Saturday, December 1, 2012

Christmas, sweet Christmas

photo of ginger bread house
©E Harrington
For the past several years, I've been impressed by many of the architecturally accurate gingerbread houses shown in a green architecture and lifestyle blog I follow. I don't recall seeing a gingerbread version of Falling Waters, but that my be due to faulty memory. Anyhow, this year my wife and daughter, wise souls that they are, assigned me and SO (daughter's Significant Other), the intimidating responsibility of getting the required candy elements for shingles and decorating, while they dealt with hot stoves and ovens and sharp knives. Having delivered the requisite sweet elements, SO and I wisely got the hell out of the way and let more capable hands and minds create. You see the results above, courtesy of a photo taken by self-same daughter. Look at those icing icicles! There is something else different about this creation that particularly delights me. It's not the cool LED lights (pun intended) my wife put inside, although I like those and admit they're different. No, my delight arises from the fact that the house has context. It's in a setting. There's a skating pond in the back yard. (Since this photo was taken, those skaters have acquired faces. Younger, steadier hands than mine were at work.) No matter whom the architect, no building stands alone. If the context isn't respected and reflected, the building fails. This building is an amazing success to me. Skating ponds were a significant part of my childhood, Christmas seasons and growing up in New England. (I have a vague recollection of a warming house and a first ever kiss.) I hereby publicly thank wife, daughter (and SO) for helping create a wonderful Christmas centerpiece that ties together My Minnesota with my New England childhood. For me, it doesn't get much better than that.