My intention was to be asleep long before midnight last night. I made an active choice to stay home and not go out and play. I was not depressed, bitter or sad, just giving myself permission to be tired and spend the evening alone. I ended up watching one of my musician friends streaming his live show from Club Passim in Boston and chatting with some of my “music” friends online. It was a good way to ring in this new year.
Today was spent with family. I was tardy to breakfast at Poppa’s house. I ran up the stairs and got the razzing I deserved. My sister said, “You made me look timely.” My father doesn’t cook very many things, but the things he cooks, he does well. One of those is Bacon, Cheese, Tomato Sandwiches.
They are very yummy, even though the top left one lost half its bacon under the broiler.
We visited with my father’s younger brother and his wife who had come in town for the Peach Bowl (now called the Chik Fil A Bowl). Go Seminoles! I am grateful for the fact that I can have a reasonable conversation with relatives who by their own admission are “right wing Christians–just not nearly as far right as a lot of other people.” My beliefs and choices in life haven’t matched up with theirs for many, many years, but there is no feeling of being judged when I am with them. I recognize that this is a gift that many families with differing religious and political beliefs do not experience–I do not take it for granted.
We gave Monkey Boy (my 6 yo nephew) a lesson on which football team NEVER to cheer for (gators), and he was later heard to be teaching his sister the same lesson. He was as disappointed as any of us when they won the game. He was able to give me an accurate score every time I asked him–I was impressed. He was also heard to say, “There is nothing better to watch a football game with than a Coke or a Root Beer.”
The chicks (Sis, Aunt, Niece and I–along with the Nephew) headed over to my new house (with the red door) to set up for the afternoon/evening meal. One of the kids asked, “Is this lunch or dinner?” The answer was, “Yes.” My father had earlier in the week said that he wanted to “dine” rather than “eat.” For him, this meant a tablecloth and china. I have not unpacked my china, and he did not want to travel with his, so he agreed that paper would be okay. When we got to the house, I counted the regular plates and found I had just enough. I then found tablecloth, napkin rings and cloth napkins. I managed to unpack stemware and with the help of my aunt and sister, we were able to make it almost how my father wanted it. I could tell he appreciated it. I will make a mental note that he likes to “dine” on occasion and try to make this happen for him more often.
So–we dined and had a good, but exhausted dinner. My father had made bread pudding from scratch and it was the yummy. My aunt had made a prune cake and driven with it from Indiana. It is a very labor intensive cake that my Grandmother used to fix when my father was a boy, and don’t let the prunes distract you. It is a rich, spiced cake with wonderful lemony icing. We were close to a sugar coma before we were done. After dinner the grown-ups cleaned the kitchen (we had used more dishes than a single load for the dishwasher) and the kids ran circles around the coffee table (literally), had a pillow fight, and jumped on the bed. When my sister checked on them she reported that they were jumping on the bed and Percy (cat) was sitting on the bed just looking up at them, seemingly unperturbed. Side note– I absolutely LOVE seeing my nephew with Spencer. He was bitten in the face by my brother’s dog–but Spencer is docile enough that Monkey Boy is unafraid. He dotes on him, lets him go in and out (over and over), asks to feed him scraps, and was petting him with his foot as Spencer lay on the floor beneath his chair. I am glad that I have such a sweet (though neurotic) dog.
I am hopeful about 2011. I have many hurdles still ahead, but I don’t feel “stuck” like I did in Houston. I am sad that my marriage did not last, but I know I have made the choice that allows the best chance for my future happiness. It is cool to have my sister call me from her house to see what else to bring over and then pull into the driveway 3 minutes later. I am thankful that I can take my father out to dinner on Wednesday, his 70th birthday, instead of just calling him on the phone. I love my new house (with the red door) and can’t wait to continue to make it home.
Wishing all of you peace, contentment, joy and music in the New Year.