Monday Morning Musings:
My mother says,
That one year my sister and I received
Presents and celebrated
For nearly two months.
In the days before Amazon
And same and next day deliveries,
I suppose packages took longer to arrive.
So they came in trickles and waves
Over the course of weeks
To mingle with those already at home.
The season of celebration
Began with my sister’s birthday
Then went on
The festivities went on and on,
Or so it seemed to us.
Then one day it stopped.
“What no presents today? No holiday?”
I don’t remember this at all.
But that is what my mother says.
And though her memory is sometimes
A bit faulty
I suspect it’s true.
It may have been the year my aunt sent us
The Easy Bake Oven.
I made a few of those cookie-size cakes,
The oven set-up in our bedroom
I was much more interested in
The real oven and stove.
I “doctored” canned soups
With spices from the rack
Before I tackled real meals
I remember misreading “marjoram”
And thinking it said “marijuana.”
Well, that would have been interesting, right?
I’m not even certain how I knew the word.
This was before the War on Drugs.
And our schools were more concerned
That we “duck and cover,”
Giving me vague terrors
Of losing my parents.
Cold War fears
Of losing the warmth
Of family and home.
Is that what draws me
To the heat of the kitchen?
Now, that I’m older
I like to think each day is a gift,
Something to unwrap joyfully
With the dawn.
Of course, the dawn is so late in December.
Perhaps that’s why I bought myself a new laptop
For my birthday
And perhaps to chase away the coming
And fears of the future.
Well, it’s for my business, you know,
Even my husband agreed.
My old computer is only old in
Which pass faster than dog years,
They’re the ones that count–
To the computer–
And the person using it.
I haven’t spent months celebrating,
Well, not unless you count the weddings,
Three in about a years’ time,
But I did manage a week or so—
Hanukkah running into to my birthday,
Celebrating with dinner at a local winery,
Then the next night dinner with my daughter and son-in-law
Followed by chocolate cake and watching my grandpets
Chase each other around the apartment.
Brothers of other mothers for sure.
The next day there was a trip to Grounds for Sculpture
Just hanging out
Enjoying nature on a
Freakishly warm December day.
Standing at a bread line
Having a snack
Dancing a waltz
Maybe reading a book with a friend
Enjoying lunch in the balmy weather
Returning home to light the candles
The final night
Till next year.
On my actual birthday
We went to the movies,
The Danish Girl
Me wondering how strange
It must be
To feel like someone else inside,
And how sad but
Beautiful and brave
It was to love that person–
And to believe.
My husband and I discussed this
Over tapas and drinks afterward
(The Spinach and Manchego Buñuelos divine)
Well, celebration, remember?
And from birthday
We’re on to
That is, not the usual cooking baking
That happens all the time here.
Special, once-a-year cookies.
And decorating them with our younger daughter
And missing our older one.
We will have to eat her share,
It will soon be Christmas.
The skies are dark, dismal, and dreary
The news is ghastly, glum and, gloomy,
But there is warmth and light.
Our own little miracle of lights.
The light on the stove hood–
You know, the one that hasn’t worked
Well, now it does
Just like that.
More lights are glowing
And in hearts
That are open to it.
Soon the New Year will come
With new dreams
And old memories.
Wishing all of you a joyous and happy December-
With hopes that it is not too warm
Or too cold
But, just right.
Places we visited and things we saw:
And here’s a 1951 Civil Defense Duck and Cover Film. It would have terrified me, as a child. It’s before my time, but we were still ducking and covering in the 1960s.