Lazy Sunday Afternoon

gratitude

gratitude (Photo credit: nathalie booth)

I’m still in my blue fleece pajama bottoms with cherries happily bursting on them and a 20-year-old mauve Cape Cod sweatshirt and I have no interest in getting dressed. This is my outfit today, I see no reason to change. It’s freezing outside, and if my tensed up bones need a break (no, not literally) I will give it to them. Cold weather is not good for people with chronic pain or Fibromyalgia. Trust me. I know. It’s too early to long for Spring.

The wind is howling outside, seeping in to our little house’s walls, windows. I am under a mountain of blankets with my dog. She could lie beside me or at the other end of the bed, but no, she picks the place over my feet to settle down. My dog, my mutt, was a wild puppy, I struggled bitterly with her biting and pulling and ransacking the house. How my friends encouraged me to “hang in there, she’s just a puppy.” At 8 months, she is still a puppy but a better one and most certainly a larger one. She no longer bites into my hand as if it was a cheeseburger. I’m not as steady on my feet as other people, because of balance issues, so I hope she behaves.

Our children have left for their respective colleges, the house is comfortingly quiet, and we are happy,  probably because I know the kids will be back in three weeks and because this happened to be a lovely Thanksgiving weekend. No fighting, NO DRAMA and a good time all around. My daughter didn’t even object when we told her she needed to see a doctor, she came home from her appointment with a package of antibiotics and a diagnosis of bronchitis. No, you cannot drink while you are on antibiotics. As my kids used to say “Nuff said.”

There are more leftovers to eat tonight, I’m not even sick of them yet. It’s hard to get sick of turkey, cranberry sauce, my Danny’s home-made, unbelievable stuffing and Polish rye bread “from the Homestead” in Kew Gardens, Queens where we both grew up. There is nothing like that bread, it brings back all sorts of childhood memories: standing in line, getting sandwiches made, deciding between the shrimp salad, or chicken salad, imported cheeses, home-baked desserts: cherry, apple and cheese strudel, chocolate layer cakes, and the traditional jelly doughnuts for New Year’s Eve.

Like last year, we won’t be exchanging gifts this Christmas. Everything is so expensive and times are hard. My husband has a job but I can’t work and I live in silent fear of him losing his job since the economy is so bad. If that happens, we will deal with it then. My present this year will be the memories of this past weekend, the family getting together at our house for Thanksgiving. The memories of the pretty amber lit candles that lined the middle of our long tables, my dog, lying on the green couch, the four cousins whispering together, the three grandparents still with us, childhood friends that I grew up with here, and the giant dessert spread we had, enough for 40 people not 14. We had a warm place to sit, food on the table, we were all grateful to be here, we escaped the worst from Sandy; we were very, very lucky. For this, and everything else, we gave and continue to give our thanks.

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Fall, No, Autumn

Late summer

Late summer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Autumn just sounds so much lovelier than Fall, doesn’t it? Autumn is my first cup of Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte that I treated myself to today, it’s the addition of an extra cotton sweater tied around my waist, recycling an old handbag from the closet to get rid of that “summer bag.”Autumn is the name of a friend’s beautiful daughter, with her glossy, red hair and her bright, shiny, smile that I have seen in photographs. As much as I hate winter (and I do) when I think of Autumn, I can only smile.

I’m trying to stay in the moment instead of jumping seasons like I usually do. I may like Autumn but I don’t like what follows; Winter devastates me. Physically, everything hurts more, my joints and muscles cringe as if attacked, my body always feels cold no matter how many thick layers I have on, my low energy level plummets even lower. It is an accomplishment just to get out from the warm down comforter in the morning. I am going to have to take it day by day and not anticipate a problem. Maybe we will have another mild winter…

I’m looking forward to the changing leaves, dancing in the sun like a ballet performance, skipping back and forth on the stage. Hues of orange, gold, red, yellow, earth tones that make me want to slip in to nature like a groundhog. When my children were very young, they played in the leaves and covered themselves with the dancing leaves in a huge pile, my husband and I took photographs of them one year and used one as a Holiday card. I can still remember what it looked like.

Summer is slipping away, slowly into the night. We had a few extra days of sunshine and water when we vacationed together in Narragansett, Rhode Island, a beautiful place to visit. It ended the summer with wonderful memories of fresh blueberry scones and inexpensive lobster rolls and Brickley’s ginger ice-cream eaten ever so slowly so that it would last a long time.

I dread the winter and I am trying not to, I am trying to think of things that I can look forward to this winter but none come to mind. Perhaps I will pick up reading that I have completely dropped this summer, I have many dusty books on the shelves to read. I will make my fabulous pea soup that is heavenly and I will learn a few new recipes to add to my old classics. I will learn to bake a few more things too. I will volunteer somewhere or do something for others and give back to my community in some way and instead of dreading the upcoming winter storms I will feel grateful that I am alive to be going through them.