Saturday, November 23, 2013

Giving-Not-Getting Christmas

I had a rather remarkable conversation with my FabFam this week.  

       It's been no secret that we've had a rough go of it this year.  We've gone through our share of sickness and loss and struggle.  It's made me--and the folks I've been walking through this season with--rethink a lot of things.  We all have a different perspective on our lives.  We have all shifted priorities.  And in the middle of all this, we are all still searching for answers to the Big Questions.  

    For me, much of this has manifested as a crisis of faith.  I've been wrestling with what I believe in and how I think I can authentically demonstrate that belief.  Once a devout Christian, I have not steadily attended any church in a while now.  With Christmas approaching, I have found myself pondering this spiritual business with more fervency.  This is the state I'm in as we enter this holiday season.

     After seeing a barrage of  Black Friday Sale commercials the other night, I noted that I am not feeling particularly warm and fuzzy about another consumer frenzy holiday season.  The idea of shopping is just too overwhelming for me.  
     What unfolded was the beginning of a thoughtful discussion about what kind of Christmas we do want to have.  We don't want a manic season full of shopping for gifts that have no lasting value.  We do want the season to have some meaning for us--as individuals and as a family.  We've got a ways to go yet.  This is an ongoing discussion, indeed.  What I do know is that my children amaze me.  They are willing to forego "getting" in favor of "giving."  There is talk about what kind of good deeds to do together as a family.  It has touched me deeply to find that I'm not in this alone.

     I'll keep you posted as this Giving-Not-Getting Christmas unfolds.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

I Forgot I Had a Blog for a While There

     My Mama asked me if I were still blogging. I told her I was.  She sounded surprised.

    I guess I don't blame her.  I haven't been here much lately, eh?  No good reason for it.  I just didn't seem to have anything to write about.

     I have wrestled a bit with the usual season change-related health issues.(Meh.  It is what it is. I'm better off than so many other chronically ill folks.)  I've been busy--happily busy--with work.  The dogs and the FabFam have kept me on my toes.  I've knocked off a few more items off of the Official Fall of Fabulosity To Do List:

  • I planted garlic and my Personal Chef moved a truckload of loam to the new veggie bed.

  • I got apple butter, and applesauce, and apple pie, and apple muffins made.  (A chef friend gave us a boatload of apples from his yard a few weeks back!)

  • Trekked to Trinity Rep. in Providence to see their final dress rehearsal of A Christmas Carol

  • Got my geek on with my parents, my Personal Chef & the Evil Genius at a special viewing of  The Ghost Army documentary about the 603rd and their fake army unit--lifelike inflatable tanks and planes, hours of state-of-the-art sound recordings of active military bases, and flawless faux radio communications.

  • The movie was so awesome that the Evil Genius and I followed up with a trip to the Museum of Work & Culture to see the Ghost Army Exhibit.  

  • My Personal Chef & I caught a great Jonny Lang show.
  • My sisterfriend & I went on a winery tour.

  • The FabFam has celebrated the first of at least three Thanksgivings.  (Have I mentioned that I married a chef?!)

    So, I'm sorry I've been misisng from this space, but my days have been full.  I've caught a lot of joyful moments.  Indeed.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


    Half a year has gone by since David and Evelyn drowned.  Spring gave way to summer and now autumn is upon me.  I am surprised by the passing of the seasons this way.  It all seemed to happen so quickly, without me noticing, even while I have tried to be aware of the fleeting nature of time.
     I have made a concerted effort to pay attention to the moments as though they were gifted to me--because they have been.  I made a point to watch the shooting stars from the Perseids and the Orionids.  I was awestruck by the magic of the summer's super moon.  Yet, I'm stunned to realize that the moon has waxed and waned six times since that night in May.
      Knowing that tomorrow is not promised to me, I have mindfully tried to capture joyful moments in each day.  I've worked at connecting with each of the people I love as frequently as I can, mostly in small ways--a phone call, an email, a goofy card dropped in the mail.  I've taken steps to mend some broken relationships. I've taken more photos than ever.  I've said, "Yes" to more invitations. I've visited more places and tried more things on the "one of these days I'm going to..." list.
       In fact, I  made special To Do lists--the Summer of Awesomeness and the Fall of Fabulosity--and have made some truly great memories with the people I love. There was wonderful music and family gatherings and babies and beach days and a wedding and birthdays on my calendar.  
     And still, I have lost entire weeks to cleaning laundry, dishes, and bathrooms; fussing over half-pints of milk at work; sitting in doctor's waiting rooms; watching mindless television; arguing over meaningless bits of protocol in board meetings.  I'm still suprised to discover that one hundred and eighty-two days have passed. Six months is gone.


Half a year.