Sunday, December 30, 2012

gratitude for 2012

We had the wee ones over yesterday for a while. They still had presents from cousins under the tree that needed to be opened and they hadn't gotten much time to play together over the holidays. Like most family gatherings, it got a little disorganized but we all got plenty to eat and we had some good laughs. Even Gus got in on the action. He did all his tricks for Eric, multiple times.

Elliot came in his pajamas, the bottoms inside out. I think it was a statement myself: I'm tired of dressing up and traveling around and I'm going comfortably in my fuzzy pajamas or not at all. We didn't care. He was fuzzier to hug this way!

I made spaghetti the little kid way...Ragu sauce, chopped up meat, bread sticks, nothing fancy. They were all good eaters. Oreos for dessert. A kid's dream.

Elliot and Alex had a few new things to play with...a transformer thing and a couple of Mario stuffed toys. Such good imaginations, they have.

This year, I didn't have the forethought or the gumption to get everyone in a Christmas hat and posed in a group. I should have made that someone else's responsibility. I think Regis and I did pretty well to entertain and cook as much as we did this year. It helped that we gave ourselves a stern message about scaling back. No need to make the ketchup from scratch, for example. Yes, I have been known to do that.

I'm doing what I always do this time of year, avoiding the year in review in the papers and on television. Who needs to hear all that bad shit once, much less repetitively at the end of the year? I like to be marginally aware of things that go on, then let them settle into the dusty corners of my subconscious so I know there is good and bad in the world, then I like to skip on my way and enjoy the sunny side of life.

I'm not doing, what do they call those, resolutions. Learned my lesson about that many times over, too. I'm working on a list of things I'm grateful for and a list of things I would like to explore in 2013 (no distant volcanoes or anything like that) but that will be about it. I'm pretty happy with the way things are and see no sense in making things all crazy and unpredictable which usually leads to lots of guilt for things undone.

Here are a couple of my grateful posts from the past:

I think I'll start my list now and add to it as the days go by toward 2013.

1. I'm grateful for portable sources of heat. I'm sitting in front of a small, electric stove that looks kind of Ben Franklinish. It throws a lot of heat out of the bottom. We have one in the living room and one in what we call the sitting room. I can have warm feet wherever I go! I also have a big hand-knit afghan from Kathy Wessel and an electric mattress pad. I don't like to be cold.

2. I'm very grateful for the white-haired man who lives with me and says I am beautiful even though I have no hair and some of my parts are not symmetrical anymore. He likes to talk about books and movies, he sends me funny cartoons, he does the laundry and takes care of my car, he hugs me when I'm sad, and he makes me laugh.

3. I'm grateful for my mom. I have a lot of friends my age who don't have their moms anymore so I'm fortunate to have that plucky Norwegian woman living in her own home who plays cards with her friends on Sunday nights, throws parties for the Queen's Jubilee, sends me boxes of surprise candles and trinkets and candy, and who knows how to get back up when life throws her a curve. Here she is at Caleb and Kelsey's wedding in October.

4. I'm very grateful that we have such nice kids. They call us, they shovel our sidewalks and clean the snow off our cars, they haul heavy stuff up and down the stairs, they take us to medical appointments if we need it, they are a source of joy. They love to come here to eat or just to visit. They like my cooking, especially the cookies and the barbecue. They're all funny and they all have an enthusiasm for life. You just couldn't ask for better kids.

5. I'm grateful that we have an appreciation for cooking and eating. I have had less of an appetite lately but Regis makes me simple things that taste good and once in a while I get a notion to make buckwheat cheese straws or dark chocolate truffles.

6. I'm most grateful that we laugh. Some families (some people) are way too serious about everything. They get their feelings hurt, they carry grudges, they worry. We are the grasshoppers of the world and can find something funny in most situations. It's not a bad way to live.

I better get back to my cheese straws and truffles. I'll prompt Regis to take pictures. The gratitude list shall continue, as well.

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