Saturday, December 22, 2012

I'll Be Home for Christmas . . .

if only in my dreams . . .

I heard that song yesterday, and I was suddenly very, very homesick for the Southwest - namely, my grandparents' home in El Paso, TX as well as the cozy, too brief home in Alamogordo, NM (we'd lived there only one year), where Livie celebrated her very first Christmas.

(Frank Sinatra's version off YouTube)

And then when Livie and I were at our favorite pizza place in town last night, I heard a song originally sung by Michael Bublé - Home - but this version I heard last night was sung by a country star, featuring Michael Bublé (I later learned the country star was Blake Shelton).

 (Blake Shelton's version off YouTube)

When this song came on, I was so overwhelmed by such a strong sense of saudade (a Portuguese word that captures a sense of homesickness, nostalgia, or a longing for something or someone absent - but without much chance of return) and a longing for being back "home," in the Southwest, where my family is from . . . and where I lived for a time (having been stationed in the Southwest twice while in the military). I almost cried, I was so homesick.

See, the first time I'd heard the song Home, was in New Mexico, the day Livie and I had moved into our house in July 2006, and I was busy unpacking while listening to the radio. Andrew was deployed in the Middle East at the time, and wouldn't be home for another three months. I was missing him, worried about him, and trying to keep busy with setting up the new home.

And I'd heard that song a number of times during that year of living in New Mexico.

So every time I hear this song, I think of that home, the desolate beauty of the desert, and the very first Christmas with Livie (meaning: the very first time I got to be "magic" by playing Santa).

As I sat there watching Livie color while we waited for our pizza, I couldn't believe how hard the saudade had hit me, especially since we've been here in Iowa for a few years now and have our "new" Christmas traditions pretty firmly established (including eating a very New Mexican posole for Christmas Eve).

Although the saudade faded by the end of the evening - for the most part, anyway - I still had a vestige of it lasting through the night, and into this morning, causing me to look through some old photos from our New Mexican Christmas:

The tree, night before Christmas

Arch decoration, night before Christmas

Sacramento Mountains, Alamogordo, NM

These photos will have to do as I get my Southwest fix from afar. (Too bad I don't have a photo of my grandparents' place at Christmas time - that would've been priceless).

In the meantime, I'm biding my time before I get to play Santa, once again (it's fun and I enjoy it a lot). Just a few more days, though, right? Livie and I get to do a bunch of things before "Santa" delivers presents under the tree: making posole for Christmas dinner, making cookies for Santa (yummy!!), and packing for our trip to Liv's grandparents' place on Christmas Day.


Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, Sonya, this brought tears to my eyes! I'm so sorry you miss the southwest so much & can't go back for whatever reason, but you & Livie are where you are for a reason & you'll make new memories there in Iowa.

God bless & Merry Christmas to you & your family! =)

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Well it sounds like you have some exciting things ahead! Merry Christmas :-)

Sandy said...

Happy Holidays to you and yours! I feel so lucky that I live in New Mexico but I bet you anything -you are making some terrific history in Iowa. With all the touching holiday memories in New Mexico, TX and now Iowa...I think y'all are going to have a fabulous Christmas!=)

Randy said...

Wonderful post and photos.

Nancy Claeys said...

I'm glad that you will be visiting relatives on Christmas. I know it's not the same, but perhaps a change of venue will help the saudade subside a bit.

Wishing you and your lovely family and a happy holiday, Sonya. xo

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