Sunday, January 4, 2015

Happy New Year!

Hello my friends, it is 2015! Imagine that! The first year I can really remember is 1954, I suppose I must have been in kindergarten and had to write the date. Seems like the day before yesterday, I can feel the scratchiness of my wool coat, the cold biting my nose and fingers and the scariness of riding in a taxicab alone to school. Funny where our minds take us when we turn them loose to chase down memories. We lived in town then about 5 blocks from school and on bad days Mom would call Dot to take me to school in the cab so she didn't have to get my little sister out in the cold. Debbie had asthma and winters were rough on her as a small child. Not much better now, poor thing.
I could sit all day and let my mind run back through my sixty five years (some days I do), but I don't have time for that today. A few years ago, we began a new tradition of spending New Years Day in Evansville as a family, seeing movies, eating in favorite places and a bit of shopping. Each year has varied as to who is along, always me and my grand girls, usually the Momma's and little boys, sometimes the guys. This year everyone is going! The boys have worked so much this fall, even the day after Christmas! But they both have this weekend off. We want to see Wild and it isn't playing in Valley so we will see it there. I missed MockingJay and want to see it, too. The little boys won't be watching Wild so we will switch off and some of us will take them to a kids film. I am not a movie person, but I do love this day out with family and the big screen. Tonight we will all eat at Biaggis, a great Italian restaurant even Stephen King loved. Beautiful table settings, linen napkins, soft lights and the best pasta and bread around. Tomorrow we will gather for breakfast then leave for home as we wish, some staying to shop at Target, others driving straight back, eager to get on with a weekend at home. You can make your own guess as to which bunch does what! For me it is a chance to visit with my kids, eat, see good films and talk about the past year and the future.
 I'm so happy we started this while Steve was with us, it seems more of a real tradition this way. Not trying to create a new normal. My new normal doesn't feel normal yet, I feel out of place still. I realize I had no time to acclimate to widowhood before jumping back into caring for Mom, but I
wonder if there will ever be a normal again. We spent nearly fifty years creating this life and then it is over in a heartbeat.
We have started emptying Mom's house this past week. My goodness what an undertaking! That woman saved everything, but not in a typical hoarding way. No, everything is clean, ironed or dusted, folded neatly or wrapped in tissue paper, ready for the next person to wear or use or sit up on a shelf. I have to remember Not to do this to my kids! Reminiscing is wonderful, but as Deb says, "the first saved hankie is sweet, the 14th is ridiculous!" Or lamp or basket or chicken or picture frame or afghan or sheet set or shoe or red sweater! Dishes, China, plates/plate hangers, glass baskets, and three double closets of clothes! The little woman had it all and kept it! Debbie and I have decided
Mom is rolling on Heaven's floor, laughing at us trying to decide what to do with it all. We are attempting to give away most of it, we do not want a sale or auction of our parents' possessions. Ours is a very large extended family, with several starting housekeeping or downsizing so we have managed to share lots of furniture and housekeeping items. We all have sentimental favorites, such as; Mom's iron chicken fryer, a cricket rocker, a piece of jewelry, etc, which ensures everyone some piece of them.
The New Years weekend is almost over, it's Sunday afternoon as I pick up my iPad and finish this post. Time to really begin anew. I look forward to this year 2015 in hope that it will be easier than the last few years for my family. But we have faith that whatever challenges we face will be met with grace. No big goals or resolutions for me this year, I intend to eat the elephant one bite at a time. (For all my transformed counselor buddies!) God bless you all. Love