Somewhere Birds Are Singing

English: Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes ery...

English: Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus). Canada Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada. Image collected at the feeders behind the Visitor Centre. Français : Pic à tête rouge. Parc provincial Rondeau, Ontario, Canada. Cliché pris aux mangeoires situées derrière le centre d’accueuil des visiteurs. 日本語: ズアカキツツキ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t see leaves on the branches through my windows anymore. I miss the lush colors of red, orange and yellow that greeted me in the daytime, gleaming from the sun. As Winter approaches and I tend to recede indoors I know that some of my winter friends are rejoicing at the prospect of snow in the near future. Honestly, I cannot relate to that one bit. I hate being cold and the fact that “you can always put on more layers” does nothing for me.  When I am cold, it goes right through my body to my bones probably because I have Fibromyalgia. Cold not only hurts, it stabs repeatedly.

I drink a mug of tea, with milk and a spoonful of glistening, amber honey.  It’s nice as long as the tea lasts which is probably five or six minutes. My stomach is warm and I relish the flavor but after, nothing of the warmth or the taste remains. Cold air seeps through our brand new windows.

This is the worst time of year for me, the end of Autumn, when we turn the clocks back an hour. Sure, it’s nice for that one day to get that “extra” hour of sleep ( a concept that I will never understand ) but one we pay for dearly. Winter lasts much too long for me.

I admire the skiers, snow boarders, ice skaters, I think if I had a hobby outside in the freezing temperatures it would make me happier. The only thing I enjoy in the winter at a ski lodge is drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows from a ceramic mug. I was never athletic and having “loose” bones all I need to do is trip,  anywhere, and an ankle or wrist breaks and is in a cast for weeks, I’ve been in that black boot way too many times.

The only thing I like about this season is watching and listening to the birds and their songs. I fill the bird feeders regularly, that is my outdoor hobby. I sit inside and watch them play and fly and eat. I listen to the birds’ sweet songs, watch the cardinal couples flying back and forth through the trees to feed each other and to sing happily. I love that they come in couples. They bring me the only piece of joy in the long winter months. At least I have that.

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Touchdown, Aruba

December 24, 2009

It was a long flight from Newark to Aruba yesterday, especially since our day started at 4am and did not end until after 9pm last night.  It was our long awaited reward from two years of hell, especially for me. First, two contiguous years of medical maladies including but not limited:a misdiagnosed illness,  an auto- immune disease,  fibromyalgia, flu-like symptoms every day (without the temperature), a very badly sprained ankle,( started in February 2009)  plantar fasciatis, and a torn ligament, excruciating back spasms…. ending, or at least lessening yesterday. After both a medical upheaval, a marriage upheaval (the whole summer of 2009) and surviving an extensive guilt from my mother about this trip, we are here; and it is good. It is good to be selfish sometimes when you know what you have been through and know what will keep you going. It is very, very good.

Don’t think, however, that the incredibly full flight was without adventure, it wasn’t. Perhaps I wasn’t supposed to disconnect so abruptly from my malaise but ease out of it slowly because the flight was filled with screaming children,major turbulance and some lady, trying to get her bag from the overhead (over my head) compartment hurling my metal cane and smashing me in the eye, causing massive pain, red welts, and me thinking that the plane had just been bombed.  A horrible passenger had a fight with the flight attendant and ended up shouting at her and giving her the finger. She was not saying “wait a minute.”

Once we got here, however, life was so very good. I eased into walking without a cane. We ate in the hotel for convenience sake last night and because we were so tired we thought we would pass out directly. I don’t remember much except having the fruit punch, a mixture of pineapple juice, red cranberry juice and orangey papaya juice;  It was addictive.  We stumbled into bed at 9pm, I don’t even remember putting my head on the pillow….

This morning we woke up, it was cloudy and my daughter cast a snarky attitude to the day, not seeing the promised sunshine. Luckily for us the wind changed and the sun, broiling in the sky, made several parts of us really sunburned. Tomorrow, we will use (even more) sunscreen.  Life’s a bitch.

A walk on the beach felt good for me both physically and mentally.  The sand is coarse, like kosher cooking salt, not smooth and shiny. The water, a perfect aquamarine was deliciously cool, salty and made me feel, as water always does, renewed. There are sharp inclines on the sand that are directly at the shore so it isn’t always easy to navigate, especially for me.

The pool was cool for some, never too cold f0r me and it had a swim-up bar, all frozen red-orange-pink drinks and large, light lime green margarita glasses rimmed with salt.  Sunglasses, a book, a virgin iced tea and the palm trees. Water, sand, palm trees, a cooling breeze; these are the pure things that make me very happy; this is my kind of heaven.

We went to dinner at Smokey Joe’s BBQ place and then took a long albeit painful walk back to the hotel..  I’m stubborn, I know. I didn’t want to miss up the opportunity to take pictures of Jillian next to a fake Santa or Christmas lights on the palm trees. Our son, Tim, is staying at his friend Aaron’s grandmother’s beach house aka  the mansion.  I’m glad that after all this time he was able to go; it was important for me, that after years of changing plans, he could finally do this.

Now it’s another nibble of dessert: white coconut cake with fresh pineapple inside and Jillian and Dan’s gooey, rich , sweet chocolate cake. Chocolates on the pillow; aloe on my body, vacations make me so very happy. And, I do deserve it.