Monday, December 15, 2008

EMPS: Bells, Bows, and the Edge of Winter

Carly offers us a multiple choice topic for this week's Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot: EMPS #16: Autumn Meets Winter or Alternative EMPS #16A: BELLS or BOWS. There's so much to play with here that I'll probably make more than one pass at these topics, but here's what I was able to come up with so far.

It only snows here about once every three years, but in January we usually get some rain after a dry and sunny autumn. This Sunday we had what I like to call "Syracuse weather," with a temperature in the forties, wind and a bit of rain under bleakly cloudy skies. For Syracuse that would be fall weather, typical of September or October. Here it's what passes for winter. Let's see what a day like that does to the Tucson-style Christmas display at the house with the Big Tree:

The glory of the Big Tree Christmas display is all but lost on a damp and chilly afternoon.

Closeup on the decorations by dreary daylight.

Colors of autumn, weather of a Tucson winter. (Photo taken on my phone.)

Another way of marking the edge of winter: lighting the Advent candles.

The change of seasons is also marked out with traditions and rituals. In the Episcopal and Roman Catholic churches, Advent runs through the four Sundays leading up to Christmas. It's the start of the new Church year, and straddles the end of fall and the very beginning of winter on the secular calendar. The Advent wreath has four candles, one for each of the Sundays. The first week only one candle is lit, the second Sunday two are lit, and so on. The third Sunday's candle is rose colored, a symbolic reminder that Jesus is coming soon.

On to the bells and bows. Due to a combination of discouragement and plain old procrastination, we haven't gotten the Christmas stuff out yet. But I can find one Christmas bow peeking out through the translucent white plastic of a large storage box:

Christmas is still in storage here.

Other than that, I have a few dolls' clothes and toys with bows or ribbons, and three small bells I ring at the Easter Vigil mass. Let's put something together to represent all of these:

Excalibear has a bow on his neck and bells on his toes.
Valentine Kitty also has a bow, and is listening for whom the bell tolls.

The blue bell was rusty, but now we have freshly cleaned clappers.

The large bell was dusty, and the blue bell was rusty. I cleaned them all with TarnX. The big bell will never be completely shiny - it's not that well made to begin with. But they definitely look better than they did.

Be sure to check Ellipsis every Monday for each week's Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot topic, and for links to the previous week's participant entries.



Carly said...

Hi Karen

Those are mighty cute stuffties... my made up word for stuffed animals. That bear is all ready to go with his shiny bells.


Suzanne R said...

The church picture interests me, and I am very charmed, too, by the little stuffed animals with the bells. Nice pictures and post!

Tammy Brierly said...

I felt the Autumn meets winter vibe. Nice job!

Jama said...

You sure have some cute stuffs there Karen.I like that white kitty, it's so cute.

Nancy said...

You sure did a full assignment!
Well done.