Room To Move:
A Christmas Story
December 11, 2014
“Sundown ya better take care; If I find you been creepin’ ‘round my back stairs.
Sometimes I think it’s a sin; When I feel like I’m winnin’ when I’m losin’ again.” Lyrics from Sundown (Gordon Lightfoot; 1974). Since this song’s debut many have assumed the lyrics are a reference to a continuing battle with alcoholism. Which is understandable because during its creation the author was indeed deep into the bottle. However in numerous interviews Lightfoot states that the song is based on a torrid love affair. In particular a reference to then backup singer/ drug dealer/ legal secretary Cathy Smith, whom Lightfoot was involved with at that time. Smith who became well renowned in 1982 for injecting John Belushi with the lethal dose of heroin/ cocaine that took his life.
So what does that have to do with anything? Well, we could go off on the effects the holidays have on drug abuse and alcoholism or effects that alcoholism and drug abuse have on the holidays but we won’t. We could rattle through an entire rant about metaphorical misinterpretations, but that seems too complicated. Oh, maybe we should discuss torrid love affairs and doomed relationships...nah it’s the holidays and that is way too depressing.
So...what did that have to do with anything? Well...nothing really. Other than that song being stuck in my head for over a week now. Ah memories of being a kid and only understanding that a song had a cool rift, lyrics be damned. Thank gawd for e-bay. The 45 (that’s a record, kids) of that 70’s styled ditty is already ordered and on its way to the house o’ Saw. Can’t wait to crank it up on the Califone Elementary Gymnasium Styled record player. Which is in the sun room....which used to be the garage...that used to be my office...my room.
Love makes us do weird things. Give up our man-cave. Rip a wall outta the house to replace it with antique styled crank windows. Then let’s paint it all a bright happy yellow so Lil Red (the spouse o’ Saw) can have a sunroom...love makes us be stupid! After losing the garage, Tot (the grandson) came along. A second wall comes down to expand a room so he’ll have a bedroom to play in. Yours truly resigns to the cramped catch-all recesses of smallest room in the house. However, as it turns out, Tot prefers the bright happy aura of the sunroom for play. Thus his toy box takes up residence there. In the end, the former garage has become an eclectic mix. Plants and cozy relaxation intermingled with toy dinosaurs, Hot Wheels and play time. Not to mention the residual leftovers from its man cave days i.e., a workbench and record player stand.
It would seem a little crowded, especially at this time of year. For during the hellidays the room performs a quadruple split. Play, work, and sun make way for all things Christmas. See, some of you were like “How the f*** is this a Christmas story?” and it subtly slips right into the mix. Well, pointing that out kinda takes the subtleness out of it but you should have been more patient.
To the outside observer the final outcome of the room comes across as a complete mess-terpiece. Tools on the wall, plants in the corner, toys on the floor and a tree by the window. Yes, the room alone appears a jumbled mishmash. But put the people that made it what it is into place and it becomes so much more. For what is a family room without a family? Together we work, play, dance, laugh and sing in that room. On Christmas morning we’ll open gifts and exchange smiles in that room with Sundown playing in the background. Because that room represents how we share our life and love.
In the final analysis it would seem I’ve sacrificed my man-cave for something far more wondrous. “Sometimes I think it’s a sin; When I feel like I’m winnin’ when I’m losin’ again.” Not so much so this time around, Mr. Lightfoot.
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Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused. See ya!