4 days ago
Monday, December 30, 2013
As 2013 winds down, I will do my best to sum up my personal 'end of year list'. I am not sorry to see 2013 come to a close as it was a trying year at best. Experiencing the calendar year of holidays and events without my Dad and my Mother-in-law was surreal. As Dad's one year of passing came up, a large Manhattan was toasted in his honor as we marveled at how strange it was without Dad planted in front of my fireplace feasting on cookies and nuts-with his own large Manhattan in hand. And without Patty, who always swooped in with a mountain of presents for us all. In her absence, I decorated a small tree festooned with all of her costume jewelry and a picture of her near the star. It seemed that she was smiling down at us all. I am going to qualify this whole thing as the 'good'.
The bad....The overall holiday depression and desperation that leads people to do extreme things. I know things like murders of children and home invasions happen everyday, but it's always a sharper contrast with a backdrop of Christmas carols. The insane neediness of family's wishing for blankets and jackets and food in the midst of my own glut is completely depressing. Nothing I can ever do will ever be enough. God Bless those in need and I hope their new year reveals hope and compassion.
And do you want to see ugly? As I show up at the gym on Thursday, the place will be packed. Altho I will put in many a mile on the treadmill going nowhere, I hate it when 'my' parking spot is full and I have to trek across the parking lot. Patience has never been my strong suit, and waiting my turn aggravates me to no end. I like to get in, get done, and get out, and all the 'resolution people' will totally slow me down. I love it when January is done and the place clears back out to just us regular idiots. Gotta learn to play well with others...for awhile anyways.
As I spend New Years Eve (my least favorite holiday of all!) quietly with a few close friends, I will toast in 2014 with wishes of health, happiness, peace and love to all. xoxo
Monday, December 23, 2013
I've been listening to the 'Love' channel on satellite which is playing all Christmas music. Can't help but wonder why the best songs are the old 'chestnuts'. Familiar tunes with words worn smooth by years of familiarity. The spiritual carols are my favorites and I suppose that's because they are traditional. Many artists have tried to get me to like new songs, but they never seem to work. Run DMC, the Beach Boys and Micheal Jackson-to name a few, just should not even try.
My Mom and my brother are driving down tomorrow and I'm praying that I75 won't find them stuck in a total 'carmageddon'. As I host the holiday this year, I will try to keep some family traditions alive. For instance, my family prefers meat pie on Christmas Eve, so we will have meat pies. If anybody feels up to it, we will drive around and admire the neighborhood light show, something do if we are still awake later. We will go to St. Peters for mass. Likely, the conversation will move to Christmases past and we'll speak of memories of my Dad. Nobody, but nobody enjoyed a Christmas cookie like he did. And having his family around him was always enough to make him happy. But I digress... On Christmas Day we will have peppermint stick ice cream and my Mom's famous sugar cookies. My sister in Florida will call and we will all talk and wish she was here. That about wraps it up.
But I look forward to it all. It passes by in a flash and my house will be quiet once again by Thursday morning. The cookies and memories will linger as they always do-traditionally.... xo
Merry Christmas, my darlings. Be happy and content. xoxo
Monday, December 16, 2013
Wednesday we had our company Christmas party and it was a blast, as usual. I love touching base with our employees. Everyone was in a festive mood as fittin' the season. Thursday was the annual Big Brother/Big Sister Party and my little sister and I tore it up playing skee ball, laser tag and bumper cars. It's an event we look forward to every year. Friday night, found us at Andiamo's for the Scinta's Christmas Show. If you ever get the chance to see the Scinta's-don't miss it. They are a Las Vegas act that combines comedy, impressions, singing and dancing. They could get Scrooge AND the Grinch in the spirit of the season! Saturday the snow made hauling our cookies to Ann Arbor a little treacherous, but I wouldn't have missed our nieces nurse pinning ceremony for the world. I am proud of Nicole, as she has finished nursing school-no small feat. She is the perfect combination of beauty, brains and compassion and will make a fine R.N. xo
Whew! I tell ya, I'm getting to old for this craziness. Not sure when it all got to be so exhausting, but it is. I have a quiet week ahead and that's just fine with me. With my tree lights on, I want to just chill, slow down, and read the new Amy Tan.
Have a wonderful week, my friends, doin' whatcha gotta do! xoxo
Monday, December 9, 2013
Can I just say how much flying cracks me up? On a short trip last weekend, I once again had to laugh at the incredible nonsense of it all. At the Detroit check in, I was informed that I had been randomly selected for priority boarding. This honor would allow me to bypass the nonsense of shoe and coat removal and xray of my two ounce liquids. Whoo Hoo! I never 'win' anything and was happy to skip this scenario for once. But of course, it was too good to be true. The buckles on my boots beeped and something in my suitcase-that was never identified- necessitated me opening my suitcase for a search. This is Detroit and you can never be too careful. So much for the special treatment. And the security people were not even nice about it.
I love the insistence of buckling those wimpy seat belts as if they could possibly make a real difference if we were falling out of the sky. The same goes for the 'upright seat' and tray position that must be observed in takeoff and landing. Can't imagine how those things can possibly effect the safety of the flight. I guess it's a power trip for those poor flight attendants for putting up with people like me. Especially amusing is the admonishment that we are not to congregate outside the lavatories. As if! I hate having to get anywhere near those bathrooms! Move about the cabin? Where? And somehow, there is always those people that do not respect the polite code of planning and deplaning. They charge up before their group is called, only to be sent back to wait. On the way out, those same people try to cut ahead of their row to get off the plane 2 minutes before their turn. So rude! But thankfully, amidst all the organized chaos, we enjoy safe travels.
Atlanta, Georgia's huge airport is a pleasant surprise. A greeter immediately welcomed us to Atlanta and wished us a wonderful visit. Equally pleasant were the people at the MARTA public transportation center. They pleasantly explained the system to us and, again, welcomed us to Atlanta. The same hospitality was extended over and over again as we navigated restaurants and such. Detroit could take a lesson in this southern charm.
On the way home as I sailed thru 'priority boarding', I was told to 'come back and visit us again real soon'. And you can bet your sweet peaches, I will! xoxo
Monday, December 2, 2013
I did not and probably will not ever participate in any Black Friday shopping. Friday morning found me sleeping off my food coma and then drinking coffee and catching up with my Mom. I realize that the deals are wonderful, but I'm simply not motivated enough to handle it. Slipping into Target today to get tree lights today does not count.
I've explained this before, but the holiday season has been made considerably easier having made the decision years ago to not shop at all. My family doesn't even exchange gifts preferring to just spend time together without the hassle of trying to buy for each other. I love the food, lights, music etc. But shopping for those of us that aren't needy means nothing to me. Cornball as it is, at Christmas, our presence is our presents.
That said, I am looking for a good, honest cause to donate to. When I lived up north, it was easy to adopt a family and be sure that the gifts stayed local. I don't trust big companies that pay their execs to handle the money because it seems very little money gets where it is meant to go.
Do any of you have a favorite local charity that you are comfortable donating to? Please let me know here, on facebook or (gasp!) just call me. Muchas Gracias. Love and joy to all. xoxo