.  Once out the door I realized that I was wholly ill-equipped for this job.  My back is doing much better these days and I have no intention of returning to bad back land trying to wrestle the bricks out from around the base of these little trees.  I turned around to go back into the house and it hit me.  Something was missing.

Dave and I had bought a beautiful old huge grapevine basket at a moving sale around the corner from our house.  We had admired the basket for years on our walks around the neighborhood.  It seemed odd that the owners would want to get rid of such a unique basket.   Once we started carrying the basket home it quickly became clear why the owners of the house were eager to sell the thing.  It was huge, dirty, unwieldy and weighed a ton.  Dave lugged it back home, anchored a bolt in the stucco of the house and there our treasure hung between our front door and porch light for the next 15 years.  One of the perks of having my mother-in-law, Jackie, the retired florist, move in with us is that all of my baskets are gorgeous.  When I put the Christmas arrangement in the grapevine basket, Mom worked her magic and made it amazing.  It was full of holiday colors and lots and lots of glittery things that twinkled in the breeze.

Sure enough, there between the front door and the porch light, there was nothing.  No basket, no bolt, nothing.  Needless to say, I was furious.  It’s bad enough that someone felt the need to alleviate me from possession of the strand of Christmas lights that ran across my white picket fence earlier in the season, but really, seriously, to walk right up on the front porch and pilfer a 4-foot tall grapevine basket full of glitter, what kind of nut does that?  I know that living on Main Street means that from time to time someone will take possession of some of your stuff.  Usually though, this is stuff that has some kind of street value.  You know… bicycles, lawn mowers, weed eaters and blowers.  I had no idea that a 4-foot tall decaying grapevine basket with a stunning glitter filled floral arrangement held any street value at all.

My poor basket had become so fragile over the years that every time you touched it, it rained down dried out dirty hunks of grapevine.   I can just see some poor fool sneaking up on my porch in the dead of night and pulling the basket off the wall.  Surely a trail of petrified grapevine stems and wispy glitter wands followed our little thief as he made his way back to wherever it is that nocturnal-basket-stealing fools come from.  He may never get all that glitter out of his hair.  The hateful side of me just wishes he would have stolen it a couple of summers ago when it had a gigantic hornets nest inside it.

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