Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The day before the day before Christmas

How 'bout that snow storm, eh? We only ended up with a couple of feet, but it basically snowed for three days here, starting Friday and didn't really stop until Sunday night. We all left work early to get home. I left at 2pm and that was a mistake; should have left closer to one, when the roads were still okay. There was tons of traffic and it was slippery and nasty.

We stayed in most of the weekend, although Dave got me and Lily out on Saturday afternoon while there was still some light to sled down Hospital Hill, the local awesome sled spot. Really, really fun. We need to upgrade our sleds, though. We've moved up in the world from saucers found at the dump for free. My last run I went down on our plastic toboggan face first and got a mouthful of snow and nearly broke my arm. That's just like me.

I'm sorry I missed the Solstice celebrations and the seasonal sings, but we had lots of fires, and did some cooking -- Dave made bread, and soups. By Sunday afternoon I was climbing the walls and Dave suggested friends for dinner and the next thing we knew we had eight of our neighbors for a potluck dinner. A true potluck: whatever you have in your fridge. Dave made some massaman chicken and rice and I made challah, but late -- we ate our fabulous meal with our fabulous neighbors, and the bread came out just as we were done. I cut us all pieces anyway -- I took my sister Cate's idea and made one big loaf instead of two smaller ones -- and it was steamy and warm. Our friend Doris said it was maybe the best challah she'd ever had, which I take as a supreme compliment, especially given that a) my challah is usually too dry, b) she's older than me, which means she's eaten a lot of challah, and c) she's Jewish, see "c."

We really have great neighbors. It feels like the game on this block is to see who can be nicer. Someone bought a snowblower a few years ago and now someone else uses it to clear everyone's driveways. Not ours, since we have a machine and Dave uses it, but during the last storm last winter he left me half at my request so I could try a little snowblowing myself. I got lazy though, and didn't get to it, and when I did, it was already cleared: Our neighbor had done it. Turns out he thought our machine had broken so he did it. And after they all left Sunday night, as the last of the snow was falling, there he was, clearing the last of our driveway. Really lovely.

I know this sounds out of touch with what most people already know, but this is my blog and my experience: Having two parents working full-time and a school-aged child is a really big deal. I had yesterday and today off and it was wonderful: I did laundry, Christmas shopping, grocery shopping, and took Lily to the dentist and for her annual physical. We didn't even put up a tree this year; we're worried the cat will tear it down. And I am off sugar so I didn't make toffee, either (sorry, all!). But we've been really busy, nonetheless.

The great thing about these two days was that I had had nearly three days already to read, listen to music, make a Christmas mix CD (not a good toffee substitute, I know), and sit in front of the fire. So I was ready to do errands with Lily. And I realized this afternoon as I dropped her off at some friends that we haven't had such concentrated time together, just the two of us, in a long time.

Now Beethoven's ninth is on, loud, and I just listened to Carmina Burana, loud. My end-of-the-year traditions used to include listening to these CDs, and Handel's Water Music, loud, and maybe some Aaron Copeland, and The Planets by Holst. Very joyful music. And then I'd cast some runes and see what was coming in the new year. I'd write in my journal about all the things I hoped to accomplish. And just take stock, in general.

It's really, really nice not to be alone any more, to have a family to share all this with. I was lonely for a long time. I wanted a partner, and a child or two. I wanted someone to take care of, and to take care of me. And thinking about those days now, pre-Dave and post-everyone else, I can see that I was really longing for something. I hope whenever I get frustrated with my commitments, my family, the emotions and the ties that bind, the sheer struggle of sharing your life with other people, I remember how wonderful it is to be with Dave and Lily. How we are a unit, the three of us, working and playing and being together. It's a wonderful life.

1 comment:

  1. I think I'm posting as farhan, but I can't remember my account info, so just know it's Kim! Lovely post. So glad you're in such a good place. Lots and lots of love, xoxo


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