Friday, December 21, 2007

Having to Keep it Simple

Christmas Lights, Thermopolis Wyoming

The last few years I've found myself yearning for a little more simplicity and meaning during the Christmas season. This year we're trying, having to keep things simple. More than ever before Christmas has totally snuck up on me. And even beyond that, I'm just not in the mood. We haven't done anything, no tree, no cards. I JUST started the shopping, and whittled it down to three stores. I've made a couple of things, that's been the most fun.
Several friends have reported the same "grinchy" feelings this year. I think we're all just tired of the shopping frenzy, the pressure to get things done on a certain schedule, the commercialism, and basically rebelling against all that. I've been thinking a lot lately about what my ideal would be in terms of celebrating Christmas. I think I'd like to just have a big get together with whoever is around, have a meal together and just relax! Forget about the gifts!!!!! We don't need to be buying all this stuff anyway. Oh well, there's my grinchy moment. Even though that will probably never happen, I can at least work towards it!
This year I'm proud to announce we set ourselves a budget for Christmas gifts, and are buying things cash. I mentioned that at Crate and Barrel and the checkout lady said she's seen a lot of that this year. They've noticed because they have to change out the cash register more often. Interesting!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Thanksgiving Table for Three

A Table for Three
Originally uploaded by carlamarieweir
I had long planned to go to Wyoming in October or November to close the cabin and bunkhouse down for the season. This summer I was in Wyoming for only a week and didn't have a chance to visit much with my Aunt Shirley because Sofia and I were so sick and weren't sure if we were contagious. Aunt Shirley was diagnosed with cancer in June and by the time my parents returned to Louisiana in October she had decided to enter the nursing home where she could get round the clock care if she needed it.

I am so glad I went to Wyoming in November because I got to visit her every day in her last week. She taught me so many life lessons in dignity and self awareness during that brief week. She died a few days before Thanksgiving, when my parents were on their second day of driving to Wyoming.

Her funeral wasn't until the Monday after Thanksgiving, to give family time to travel in during such a busy season. While Ricardo and Sofia went to Libbas, and Hannah traveled to St. Louis, for us, it was a quiet Thanksgiving, just three settings at the table. I have to say, it was also a gift, and a joy, and a pleasure to spend that time with my parents. I very rarely get them to myself, and I really loved cooking our little feast and spending the day together. It will always be a Thanksgiving to remember.