vendredi, décembre 25, 2009

Owls and Orrefors

I'm not sure why I decided to make stollen tonight -- oops, last night. Christmas Eve. I was taking a Christmas service for a little country church nearby, which, of course, entailed writing a sermon. And preaching it. And generally being on top of details, not always my strong suit. Then coming home to heat up some left overs before going to church with the ex and the kids. All in all, a very liturgical night.

So I'm up, doing some very unorthodox things to the bread to get it to rise and into the oven.

Though I'd had Mr. C and the DQ decorate the tree earlier, they were rather exhausted, and ended up putting only about one third of the ornaments on the tree. I realized that when I got ready to put the boxes somewhere where we wouldn't trip over them when the ex comes over tomorrow.

I mean, today.

I hadn't seen a lot of these ornaments before. Or, it would be most precise to say, I hadn't seen them in 20 years. That's when my mother put them away on the Christmas we realized Jonathan wouldn't be coming home. When my sister cleaned out my dad's house she discovered the box I hadn't taken while dad was alive.

Of course, Mom had some glass balls. But nothing else matches anything. The straw bird and ladies -- Mexican? The Orrefors glass ornaments. The Mexican metal owl. The Indian animals decorated with tiny pieces of glass. The glass girl holding balloons, probably crafted by one of our friends down the block.

Dearest mother, I know there was some kind of story to go with most of these. My mother didn't know from God -- but she did have faith in the healing power of family.

Yesterday as I ran through Target, I saw these big plastic containers, full of gold balls. Some glittered, others were shiny, but you saw them hanging on someone's tree, you would see that they had come from the same place, likely, from China.

An interior decorator would be horrified by our Christmas tree. Ornaments scattered all over, with no regard to symmetry, and no unifying theme.

One can't see grief. Memory. Or love.

But they live, ah, they live.

mardi, décembre 22, 2009

A trial month

I've decided to give online dating another try.

I've paid a ridiculous sum for a one month-subscription -- not so much a trial run as a way of evaluating what I've learned since the last time.

Why did I reactivate my profile? Considering that I have profited from maligning it, it's a fair question.

A few practical issues motivated me.

Some logistical issues with my ex are going to take longer than I hoped to get settled.

No matter what the song says, Mother Nature doesn't rain men in exurban Glenmoore. My work as a writer is unlikely to bring them to my door.

Franchment, I am curious. I'm interested to see who contacts me, if anyone. I'm wondering if I'll cut them some slack. I am going to be metering my cynicsm like the sewage in my backyard.

I have promised myself that, except if someone contacts me, I'll only go to the site twice a day. Dating sites can be huge timewasters, for all of you married and single people who would never in a million years join one.

Plus, I've got better things to do -- the practical details about which I so procrastinate are still going to be there, regardless of the lures of Sham Wow salesmen who created this, and other sites.

In other words, I'm going to try to keep a sane distance -- but stir the pot just a tince.

By the way, I bought one yesterday. A Sham Wow.

But not for me.

At my son's imploring, I bought one as a holiday "thank you" for the math teacher.

I wonder if he's single....

dimanche, décembre 20, 2009

Rescue me? Not today...

The first day after the East Coast blizzard of Advent, or should I say the Advent of the East Coast blizzard, didn't start out too well.

Knowing I had to do my clergy thing at a service about 15 minutes from where we live, I'd hired my neighbor to plow my driveway. Normally, I get out there and do the bulk of it myself. But everything I was hearing, minus half the hyperbole, said I couldn't keep up with the snow.

Feeling very pleased with my forethought, I happily opened the breezeway door about an hour and a half before I was supposed to leave -- to see that he'd only done part of the driveway, and taken up a lot of my turf with his trusty plow.

But what does THAT matter, given that the septic fellow has ruined my front lawn trying to find my neighbor's drainfield before he found mine?

I went to work with the shovel, feeling very sorry for myself. A pity party that went up a few notches when my car wouldn't start.

My ex has been on me to buy a new car -- and I keep promising I will. But which comes first, a new car, or a new drainfield?

Today eventually straightened itself out. The morning service was redeemed, as it were, by a member of the congregation said he'd drive me to church -- until his horses got out and he had to help his wife of a week get them back into the stalls. So I took his mother's car and navigated the slushy roads to church, where the congregation was waiting.

There were times today when I just felt overwhelmed by the burden of these problems. Having someone to put them into perspective would have been a pleasure.

My new strategy is to establish a tiny green zone in which I can act as though I am in control of these challenges, and move boldly forward in other areas. Hopefully, then, the chunks of turf I found in the plowed snow and the minor nit of a kinda dead battery won't matter so much.

Forgive me, but I've got to write the septic guy and ask him: how do you propose we deal with all of this sewage? Then I'll figure out if that's the way I want to proceed.

Of course there are some things you can control -- and some things you cannot. Learning to leave some of them in the hands of others might be a good, hmmm, exercise.

A snowy night

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