In chapter 7, the gang decorates the Christmas tree.
In fact, the opening line of the chapter is: "I don't like theme trees," Ivy was saying as Keelie limped into the parlor.
Why is this a moment of universal kismet?
Allow me to answer in the form of a photo:
If you don't know about my yearly ornament tradition, you can get to the whole story here. Short version: every year since the first year I was on my own, I have picked up an ornament, and use that ornament (or two, or three) to remind myself of how far I've come when I put the tree up. It never fails to cheer me up, make me smile, and count the multitude of blessings I have in my life.
This year, we did things a little differently, and invited friends over to make an evening of it. We decorated both trees - the themed tree that my husband prefers, and my "nostalgia" tree, with the yearly ornaments on it. We drank wine, ate cheese, and laughed more than people should be allowed to laugh. I wasn't even the only one with holiday clothing!
The new ornaments for this year? There are three:
Ornament the first: an homage to our trip to New York (and specifically to our journey to the "Top of the Rock"). We loved New York - even if that is what everyone does - and I want to return again.
Ornament the second: a bit blurry, but an homage to our trip to Scotland. Again, Edinburgh is a place I want to visit again.
Ornament the third: more thistle, more homage to Scotland. Did I mention I touched standing stones there that were thousands of years old?
This year's tree. As ever, I'm stunned at the joy I get from putting it together, and watching all those ornaments - each a significant moment of my life - decorate the tree full to bursting. That I had a house full of friends to help me decorate the tree this year means I've absolutely set out to do what I intended when I started this tradition in the first place: I can remind myself of how far I've come, and how wonderful my destination became.
Chapter the Seventh (Or, Compromise is Key - Have Two Trees)
I loved the conversation about how Ivy's family had multiple trees. I don't think it's crazy to have more than one tree. I'm have more than one tree, and I'm not crazy.
Chapter 7 reminded me of growth - Keelie's conversation with her family, her friends, and what she learns about the history of Coventry - all of it has that sense of progress. Life can throw you pretty awful moments - broken ankles, say - but sometimes a group of friends and good family is there to remind you that you're doing okay. You're on a path. Things will improve.
Coveted Coventry Moments