Friday, December 23, 2011

The Christmas Orange

Back in my youth (which, in the grand scheme of things, wasn't that long ago), my family would hang out large stockings for each of us on Christmas Eve.  We didn't have a fireplace, so we hung them on chests and curios in the dining room.  (Ironically, after my sister and oldest brother moved out, my parents did put a wood-burning stove in that room.)

I vaguely remember getting small toys and lots of candy in my stocking.  One thing that has stuck in my mind to this day was getting a fresh orange in my stocking, one that was just for me to enjoy; I didn't have to share it with anyone else.  My family wasn't poor, but fresh oranges weren't something they stocked regularly in the small grocery store in my hometown.  Apparently, though, enough people had the tradition of the Christmas orange that they were available at that time.

I still look forward to eating oranges at Christmas, since that seems to be around the time they start harvesting them in Florida and California.  They are so readily available, though, that they aren't as special as they were in my youth.

What does this have to do with the Long Ascent?  Well, the current state of affairs is representative of the Age of Profligacy.  As we come down off Hubbert's Mesa, eating foods from far away will become more of a luxury.  That is not necessarily a bad thing.  Getting an orange for Christmas may again be a special occasion.

Sometimes on the Long Ascent, the joy is in the smallest details along the way.

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