Channeling My Mother

When I was younger, and up until this very day, my mother has made sure that our home is the absolute beacon of what season it is outside.  Having recently come back from a trip up north, it was no shock that the house was lightly festooned with autumn and Halloween trinkets.  Since my sister and I were kids and, once again up to this very day, it all culminates, each season and each Holiday to the extravaganza that is Christmas.  Frankly my parents house looks like Santa Clause, all the elf’s, and however many reindeer it is, all EXPLODED in one massive MERRY FRIGGEN CHRISTMAS jihad…or what I prefer to call Yolanda’s House Of Chintz. 


Most of you have been there, and I wish I had pictures to show those of you who haven’t, but there is literally so much stuff in the house that one year, my Cousin Tim picked up one item and turned to my mother and said “Excuse me, Miss?  How much is this?”  Only a store should have so much Happy Holidays. 


But it’s all hinged on exactly what’s going on outside; flowers blooming, birds and bees humming?  flower plates, pastel decorations and an Easter egg bunny train that lights up.  warm summer nights, school out and time to celebrate the birth of our nation?  everything BUT red, white and blue bunting under the windows.  And so it goes, season to season, celebration to celebration, holiday to holiday…though I have to say, we’re not Irish, so I never understood the St. Patrick’s Day decor.  Though if she decorated for our Italian lineage, there’d be a never ending parade of saints and feasts through our house….which probably isn’t all that different than now…but I digress.


I live in Houston.  A perfectly lovely, very modern, tear it down if it’s older than 10 years, two-season city.  I love Houston, but the other day I was bemoaning the fact that it is impossible to tell one season from the other.  Winter is all of 4 weeks long, spring, summer and football season are all the same- really friggen humid, but warm, and I haven’t found a single tree that loses it’s leaves in this city…not even a bush!


I was sitting at home, looking around and I was feeling really down.  I couldn’t figure out why.  Then it came to me…I couldn’t tell what season it was!  Our plants are still blooming in our yard, and the house is utterly devoid of any decoration.  I was pretty upset looking at my home and not seeing a single piece of worthless junk to cheer me up and remind me “Hey! It’s A SEASON!”


Julius tried his best to quell my sadness.  He brought home an autumn bouquet of flowers.  I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t love to get flowers, so I was happy, it was a burst of orange and red in our otherwise bland house.  But the flowers died.  I hung on to them too long, and the vase turned green.  So now they’re gone.  There’s a dozen apples on our counter, but they’re not for decoration, so that doesn’t count.  I was down again.  So I went to Home Goods, because I needed a pound cake pan…yes you heard me. 


I found the one thing I went to the store for right away, I knew they had it.  But then I found myself in the seasonal section.  It was vibrant with bold autumn colors and warm “hearthy” scents.  Ugh, I was home sick in the WORST way.  I started to pick up some items.  A simple wreath, some pumpkin candles, a black cat with a pumpkin candle holder, a sparkly scarecrow, more candles, a bunch of Halloween towels, some cheap decoration that was way overpriced.  Finally I had a come back to reality moment.  I slowly…VERY SLOWLY, began putting each item back, realizing I didn’t have the desire to spend the money on these items, at least not today. 


I was sad again.  I texted my sister, letting her know my predicament.  I got in line with my lone pound cake pan.  I pay, the lady behind the counter can see I’m not very happy, but I lie to her and tell her I’m fine.  My phone vibrates.  It’s a text photo from my sister.  It’s a scarecrow and a carved pumpkin.  It’s not the real thing, but it cheers me up. 


The sun hits my eyes as I come outside, it’s beautiful and then it hits me.  We always make fun of my mother for all of the seasonal items she showers the house with, every year, every season, it never fails.  But why?  Here I am, 1,800 miles away and all I want is a little Yolanda



  1. I am a person who wanted more for my kids. To experiience each season or holiday with extra happiness and experiences, you see, we didn’t have the Chintz when we were growing up. Everytime I pull out a trinket from my Chintz box I have a reminder of happy days gone by with young ones in the house and the extra excitement that was felt throughout the holiday/season. Eventhough my young ones are adults I still have the urge to purchase new Chintz. You see, unlike many other people I know, I do feel that there is magic and wonderment for me to experience. I still like the idea of “once upon a time” and “somewhere over the rainbow” and happy, happy, joy, joy. I do see all of these things in some of my students, however, many of them have been experiencing too much of the violence and and sadistic ways of the world. Dream on little ones and take your time growing up because reality comes too quickly and the excitement I still feel when I see Mickey and Minnie and Donnie and Marie have long gone. I only wish I had some little people to share all of my cute stories and excitement of the holidays/seasons. You see, the secret to keeping young is to have young ones around to remind you “all is ok with the world because Glinda can make your dreams come true. I was dressed as Glinda for Halloween and the children loved it-their eyes lit up and they said, “Mrs. Kacedon is a princess, you look so nice.” Now, you know my spirits soared. So I added some excitement to my students on Halloween! True, I didn’t have to deal with little ones anymore, however, the feeling never goes away-kids keep you young and keep me feeling that all is well with the world because I can help the little people. i truly believe that I was destined for the job I do because I touch so many lives in one day. And I do believe that extra Chintz is good for everyone…..Keep your spirits up and buy Chintz, one piece at a time.

  2. All for the chintz! Starting my own collection but it will never match moms.

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