Wednesday, November 26, 2014

This Thanksgiving is a Gift

I think after the loss of a family member, it is pretty clear that the holidays are going to be prickly, surrounded by the thinnest layer of ice like one finds on a shallow puddle these cold mornings. Delicate.
All that water so close to the surface.
And I knew it was coming and saw my choices: maybe dive into the sadness or steel against it. I'm sure there are a lot of in betweens, too.

I was kind of shuffling back and forth like a boxer, trying to figure out what my move would be to this approaching holiday when the bell sounded. The match was canceled. My gloved hands fell to my side as I bewilderedly stared back at my husband.

"She isn't coming at all?"
"No, she doesn't feel well." he confirmed, talking about his mom.

We were quiet for a moment, both feeling out what to say and not say next.

"Should we go there?"
"No. She doesn't want anyone there. She doesn't feel well."
"Did you ask her?"
"For really reals you asked?"



We have no family coming to Thanksgiving.
All I have ever known was family coming to Thanksgiving.
I have no idea what this looks like. What this Thanksgiving is.

I don't need Linus coming out and saying "lo...." and having his speech about the true meaning of anything. I know the meaning of Thanksgiving is to give thanks and share love with one another and make some pie and bake some bread.

I have so many gifts around me that I don't have to name or list or count or share. Everyone knows. I am loud about it. My 3 children and my husband are my world, but my world, on Thanksgiving, has always been so much bigger. It has always had someone's brothers and someone's mother, and it used to have fathers, and it always had babies. Just this year, it will not.

I was blinking at it.

My husband is embracing the idea of change. We can do something completely different and enjoy it, a man who never favored the holiday or it's food. I can hear what he is saying and I can feel the turkey defrosting in the fridge. This day must occur. Food, parade, discomfort, more food.

I had about 18 hours of a little bah humbug creeping in. Nothing major. No need to be visited by ghosts or anything. And then my principal pointed at me while I was eating my lunch and said "I have a job for you. You will DJ our faculty/8th grade football game."

I will?
And then he pointed to my friend sitting next to me and recruited her as DJ, too.

What was originally a stunned, panicky feeling became a hilarious and wonderful time on the side of the field. I was struck by how much family I am surrounded by every day at work. I became the Grinch at the tip of the mountain, holding a sled aloft, heart 3 sizes too big.

I left school and went to the store and bought 2 new sleds and lots of candy for snowed in fun. I am going to make my kids help prepare the food (until I find that appropriately annoying) and we are going to decorate and my husband will build fires and we will maybe get our tree- he can saw that down.

This Thanksgiving is going to be different.
This Thanksgiving is going to be a gift.
I will toast those I miss with the love and joy of all I have.
Happy Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Children Live Here

Why is my coaster on the floor? It isn't even an interesting coaster. It is an ugly fake cork temporary one until I find or make coasters I like. But it is on the floor.

Why are there random socks on the rug? Why are there socks on the stairs? What the heck with the socks?

Why is the vegetable peeler on the couch? Why is yarn dangling from the bannister? Who did this?

What is my colander doing on the porch? Why is MY comb not in my bathroom? What the heck is going on with the laundry basket on the driveway?

I haven't worn those high heels in forever. Why did I just trip on them? Who is in my closet doing this?

WHY is EVERY towel in ALL the lands crumpled at the foot of the bathroom sink?

Who did that to the cat? Why? Stop that with the cat.

Who put back the empty cartons? Empty jugs? Empty boxes? No thank you to a half eaten apple back in the fruit bowl.

Where is the remote? WHY is it upstairs? Every couch cushion is on the floor? Yes, every last one. Well now we can go see all the lost matches to the socks.

This is why no one is invited to dinner or for drinks. This is why we can't have nice THINGS. Don't you ever want nice things? Don't you want friends to BRING YOUR PARENTS WINE?

Put the cat back down.

Go to bed.

Not one more hug!

OK, one more hug.

GO to sleep.

When I say go to sleep I mean it so very much right now to happen now!

Good night.

Why is it so quiet?
It is eerie quiet.
Why am I so tired?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


What is the deal with Karma? Is it for real? Is it coincidence with a fancy name? Consequence put in a higher power's hands?
I have been thinking about it a lot lately. It is an old belief that spans different religions. Some believe it is run by a higher power and others believe it is more of a natural cause and effect. 
It isn't Fate. 
It is a reaction not necessarily "due" a person, but caused by a persons' actions. We talk about it a lot as a payback, though. 
It originated more as what keeps balance in the world. It was interesting researching it a bit. Essentially there is no good and bad Karma then, right? 

Just Karma.

Though in my life there are plenty of times I could think of Karma, I think about it the most living off of rt 117. It is a hairy road to turn on to. Ever since moving here, I flash my lights and wave my hands to many cars that are trying to cross, turn on, or turn off of the road. I give many people the opportunity to get to where they are going without having to wait, some times of day easily 4 minutes, just to turn on to 117. SO many drivers look right through me. 
I am going. 
I am going to keep driving. 

Well, I don't. I figure the more people I wave on to that road, flooding them with relief from the waiting and intense concentration, the better. I allow such relief from the math problem: Timing + Velocity + Dick Factor 

Simplified: (T+V+DF=K)

This in turn should allow for more people to invite me to join the stream of traffic when I need to, right? Is that selfish?

I also think about it when I smile at a complete stranger or chat with an elderly person. You, complete stranger, need a smile. You need to chat. You are probably lonely. I will probably be lonely one day, too. I will need someone to smile at me when I am searching my 10 gallon purse for my wallet and holding up the line of tskers and heavy sighers. 

Or you know what? Maybe my mom will need someone to chat with her while in line at the pharmacy. Maybe my dad needed a smile after he stumbled a bit and looked around for a steady place to put his hand. Perhaps someone will help my child figure out a situation when I am not around. Maybe I am being attentive to others because someone was already attentive in my world? Maybe my good actions can go into the world and return to someone I love?  That sounds pretty lovely. 

Now, go forth and let me on the road.