Winter

FICTION

Calm Beauty in Turks & Caicos

It was the middle of winter and gusts of wind came through the house as if there was no insulation. There was nothing she could do to feel warm, she had already added two sweaters and heavy socks. She slowly realized that it wasn’t the amount of clothing that she had on that counted, she felt lost and empty inside, cold to the touch. It wasn’t always like this, she knew, but it had been for quite a few years. She let her mind drift to far away places, sand, sun, tropical islands.

There are choices you make in life, one for the family and one for yourself. She wouldn’t get divorced even if it meant sacrificing her own satisfaction, she would not, repeat not, sell her children’s happiness for her own. She knew a lot of divorced couples but this was not an option for her. They didn’t hate each other, they liked each other in a very friendly way. People talk about not having choices but there are always choices. She chose to keep her family in tact, to accept less fulfillment of other factors, you know, sex, passion, adventure, excitement. Yes, she chose her family, and she would do it again and again NOT to put them through the pain for some what, some fantasy of being 30 again? No. Things were what they were and she accepted that and yes, she was grateful for them. No one said she couldn’t fantasize, fantasies were allowed, no one knew what her mind was thinking or her heart was wishing. She kept things private and she knew that might be old-fashioned but she didn’t care. She was a mother, her kids came first. She had made her decision a long time ago.

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Christmas Angels

English: Christmas angel in modern glass desig...

Dear Santa,

We have no money in our family to give each other presents this year but I am not complaining about that at all. We are back home and that is the biggest gift we could have been given. We are giving each child something small for Christmas but it’s not like years past when there were a pile of gifts to buy and arrange on top of a big table. The children are much older but we all LOVE presents. My husband and I are not exchanging presents this year. The whole rebuilding of our house took extra money we had and while we did get a home equity loan, we are trying to pare down any added expenses.

Yesterday afternoon there was a huge box on our substitute kitchen table, four television tables pressed together. I looked at it curiously and assumed it was insurance papers or even worse, tax forms.

I was amazed that my name was on it; I couldn’t imagine what it might be or from whom. I gasped when I looked at the return name and address. It was from a friend who I deemed “my little sis” on Facebook. What was she doing? I knew her own struggles with money and expenses, why would she send ME something? Inside the treasured box were all sorts of lovely things, each bought, you could tell, with love and friendship. Each gift had a special meaning to both of us.

I didn’t even have enough money to do the Santa Swap that our chronic pain group (Graceful Agony) participated in, nor the wherewithal to make something simple for friends; we are still unpacking from the hotel room we had to stay in for three and a half months while our house was being rebuilt. Opening my surprise gift was the high point of my day.

My Facebook friend took the time to go shopping when she was in pain and cared about me enough to send me a package when I know she is hurting both physically and financially as well. She’s more than a friend, she’s my Christmas Angel.

I even had the gift of hearing her voice when I immediately called to say “Thank you.” We struggle alone and together with our chronic pain, having someone who knows how it feels is a blessing in itself. I want my friend to get better, she has more serious problems that I have, her pain is more severe and more consistent.

My Christmas wish is that she finds a wonderful caring surgeon that will help her and fix the mistakes that another doctor in the past, made. Please give her the hope and the chance leading a normal life with less pain. She doesn’t ask for much and she gives so much to others. Santa, I know you have delivered most of your gifts already but please swing by her house or send a messenger anytime in the New Year and let her know she has not been forgotten by you. That, is my Christmas prayer.

DEDICATED TO TAMMY S.

2011 in 12 Sentences

HERE’S HOPING FOR A BETTER 2012

old house

January 2011, I’m so damn cold, I can’t get warm.

February 2011, I’m still so friggin cold and I hate the ice.

March 2011, Weeping because my son is graduating High School

April 2011, Stress in the family, college stress, grandma stress, she feels poorly

May 2011, A two-week vacation in Spain with my husband, heaven (except for the pick pocketing incident)

June 2011, My son graduates, more tears, but he got into a good college and he is happy, he works at his old camp, away the whole summer.

July 2011, Husband and I are stressed because daughter is not working

August 2011 Husband breaks Achilles tendon, needs surgery, I drive alone to bring son to college. We plan for a new kitchen and instead our house falls apart, termites, carpenter acts, wood rot, deception. We have to move and share one room with daughter and dog in a hotel. (For over 3 months.) Daughter starts to look at colleges. Husband is out of commission for over three months, on crutches.

September 2011 It cost us financially, emotionally and physically, we are all depressed.

October 2011 My birthday sucked, August September, October sucked, most friends forgot about us, broken promises, “out of sight, out of mind?”

November 2011 Life still sucks.

December 2011 Still in hotel for first half of the month, back home in second half. No money for Christmas presents. The house is still a construction site; but at least we’re home. Gratitude and love for those who helped us and invited us, never will be forgotten.

Can’t wait to say good-bye to 2011.

Can you blame me?!

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Holiday Wishes From Hibernationnow

Love

Dear All:

I wish you joy and love from friends and family and your devoted pets. I hope you feel peaceful within and have the knowledge that you can change the way you react to things that are out of your control. While we may not be able to change our circumstances, we do have the ability to change how we feel and how we react. That indeed, is one of the greatest gifts and lessons I have learned.

Whether you celebrate Hannukah, Christmas, Kwanza or any other holiday, I wish you peace and happiness. Surround yourselves with your loved ones, your blessings. Hug one another, smile, rejoice in memories, celebrate the lives of those loved ones you have lost; be grateful for the time you had with them. Look towards the future, not the past and stay in the present as much as you can. Stay in the present and appreciate what you do have, all your gifts and blessings. Who knows what next year will bring?  Cherish your loved ones, with all their imperfections because love has no boundaries. Family is no longer just one definition but endless possibilities, celebrate them all, because all of them are filled with love and hope.

I hope the New Year brings everyone a better year, a happier and more resourceful year, since I’m afraid that the year 2011 for many people was one filled with struggle, intensity and hardship. If you didn’t experience this, be thankful for your good luck. Hold hands, hug one another, be as pleasant as you possibly can no matter what the circumstances. If each of us made the tiniest bit of effort, the world might very well be a better place. Practice patience and most importantly, gratitude.

I wish you joy, I wish you happiness, I wish you good health and I wish you peace.

Thank you for reading my blog.

Happy 2012

With Love,

Laurie from Hibernationnow

My Astrological Sign

Libra Symbol

I’m  definitely a Libra and yes, I believe in astrology. I do need things to be balanced in life, as much as they can be. (At least, that’s my preference! ) I’m good with people, need to hear both sides of the stories;  not always great at making strong, definitive decisions since each side does have a point……..but I am intuitive and have strong gut feelings.

I’m also stubborn which is more of a Scorpion trademark, I was however, six weeks premature…I wonder if that counts?

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The Best and Worst Parts of the Holiday Season

English: A cinnamon roll with glaze

This is a hard post to write if anyone, like me, has lost a loved one. My dad died eleven years ago on New Year’s Eve. The day before my parents’ wedding anniversary on January 1st. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of my dad in some way or another. He loved the holidays, he was our Christmas Santa, starting the celebration off with his special Christmas bell. He got so excited at the thought of getting and giving presents. Every Christmas, he would buy me a candle. It was a tradition.

When he was well and healthy and happy he could eat a huge amount without ever getting full and food was very important in his life (now you know where I get it from). My dad was playful and child-like, just the way I am and our two personalities were so very similar. I lost a part of myself when he died, the dynamics of our family are so different now; it took me years to adjust to it.

I still loved the holidays when my children were young and we could focus on them and see their sheer joy and excitement. But now, with children who are 17 and 19, there really isn’t that much fun left in it for me. We do get together every year on Christmas, we have the same fun, traditional meal of scrambled eggs and bacon, and Pillsbury cinnamon rolls with icing for dessert, but of course, I miss my Dad and my mom dearly misses her husband.

The memories are nice to have and I try to appreciate them, but during this time of year it’s hard to focus on that. I still love getting together at my mother’s house with my sister and her family. To see the four cousins together is magical at any age, now ages 21,  19 and a half, 19 and 17. With very little money this year, I’m afraid we had to be Scrooge and severely limit presents. What remains however, is still the love in our hearts and the piping hot aroma of the cinnamon buns’ sweet vanilla icing, but Santa’s Christmas bell has been silenced forever.

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Who Brings Out the Best in Me

"If you believe in fairies ..."

The Magic Of Children

Children bring out the best of me and not just my own children either. I mean almost all children. I love spending time with children (I used to substitute teach at a couple of nursery schools and I loved it.) Three to four-year old little people are just magical; innocent, fanciful and delightful. I think children also know people who delight in them, I’ve spent many a dinner playing peek-a-boo with children I did not know, much to the delight of their parents. Children tell you what they think, honestly, and openly. I love their imaginations and their drawings and stories. I have a photograph of my long, blonde haired daughter when she was about four, wearing a bright green pixie suit like Tinkerbell with green glitter, wearing a bright green head band, holding a sparkling wand with her big blue eyes twinkling. That is an image that I keep in my head and heart forever. Love and like your children, they are very special beings.

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To My Wonderful Friends, Readers (and Husband)

What I have been writing has been writing itself. I’m not sure of where it is going, but I am  going to try and follow it through though it scares me half to death. More importantly, IT IS FICTION.  While there are some true details, and elements, the rest of it is totally MADE-UP.  I NEVER, EVER thought my writing would make quite that much of a stir!!!! We are a very happy family and I love my husband to pieces….what is true and what is pure fiction? I’ll never tell……that’s for you to figure out, that’s why I write….Keep those comments and suggestions coming! Most of all, thanks for reading and for caring enough to comment on it. Love, L.

The Marriage Chapter

He vacuums. And vacuums, again and again. She reads her loaned hard cover novel on the second floor, shivering because of the cold. They do not kiss anymore, she thinks. Not kissing that counts.  We are a floor and a world away from each other, she thinks, as her feet freeze with the dropping temperatures, her fingers like icicles.

The dog lies at the end of the bed snoring soothingly. “Old Girl” she calls her now, trying to prepare herself for the latter years. You are never prepared for death, she knows, but you can try to become acquainted in a tiny mouse-like way for the future. That, she does and has down for years. Not that it helps.

There doesn’t have to be a gut-wrenching scene in a marriage when everything dissolves, it could be just one calm moment after another, it’s not even a dreary moment necessarily. It’s being together, alone. Some say there is nothing wrong with that and to an extent she agrees but back over her shoulder there is an elfish vixen with bright red hair whispering her name coyly. Teasing her, smiling at her, looking away and then back, but not always. It’s always been the game she loved; the challenge was the reward but most people didn’t even realize it. It’s the sultry looks, the eyelids that blink a moment too long that creates the chaos and the longing as well. You had to be in the game to know it; she knew it. She always knew it.

Like yesterday when they went to the ballpark, the three of them yelling and screaming, eating greasy popcorn and hot dogs glistening in oil laying in soft cradled buns, drinking Coke from humongous glasses with straws that jumped up and down. She just sat down, with her sunglasses hiding her face and cried wordlessly. She knew nobody would notice much less care. It had been like that for years and yes, she had let it happen. She did not want to be the one to shake things up, to go out of her routine and ruin their worlds,  their futures. She was not meant to destroy life but create it. Once you have created it, she thought rationally, you need to nurture it. It’s a lifetime job, not one that can change like a temporary assignment every five weeks or so. No, she knew they were all in this factory working together, doing their own jobs to make it work. To make what work you ask? “Family” she replied askance, wondering how one could not understand this immediately. It is not such a difficult concept, she thought, then turned her head down, hid it in her bright red circle scarf and asked herself again “what am I doing here?” A question that she never really answered….

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I Am A Tree

Shoreshw

I have always felt like a twig or a gnarly branch of someone else’s tree but no longer. I have had many years of work preparing to separate myself from the others. I realized last night, in a startling image in my head, that I am my own tree now with my roots planted firmly underground.

When people say crazy or exaggerated things, I no longer have to immediately lose my control and jump into their anxiety or depressed fervor. I can look at loose branches, scattering in the wind, twigs darting through the air and I can still be strong.

I was made to be strong, strong for myself and for others. It takes quite a bit of time to be able to do this, to be on one’s own. It has nothing to do with marriage or relationships or even age. I like to think of it as wisdom.

One day, no different from all other days, I saw the image of my tree standing firm inside my head.  Even though someone was trying to rudely shake me, break me, tear me down with buzz saws; I stayed. Perhaps my leaves were initially flustered as leaves get in the blustery, cold winds of December, but they settled themselves very calmly after that, snug in their dream-filled evening sleep. The bright, round-faced moon above gave them whatever light they wanted for their entertainment. Initially, they looked to me once to make sure things were alright and I gave them my sign, a wink, a nod and a reassuring smile. Steadiness, calmness, like patience, is what I want to pass on to them, my children. They come back to me year after year with their bursting colors of oranges, red, and yellow in all combinations of brightness. We celebrate together with laughter and hugs, as many as there are stars in the sky.  The leaves come back as changed beings, of course, but that is what they need to do, and it is my job to let them. Even when I am bare, I will know, that I am strong, to pave the way that lays silent at dusk.