My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Friday, December 28, 2012


I'm still feeling the after effects of pushing the limits of my current abilities.... but I slept well last night and that makes all the difference in the world. I have learned to get through my abbreviated workday, even with pain, but adding in the extra distraction of being exhausted was just too much for me. I am glad I was able to go home, even though I didn't nap I was able to use my "rescue meds" to take the edge off of the pain without posing risk to my customers fiduciary well-being.

I missed a family gathering last night. It wasn't the first and it won't be the last, I'm sure. I missed the Christmas Eve church service too. I wish I was someone who could just "soldier on"... actually, I really do, a lot of times... most work days, any time I have to run errands like going to the pharmacy or picking up something to eat, etc... any time that I have to be in a position that moves my spine and compresses the discs or the nerves that are being squished... which is pretty much any time I'm in any position other than reclined/medicated/on a heating pad. My life has become a series of "soldiering on" day after day after day but I still miss out on a lot.

This morning I started thinking about the things I missed this Christmas season. This is sort of a "whiny Wednesday" post since I haven't done that yet this week... although I'm not really complaining, we had a wonderful Christmas, the best in a long time, I just thought it would be interesting to note the things that were missing from our merry making.

1. Catching up on the blog that my childhood next-door neighbor writes, I realized that there were no "spirits" in our holiday festivities. Not like "the ghost of Jacob Marley" spirits... adult beverage type spirits. Not that I indulge often. I'm about a "glass of wine once a quarter" type girl. However, I do enjoy a rum ball here or there and/or a splash of something in my eggnog. Our Christmas was dry.

2. Speaking of rum balls... we didn't have any. Nor did we have any oreo balls or fudge or divinity or chocolate covered pretzels or other indulgent treats baked with love. I had a few at work... and one of my co-workers made these TO DIE FOR truffles that disappeared far too quickly. So... for those of you who are starting your New Year off with a weight loss resolution, feel free to mail me your leftover treats. I'll handle their disposal in a way that honors their intended service.

3. We also did not have banana nut bread. I guess this could fit under #2, "absence of treats baked with love" but it seemed like it deserved to be in a category of it's own. Refer to point number two for safe treat disposal service for your extra loaves of banana nut bread.

4. Wassail. You know... that spiced warm juice drink with the orange painfully studded with cloves floating around in it... it used to be a staple in our family and we haven't had it in several years. I just haven't had the patience to painfully stud an orange with cloves and without it, it's just warm juice. I also haven't made my Russian tea mix over the past two years. It's this awesome blend of powdered iced tea mix, tang and spices that I used to put in gift bags and give away back when I was more of a Pinterest girl - before Pinterest ever came to be.

5. Mistletoe. Not that there was/is/ever will be anyone that I would like to be caught under it with... it's a nice decoration. We used to shoot some down every Thanksgiving but we didn't this year. We could have. We were out in the country and I'm pretty sure there was a hunting rifle somewhere nearby. I don't remember seeing any in the trees at Cousin Christie's house but then again, my eyesight isn't what it once was.

6. Fresh greenery. When I was growing up we had a fake tree. I hated it. While my friends had pine needles crackling in the fireplace... we had plastic needles melting in the heat vent. Then, for a number of years, probably the better part of two decades, we would go as a family to Worthington's Tree Farm and take a hayride out to the field and cut down our own tree. It was a family outing... several generations together... we have lots of great photos and memories from that era and I miss it. I don't, however, miss having to keep animals from drinking the tree water, needles clogging the vacuum cleaner, having to figure out a way to dispose of the tree, etc. One of my brothers and his family still go to Worthington's every year. It would be nice to tag along but.... that's one of those things that we just have to let go.

7. Little Kitty. I loved being at the mountain house for Christmas but I missed my little buddy. We're going to work on getting him acclimated to traveling back and forth so that he can go with us on those long weekends in the mountains. He has separation anxiety now. When I left for work yesterday morning he was in my bedroom window crying out... putting his little paws against the window trying to get to me. He will love watching the lake from the windows at the mountain house. I just worry that we'll have a hard time finding him with all those great places for a kitty to hide. And his last car trip was kind of miserable for him, although he had not been in a car since the day my friend Tami brought him to me... which was the same day our house got struck by lightning and my parents had to come up and get him and Stubby until we were able to find somewhere to live... except for the day we moved down to Riverdale. So basically, car rides have been traumatic for him and I can't blame him for being scared, but I really want him to be able to travel with me, it's part of my "Crazy Cat Lady" transformation.

8. Stuffed stockings. We didn't hang them, other than two decorative ones that we didn't fill and my brother Bryan's that I filled about three days before Christmas with the last green tictacs and andies candies in all of White County. I made three stops looking for them. I would have tucked a cigar or two in there but the cigar shop was closed, since they are one of those small town businesses that tend to be open only every other Tuesday when the sun is shining in months with an "r". Anyways... his stocking was stuffed... and I mailed my son Ryan a stuffed stocking, the stocking I stitched by hand, including his little name embroidered in red thread, his very first Christmas when he was a newborn and I was on maternity leave and bored. to. death. He was one of those pinterest projects that you do with the first born and never manage to get done with subsequent children. I think we ended up using old pantyhose for Austin's stocking. Just kidding. I also gave Cody and Marquee matching Mickey and Minnie stockings for Christmas. And I gave Austin the stuff that went in the stocking but I didn't both to hang or stuff a stocking for him. Again, youngest child syndrome.

9. Two of my brothers and their families. One is a Jehovah's Witness, one isn't. When you're growing up in a house full of kids, you always imagine that all of you will always be together every holiday. Then people grow up and get married and move away and distance and circumstances and sometimes religious beliefs come in between you and your family on Christmas and you still enjoy the holidays but you always know that there is someone missing. In our case, fifteen members of our little family tree... out of twenty-six... were missing. It makes you especially grateful for those who are there, and that you are able to be there with them.

10. My oldest. He is included in the previous counts but like banana nut bread, deserves his own category. He lives in Pennsylvania and has carved himself a happy little chosen family with roommates and a girlfriend and their families. Time, money, distance stand between us and I miss him muchly when he can't be with us but I am so grateful that he does have a support system where he is and that he is not alone. He carries out our family tradition of making sausage balls and russian tea mix. He decorates and makes merry and has a beautiful Christmas. We miss him but know that he's in the place where he was destined to be.

I'm really excited for New Year's Day. Usually I get kinda bummed because it signals the end of the Christmas season, however, I'm so excited about the Rose Parade and a day of watching HGTV and I'm excited about NOT making resolutions this year because, even though there's room for improvement in my life, I've learned to be grateful for what I have and what I can do and not grieve the things that are missing. Much.