This is the time of year when I abandon writing, career concerns, everything except my office, which is blissfully quiet though I did a ton of work this morning--mostly breaking hearts with rejection letters. But at home I've been busy cooking--I have a freezer full of desserts and tonight I made sausage and cheese balls (washing the pans is more work than making them!). My dining room table is wrapping central, though I'll have to clear it by Monday when the contributors to Grace & Gumption come for a holiday happy hour. But I've wrapped presents for those children I won't see at Christmas but will see at Thanksgiving, and for others I think I'll see before then but am not sure. I've double scheduled myself with the TCU Press Annual Autograph Extravaganza on Friday Dec. 5 and my party on Dec. 6. I guess I'll collapse on Dec. 7.
It's cold here--close to freezing last night, so that I asked Jay, my handsome neighbor, to carry in my basil. I'll make pesto of it this weekend. But nothing else on m porch appears devastated. Freezing predicted again tonight, and it surely was a sharp wind today. Yes, I wanted cold weather so I could wear winter clothes, but maybe the 50s would do instead of the 30s.
In east Forr Worth, on the north side of I-30, there's a runty mimosa tree that is decorated every year for Christmas. The story is a once-homeless woman decorated it so the homeless in Fort Worth would have a Christmas tree. She did it for many years, but after she was unable to, the neighborhood took up the tradition--and now the little tree is decorated for Easter, Halloween and other holidays. Leslie Gordon wrote and self-published a great children's picture book about it. I first heard of it when Melanie called to say she'd heard about it on NPR and could I find a copy for Maddie and Edie. She said they looked for the tree every time they came to Fort Worth. I got them a copy. And now TCU Press has reprinted the book, because Leslie sold out her initial printing. We're excited about it, and I plan to give it to the other grandchildren in the family. Want a great Christmas gift for children? Try The Homeless Christmas Tree by Leslie Gordon. Even if you don't live in Fort Worth and drive by the tree, it's a heartwarming Christmas story.