Sunday, December 16, 2007

Scraping Up an Attitude of Gratitude

Putting up my Christmas tree last night, composing a blog post in my head: There's nothing as sad as putting up a Christmas tree alone, I imagined writing.

And then I started to hear the melodramatic music playing at the pity party I was throwing for myself. Of course there are sadder things than putting up a Christmas tree alone. Like not having a tree at all, or not having a home to put one in.

So today I'm working on my attitude, reminding myself of the things for which I am grateful. It's a long, long list.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

It was snowing the other day when Dad was dancing in the living room. And like every single time it snows, he sang "Walking in a Winter Wonderland" all day long. Mom never, ever sings out loud when anyone's around. Still, let two snowflakes fall and before the second one hits the ground, she'll be humming, "in the meadow we can build a snowman."

Dad and Mom met when they were 14 and 16. Dad's family moved to the tiny Iowa town where Mom had lived all her life. "Winter Wonderland" came out that winter and they heard it on the radio a lot. The other day, Dad said, "We spent that whole winter walking around together in the snow, holding hands. Falling in love." As he talked, he blushed. Furiously. Even his ears turned bright red. 60 winters have come and gone since that one, but he still blushes at the memories.

Must have been hot out there in the cold.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Good News

Remember last month when I wrote and submitted a piece for a column in a food magazine? Well, I hadn't heard anything and figured that was that. Have to admit I moped about it a bit. Part of the black cloud of self doubt I've been struggling with lately.

Received an e-mail late yesterday afternoon. The selection process took a while because they received many, many entries. BUT my piece was one of the twelve chosen (one a month for a year). It will appear in the June issue. From the hooping and hollering that ensued, my neighbors probably think I won the Powerball. Truth is, the pay is almost ridiculous. But it was the first personal essay I'd ever written and the first time I'd submitted anything to any magazine.

I'm beyond thrilled. And incredibly grateful for your support and encouragement. Thank you to each one of you who have held faith for me through this dark and quiet time. When I sit in meditation, I can feel your love surround me and it means the world to me.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Christmas Cheer

When Dad called this morning, I had to keep asking him to repeat himself. He was whispering so Mom wouldn't hear. (Fat chance! She was in the basement with her little portable heater AND her sewing machine running.)

Anyway, Dad asked me to go buy a Santa hat and send it to the man who will be delivering the quilting machine he's giving Mom for Christmas. He had already called the company to elicit a promise that the guy would wear the hat if we sent it.

Later, I stopped in to tell Dad I'd accomplished my mission. There he was, shuffling around the living room. 76 years old, two inches shorter than he once was, wearing support socks under his perfectly pressed blue jeans. He was dancing and singing "Walking in a Winter Wonderland" to himself. Counting down the days til Christmas like a kid waiting for a pony.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Longing for Balance

During this long absence, I've been pondering the state of the Universe, among other things. Today I've been thinking about balance, something I've never achieved. I'm not sure I could find balance if it were hanging from my hand like a Scale of Justice.

Enough becomes too much so easily.


I thought I'd outgrown the need for certainty, but guess not. Today I want some hard and fast rules. One damn thing I can know for sure. Just a place to start climbing out of this hole.

Ahhh. One thing IS for sure. This, too, shall pass. The sun will set on this day and rise on another, full of possibilities and wonder. Just hold on.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Not Dead Yet

Hello, All. Sorry it's been so long since I posted. I am, as the title says, Not Dead Yet, just in a strange, dark lull lately.

Thanks to those of you who've e-mailed and commented. I'll write something meaningful in the next day or so.