So remember how it was kind of a big deal for us to host Thanksgiving last month? I may or may not (I did) declare that we must have an open house over the holidays. Calendars were consulted, an evite was sent out, and we’re having a Christmas cookie exchange this week. Less than two weeks after our last clean the house and arrange the furniture to accommodate as many people as possible flurry. I anticipate this being less dramatic. I mean, no one needs a fork for cookies and there’s no 20-lb turkey to fool with. Right? Our biggest conundrum, other than me learning the proper way to serve eggnog (Is it supposed to stay chilled the whole time? Keep it in the fridge? Spike it? Are there really eggs in there?) is how we can display the electric trains in a way that they are safe from harm’s way.
I'd like to say that my primary concern with setting them up on the floor was the number of guests we’ll have and the fact that we will have some small children around, but the reality of the situation is that I am a complete klutz. Like, the person who trips over a large electric
box 8 times before declaring it must be moved. (Fact.) Those of you who have never experienced life with a lover of antiques/precious things may not fully appreciate the level of reverence with which said items are to be treated. Clumsiness- unintentional though it may be- is not reverent and does not indicate full appreciation for the glory of these carefully-crafted, hard to replace, old enough that it’s considered ‘normal’ for them to spark while they’re running pieces of history.
Maybe one day we’ll live in a place where an entire room can be devoted to “things that shall not be touched”. I will feel safer, knowing that there is a designated area into which I do not step foot, dramatically reducing the likelihood of me stepping on/bumping into/leaving water marks on these delicate creatures. We will wind the (really cool) train tracks around the legs of furniture crafted before my grandparents were old enough to stand and I will watch from the doorway, feeling happy and safe.
We do not live in that place today. Hence, our nearly as good as giving it its own room solution of setting up the trains on the dining room table. Let’s be real, we’ve eaten off a coffee table many times. Let’s be more real, I’m perfectly content to eat standing up in the kitchen. (My mother hangs her head.) The new arrangement puts the couch in the dining room, which is a disastrous decorating debacle. (Pale gray couch. Red & tan rug. Red/blue/tan curtains. Black and white dog who feels the world is finally as it should be- his throne perfectly placed below the window, allowing him to monitor all backyard squirrel activity. We have a comical collection of furniture in the bedroom that includes two very clashing dressers, one kitchen table, one very old drop-leaf table, a very old cabinet (plantation desk?), and a bed so high off the ground Buster needs a running start. (I need a step-ladder and learned the hilariously awkward way that I cannot, in fact, ‘jump into bed’.)
So when you come over, please know that I do not think any of these combinations “go together”, I fully acknowledge the impracticality of an electric train around the perimeter of your dining room table. But it’s Christmas folks. Indulge me.