Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reflections on New Year's Eve 2011

Midnight is closing in, as I sit here in the quiet- all of my loved ones asleep. My house is full of the scents of our Southern New Year - collards, bacon, corn bread... Though we are Californians now, the tradition remains to pass along. I am replete with both anticipation for our annual open house tomorrow and thoughts on riding out the year of 2011.

It seems a good time to reflect on all that has changed this year. I wrote less, but branched out more. I do miss the days of early blogging, when I rushed to the keyboard, adrenaline pumping... Those days are gone, but my passion for writing is still here. The fire is banked, the coals needing a bit of a fresh breeze to stir them. I'm hopeful that 2012 will bring more frequency of words upon the page.

I am conscious of the many blessings in my life - my husband and children, our health, and being gainfully employed.

There have been many changes this year for my family. In the fall I started working full-time, which has brought many good things. I am happy to be earning a real pay check again, and to be a financial partner to my husband. The shift hasn't been easy- it never is. We struggle to find our way, like all couples do, when the family work needs two shoulders leaning into it - to get it done.

It's been a long time since I've made any kind of New Year's Resolutions. This year I find myself wanting those intentions - to be kinder to my husband, to have more patience with my children, to schedule writing and exercise time for myself. My whole being is starved for regular movement, and for eating well. My children are young, and I am not. I want to be here for them, for a long time... It's time to place the health of myself at the top of the list.

I want more face time with my friends. Real time. Dinner parties and meeting for tea, and taking hikes under both blue skies and days that threaten rain.

It was a simple Christmas this year, and I loved it. I envision more of the same with the freedom of less stuff.

This night I dream of new challenges ahead, and good times, better times for all. I am conscious of how much I have and how so many are going without.

Happy 2012! May all of our dreams and resolutions shine through the New Year...and help fuel a world with more love and intention for all.

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Mommy, is Santa Claus real?

It's that magical time of the year! Parents of wide-eyed and impressionable children are going fast and furious- making sure that their children are well nourished in Santa Claus Lore... despite the countdown to the TRUTH. JCK is no different. JCK has been getting her exercise trying to slam back that "Santa Claus" crushing SERVE smacked over the net by her two children.

Mommy, is there a Santa Claus?

Mommy, is Santa Claus real?

Mommy, do you sneak out in the night and buy us a bunch of presents?

JCK has been lobbing those balls back like nobody's business.

Well, what do YOU think? (Good volley, JCK)

Do I sneak out in the middle of the night and buy you a bunch of presents? No, I do not.

(Well, this is...TRUE. JCK does not sneak out in the middle of the night to purchase presents. There might be some...sneaking INTO THE KITCHEN to scarf down treats, but no one has to know about that.)

40 LOVE ...for JCK.

But, it's not feeling like JCK is winning. She is truly teetering on the fine-line edge of THE TRUTH, and it is uncomfortable. JCK has prided herself on being honest with her children, barring something that is age inappropriate. However, JCK knows that she is on a precipice now between what is real, what is imaginary, and the complicated parts betwixt the two. Everyone WANTS to BELIEVE...including the large child with silver hair. Will this be the last Christmas for the Santa hold-out?

JCK remembers when she heard there was NO SANTA! from one of those DO-GOODERS in Elementary school. JCK remembers going home and asking her mother and being devastated- devastated...when her mother told her the TRUTH.

Was the worst part that there was NO SANTA or that her parents had misled her? JCK is not sure, but JCK knows that she doesn't wish that onto her children. Yet, she just hasn't been able to let it go...this year. Perhaps JCK needs to believe in Santa more than her children do.

So, this Christmas, as you kiss those sweet little brows or hug your grown-up children, remember that the magic of Santa can come in many forms. At least, that's what JCK is telling herself...

Merry Christmas, to all! And to all a good night! HO! HO! HO!

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

I have yet to find my place

I'm sitting on the sidelines of my own life. An audience member rather than a participant. Removed. Unable to reach the flow of the river, which is clearly moving at a rapid pace in one direction. There's that palpable ache again-it's reach deep into my psyche, yet the bruising is in my heart.

Writing is about the last thing I want to do right now, and the only thing I want to do. There is no in-between, no comfort zone. I am lashed by my own thoughts. Life is marching forward. I have yet to find my place.

If I squint my eyes I can barely make out a turn up ahead. If I could just jump in and ride, I'd be OK. It's the rocking back and forth with indecision and non-action that haunts me.

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Then I'll huff & I'll puff & I'll blow your house down...

The last few days have been high on weather DRAMA. Last Wednesday due to the gale force winds in our area, we lost all power until yesterday. It was an "adventure" for the first 24 hours, but by Friday we were tired of darkness and had started to toss out food. We were very lucky compared to many neighbors.

We had a window blow out in our sun porch/play room, and lots of branches and debris over both back and front yards. Many of our friends are still without power, and ...another wind advisory is in effect for tonight. It's been a good practice run for disaster preparedness.

Grateful for:

1) The old 1945 forced air gas furnace keeping us warm
2) The LED powered camping lantern
3) Old fashioned plug-in phone (land line)- no cell phone reception for 48 hours
3) A stove top with gas burners
4) Children who have learned how to play several card games
5) Kids Reading books by headlamps
6) Whiskey stocked
7) Coolers to ice down perishables
8) Emergency radio
9) Brother-n-law & Sister-n-law who let me work out of their home on Friday
10) Gas water heater - nothing like a hot shower to make you believe you can take on the day

Note: these are all homes in our neighborhood.

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