Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Abundant THANKS and happy sighs

Greetings and pre-Thanksgiving blessings to one and all!  I am in a good mood, folks.  Consider the following:  I am by myself (good mood).  I have about 1/3 of my dark roast coffee left (good mood, but need food…getting jittery).  The sun is shining (great mood).  I have a small amount of grading left (decent mood…manageable amounts make life grander).  And, what is probably my favorite holiday is coming up, which leaves me dwelling on all things f-o-o-d (happy mood).  

I’m sitting in my car typing away on my full-sized laptop, like anyone would, naturally because there’s some amount of warm fuzzies that wash over me when my car is sun-soaked in November.  I have warn my jacket for exactly HALF of ONE day this fall, oh reader.  It’s like Indiana is trying to seduce me back into its shockingly warm embrace.  As delighted as I am by all of the sunshiney attention this state is giving me of late, our relationship still needs to end.  But the sunshine on my shoulders makes it all the more difficult for me to say “It’s not me, it’s you.”  I’m sure once we fast-forward to the throes of ice and bitter cold that I’ll feel differently.  For now, I’ll consider this one last fling with the state that I need to leave.

But today is not about the state which I am done with.  Today is about the holiday that I am embracing.  For various reasons, we are staying home this year for Thanksgiving.  Staying home…ah, sweet words that soothe my soul.  It will be a day for PJs at 3 PM, cheese and crackers for all day long, long UNO tournaments, and whatever food we want for dinner.

(By the way…Thanksgiving dinner or Thanksgiving lunch?  Our families have always been Thanksgiving lunch kinds of people.  I’m debating since I get to control it this year.)

And the feast, that will happen…  I’m delightfully scouring the interwebs for anything delicious-y that I want to make.  And because I get to control every step-o-the process, I assure you that there will be turkey, no mashed potatoes, no green beans, and 100% NO pumpkin pie.  It’s been real, standard Thanksgiving meal of my last 32 years.  But we need a break. 

I’m dreaming of all things veggie, longing for some kind of wonderful bread, and drooling over dessert possibilities.  Granted, the kids still need to be on board beyond the apple tart and pumpkin cream cheese muffins that I’ve got in the works.  They’re good with their vegetables but not so much when things are (gasp) mixed together. 

(Soup, alas, does not generally speak to their tender palates that require complete and separate identification of all matter served to them.  However, I am utterly in love with the stuff, and so sometimes, when we feel feisty (i.e. willing to fight the battle), we force some soup upon them as wretched parents will sometimes do.  I don’t feel that Thanksgiving is quite the time for that, though.)

So when I’ve had a few minutes here and there, I’ve been grabbing a kid (whichever one will do), and we have been swiping our way through collections of all things Thanksgiving while giving the thumbs up/down as needed.  The list has been started and it looks to be delicious.  Thanks be for a relaxed feast day with my people.  I’m thoroughly excited about it (squeeeeee!!!!).

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Chicken Little

One day, an acorn fell on Chicken Little.  Not able to see behind her, Chicken Little began frantically running around.  "The sky is falling!  The sky is falling!"

I feel the sky falling today.  I cried in the shower.  I cried in the car on the way to pick up my child.  I feel completely and utterly frustrated by the local, state and national level.  All three.  (Plus, the Cubs won, and that hurt an extraordinary amount...ridiculously, I admit.) 

I want to curl up inside and avoid people.  I want to keep my children with me always and never take them anywhere.  I want to join in the masses that together overloaded Canada's immigration website. 

Shocked as I was by this visceral reaction, I also realized "Yes, this must be why Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Stein defected during the war."  I thought "Maybe this is what others feel when they don't feel able of speaking their mind fully and openly, when they don't have support, when they don't feel accepted."  I had the sentiment "I'm done with this state" looping through my mind all day.

There have been times when I'm absolutely turned to the boy and said "That's it.  I'm 100% done with this."  But it does always turn out to be just an acorn stuck in my tail feathers.  So, I get it out and continue on.  I try not to drag Henny Penny and Lucky Ducky into my hysteria. 

But the acorns, they keep on a'fallin'.  And it seems that no more do we recognize one for being what it is, then another one comes.  I feel the despair, the fear and the shock.  I think that there's another acorn lodged in my feathers right now; I hope that it is.  I need the sky to stay where it should be because I have kids who are asking questions, who notice things, too.  They can choose what they want, but this is and will always be my prayer for them: Please, Lord, guide them to choose humanity.