Just A Simple Happy Day

I’m sitting in my bed, with my red dog Lexi lying across my lap, I’m watching her breathing as if she was a newborn. The day is thinking about turning to-night but it is not there yet. The sky is white with gray in the background, leafless trees sway softly in the sky.

My husband is in his office working on a project. My daughter is home from college, in her room, most probably watching a series on her laptop, her door, closed and I am smiling.

There is nothing extraordinary about this day and I love that. I took the dog in the car for a long ride. She loves to stick her head out and see the world, she smiles, people smile ather, joyful. It doesn’t take much to make her happy.We headed to the bakery, I heard that they were making mini jelly doughnuts which I must buy and one big chocolate chip cookie for my daughter. We’ll be there again Sunday too for the big, puffy

huge ones and we will buy another jelly doughnut for our son. If there is one food that brings me back to a happy childhood memory it’s a jelly doughnut. My dad and I loved them and we would have them every New Year’s Eve. I’m just carrying on the tradition…and practicing early. He would be so proud.

My son will be arriving in a couple of days, I really don’t know when. I think  Saturday but you never know with him. I like not knowing so the wait does not produce anxiety at all but rather a sweet, low excitement that i can look forward to when he arrives.

It feels like Thanksgiving was half a year ago but it was only a matter of weeks. Parents everywhere are enjoying having their children home. I feel for those parents who have lost their child, I could cry with their pain even imagining it.

We are blessed. Let’s all keep those families in our hearts and prayers.

I should be folding laundry, or washing the floors or organizing the presents that Santa’s helper gave to me to wrap. I’m doing none of that right now. I’m feeling happy as the day turns into early evening.

After many years I am reading again and I am thrilled. I don’t know why couldn’t read a book for so long, I always read. For years, though, I couldn’t read anything and now I can which is a great relief. That treat fills my soul full with hundreds and hundreds of candy canes kissing.

I refuse to focus on the bad news in the world, there will always be bad people and poor judgment and horror. Sometimes I get involved and feel the pain, today I am not focusing on it. While I probably can’t do it every day, I will try to remember this calmness.

My stomach grows for dinner, plain and simple leftovers, nothing fancy here, we don’t have the money to go out. Leftover pizza, salad, eggplant parmigiana, garlic cheese bread.How can you not look forward to THOSE leftovers. And of course, after dinner, my own small, roly poly jelly doughnut, its sugary film, sitting in my delicate fingers, turning it this way and that, taking that small first bite. Happiness is real, especially today. I wish all  days could be so peaceful for me and for everyone else. I’m trying to remember what it feels like, I know it feels good.

Advertisements

The Art Of Changing


Every time my two college kids come home for a visit, in this case, Thanksgiving, I forget, that it takes 48 hours for all of us to get used to each other again. I wish I could remember that beforehand because it would take the sting out of the inevitable: regression,

dirty looks, initial combative behavior and sibling rivalry. What is it about coming home that automatically brings out old behavior patterns?

I remember this happening when I visited my parents when I was in college so I am not sure you really can stop it. I think you become child-like when you go home to visit your parents and old habits die-hard. To this day, it is never a good scenario when my sister and I are alone with our mom, together. I never liked being with two other friends, it’s not a good combination for me.

But, after two days of settling in with our children it’s wonderful, just like old times. It feels like they have never left and you wonder how you can let them go, again? The house will be so quiet without them. There are four of us now drinking coffee in the morning or snacking together at night, sitting on the bed together chatting and laughing, interrupting each other and rehashing the mini-dramas of Thanksgiving.

I know it won’t be like this forever, they will get married or move away or we will move so I cherish every second. I’m putting these memories in a special place in my heart, tucked away, like the memories of their childhood. The difference is that I have photographs of when they were young and sweet and innocent. I have a mountain of photographs of each stage of their lives.

But this, this one memory, lasted ten minutes, it is like a snapshot in my mind and I try desperately to hold on to to it, in my heart, hoping it will last a very long time.

The four of us all sitting together laughing and reminiscing, back and forth, happy, conversing, joking with no hint of displeasure or dismay. All of us being in tune with each other, bantering, back and forth, replaying the day, interrupting each other and finishing each others sentences.
The thought of them leaving in a couple of days just seems incredible, and lonely and sad. And yes, it will take another 48 hours for their laughter to die down, for my husband and I to get used to the solitude and the quietness and enjoy each other and the peace, all over again.
Change is inevitable, get used to it, it never goes away.

Seeking Paradise OR Grieving Does Not Have A Time Schedule

Vegetables in a grocery store, Paris, France.

Vegetables in a grocery store, Paris, France. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m lying in my bed, still in my pajamas, it’s almost three o’clock in the afternoon. My husband and I had planned to go out to dinner tonight but there is no way in hell I’m going. He thinks I will change my mind. He tries guilt “but I’ m going to be disappointed….” Apparently he doesn’t know me as well as he thinks he does. I do not like to go out when I  feel blue.  I will not step out of my house today unless there is a fire, even then, I would find a cozy corner for me and my red dog that seemed safe enough. I would protect her.

Sometimes I get delayed reactions to things, things that I THOUGHT I had handed well, or maybe this is just a blip in the radar. I used all the right buzz words, “when one door closes another opens” I was practically playing Mother Abbess role singing out loud to “Climb Every Mountain” from “The Sound of Music.” Not now. I’m stuck in mud, not the kind that you can joyfully wade through and play in but the one you feel where you feel trapped in cement and cannot move. Yes, it will change eventually, Patience is not one of my virtues.

This is too familiar we’ve gone through this before. My husband got laid off from his job, I know it’s not his fault, the state of the economy is horrific. His age, doesn’t help, I’m quite sure. He is probably competing with 22-year-old youngsters, bright and bushy-tailed. that will accept less money. It’s those of us who are in-between that suffer the most.

Call us “Baby Boomers,” call us “Empty Nesters” but pretty much, call us what we are: F—ed. We’re taking care of or worrying about our remaining living parents, we have children in college, and we have no idea what to do ourselves. Where should we live? Should we stay, move twice, do nothing? Stress! I live in a town whose school systems excel, one that my kids both graduated from. The taxes are high but the thought of moving twice makes my blood curdle at the thought. I like a town that is peaeful, not divisive, where we help each other, not fight.

The only good thing for my husband and me is that we ARE open to moving, anywhere. If my husband got a job offer in California we would definitely consider it.(Sorry, kids) But, what are the chances?  Right now not very high at all. Besides, no matter where we end up, our children will ALWAYS  have a home. That’s one thing they never, EVER, have to worry about.

The days now are dreary, cold and grey. Wind is chilly and goes right through my winter jacket. I despise going out when the sun sets around four pm, even the grocery store is dull with its flat vegetables and fruit. I miss plums and peaches, cherries and magnificently bright-colored fruit that made summer so cheery. The ripe taste, juice dribbling down your chin, laughing. I’m stuck, we’re stuck and there really is nothing we can do about it.

I know, I’m procrastinating on writing my book. True. That is one thing I SHOULD do. It’s one thing I COULD do and have in my control. That, and what I eat. Food you can also control. I don’t have an eating disorder but it feels good to be able to control something. Yes, things will change, I need to be patient but it is okay to be sad. Dwelling on it, that’s a whole other story, I don’t want to go there. Tonight, I dearly miss my children, I can’t wait to see them in a few weeks, even when they make fun of me, especially when they make fun of me. At least, I will laugh.

Yellow Magic Madness #31: Apples Dipped In Honey

Recipes Sweet New Year -- Rosh Hashanah  (5773...

For all those who celebrate, I wish you a Healthy, Happy and Sweet New Year.  (For those who don’t celebrate, I do wish you the same.)

Apples

Apples (Photo credit:

עברית: עוגת דבש

עברית: עוגת דבש (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Enhanced by ZemantaHoney Cake

Mellow Yellow Monday

In honor of Thanksgiving, I thought I would show you what my son, 20, whipped up at the last minute. He called it Corn Bread Pudding. The photo below is the closest I could come to it but his did not have jalapenos in it, instead he had diced red peppers. It was the first time my kids and my nephew contributed to the meal and it was very, very special. Hope everyone’s Thanksgiving was sweet.

goin' coastal - jalapeño corn bread pudding

goin’ coastal – jalapeño corn bread pudding (Photo credit: Foodie Buddha)

Plinky Prompt: Which Holiday Would You Rather Skip?

  • Holidays
  • Just Say Good-Night
    new year’s eve merch New Year’s Eve.
    I never liked New Year’s Eve, EVER. I guess not liking alcohol is part of it but it always seemed so forced to me, so fake. Then, when my dad died on New Year’s Eve, eleven years ago, that definitely sealed the deal. Sometimes my husband and I will stay up to midnight and watch the ball drop on tv, and toast to a better year (every year.) If I had my way I would nestle under the covers at around ten-thirty pm and wake up the next year just as happy. I stay up till midnight if it’s important to my husband, if not, nighty-night.

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.

On Valentine's Day

Do You Celebrate Valentine’s Day or Not?

Mini-rose

I remember answering this prompt last year and I wrote about the true love that my husband and I know we had for each other. We didn’t need gifts or mushy cards or expensive dinners (I still agree with the expensive dinners-I hate that restaurants jack up the prices like on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day too) and I was pretty blase about the “holiday.” We would always say “Happy Engagement Anniversary” because we did get engaged (in Hawaii) on Valentine’s Day 25 (wow, really??!!) years ago.

For a few years we did nothing, no cards, no presents, just an agreement not to buy each other anything. When my husband got me the same card, two years in a row, we took a break from cards too; we didn’t need them and it didn’t matter. Or so I thought.

To be truthful, I think we stopped caring a little and that’s not good. It was too comfortable, too much like an old friendship that we stopped noticing each other as the love of our lives and not the parents of our children.

We went through a lot these past few years. Two years of unemployment, our house fell apart (literally) we were forced to move to a hotel room for three and a half months with our high school senior daughter and our nine-year old dog. To add to this my husband broke his Achilles Tendon in the city while running to catch a train to come home the day before we moved to the hotel. It was also the day that we were supposed to drive our son to college. I ended up driving our son to college alone. At first a little nervous, I was proud and thrilled that I did it and did it well! Other people were so sweet to offer, but I WANTED to go and while it wasn’t easy, it was okay. Life isn’t always easy, we know.

Now, we are back in our house and my husband has a job where he has to commute to different places for work so we have no real schedule together. This year, I wanted him to be my special Valentine, all over again, and I wanted to be his Valentine. We stepped it up a notch. We did exchange gifts and cards and kisses and hugs. We remembered what it felt like to have a partner for life and not just a friend or a companion.He is the love of my life.

Sometimes life gets too easy or too hard; you have to work on marriage as you do everything else; sometimes we get complacent. Happy Valentine’s Day to my one and only, true love. I love you honey. More.

Powered by Plinky

The In-Between

Malheur Bière Brut

It’s the week between Christmas and New Years, a strange time. You are not yet finished with 2011 and you can’t wait to say good-bye but New Year’s Eve is not in sight just quite yet. It’s always been a long week for me. In our town, it’s nice and quiet, people go away for the holidays; the town has lots of parking, the streets are empty; it’s a quiet, gentler period of time. Personally, it’s a struggle. I remember the last Christmas we had with my dad many years ago, when he went into the hospital and how he died on New Year’s Eve, a day before my parents’ wedding anniversary. It’s not a memory that will ever fade in emotion or intensity.

For many years now I’ve tried to say goodbye to the old year, hoping, wishing, EXPECTING the New Year to be better. Not any more. As I’ve gotten older it just seems to be a pattern that happens every year. There are NO long bouts of happiness, there may not be long bouts of depression, but there are problems, pretty much, all the time. When you have a day that is problem free, celebrate.

A lesson for us who are no longer young, but older middle-aged ( I refuse to say OLD) is that we need to accept that our lives have changed permanently. I talk about this with my friends. For some of us it’s being in the sandwich generation, having children and parents (or parent in my case) needing, deserving more attention and care. It’s scary every direction we look. We are responsible for our own children, now independent teenagers and our parents who are no longer as independent as they once were.

How can we look forward when we have no control over our lives? If I had to list the one thing that worries me most it would be the unknown, how life can change drastically in one second, for the worse. We have no control over anything, and the only way I can deal with that is not to deal with it at all. You have to try to live your life to the fullest every day, be thankful when there is a good day, ride the waves, bend with the wind. I don’t like the feeling of uncertainty and I know many others don’t either; we have no choice. We must try hard not to focus on it, remain engaged in things and people we love. Stay in the moment. Every moment.

So lift a glass of champagne or orange juice, chocolate milk or wine, for the good times, the ones we should treasure and try to remember. It’s the only way to get by.  To the Best 2012 that’s possible. Cheers!

Happy Thanksgiving – On Gratitude

fall

It’s Thanksgiving and being with family and friends is a huge part of what I am grateful for; not to mention my sweet dog curled up, on our bed. It’s seeing my son’s first smile as he enters the room, home from college. It’s my husband giving me a cup of coffee and a kiss on the cheek. It’s watching my daughter sing to our dog and wrap her arms around the dog’s fur. It’s the little things. Those snapshot moments that will stay in my mind forever as a present for my future.

It’s been a rough year but I’m trying to put that in the past. We’re still house-less but when our family is together, we’re still at home. I know I need to focus on my own attitude; to count my blessings daily, instead of my losses. When you lose a family member, it’s harder to do this. It’s been ten years and I still think  “I wish my dad was here, I miss him.” I know my dad would not have wanted us to mourn every holiday but still his memory is deeply ensconced in my soul. I would love to see him heaping his plate with mashed potatoes (known as mashlers in our family) and constantly refilling his plate. That’s all gone, but I have the memories and I am grateful for all the Thanksgivings and Holidays we did have with him; I need to appreciate that.

When I am at my family’s house today, with my two teenagers, my husband, my niece and nephew, brother-in-law, mother and treasured older sister, I will be happy. Today I want to collect new memories to add to my collection of past memories. Things will never be the same, without my dad, and I have to accept this different reality. It just isn’t easy.

What I have to focus on is that the rest of the family and there is a great deal of love, together in one room.  I know I have to look forward and not back,  each and every day. I will try to concentrate on the next generation, my two kids and my niece and nephew, four really great young men and women, who love each other deeply. I am grateful they have each other.

I am grateful for all my family, my friends, both old friends, new friends and cyberspace friends, my dog and the gracious blessings that we have in our lives. To ALL THE READERS OF HIBERNATIONNOW, I AM GRATEFUL FOR YOU!!!

Be kind, be grateful and love one another.