Tuesday, November 17, 2009

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Don't you just love those old Westerns where there's a triangle dinner bell attached to the porch eaves, and someone comes out of the house and clangs the bell when dinner is ready?

Yeah, I don't have one of those. My kids prefer the Ma Kettle approach, which is me, yelling, "Come and get it!"

I don't do that either ... most of the time ;).

I do have a garden bell, though.

For many years, at the family holiday get-together of Deus Ex Machina's family, we've participated in a Yankee Swap. For the first few years, I tried really hard to buy a nice gift for the swap, something I thought people would appreciate. Often is was something I already had, which I really liked, and thought, maybe to share the joy, and so I'd buy one to put in the swap.

Each year I was reminded of how my view of things vastly differs from so many of the people in my life (I have more to say on that, but not today), and almost invariably, I ended up coming home with the gift I'd added to the swap. Eventually, I figured out that the best thing for me to do was to buy something I wanted, but didn't have.

A couple of years ago, my contribution to the Yankee Swap was a really nice chime, and I did bring it home.

It has a beautiful tone. In the summer, when the windows are open, I listen to its song, but even when the windows are closed, on particularly windy days, I can hear it singing outside in the breezes.

It stays outside all year long, but during the winter, on the worst of the worst days, when the wind is, quite literally, howling outside, the garden bell, like the garden, is silent, locked in winter's icy grip.

I miss her voice during the winter, but I know it's time for sugaring when she starts singing again.

Who knew something as simple could mark the seasons in such a profound way?


  1. Beautiful writing in this post...

  2. Funny isn't it? It hits me more when it's spring and you can actually open the windows again and hear the outside.

  3. Wendy,
    Great gift... Great gift party, the Yankee Swap!
    We use an online version of the Yankee Swap to share gifts will all of our scattered family..
    It would be great to take home such a nice gift..