Thursday, January 2, 2020

Happy 2020

I feel so fortunate, so "blessed," as many of my friends would say, as I enter 2020.  It's true that Jack came down with a terrible Man Cold at the new year, and we had no celebration other than my kissing his sweaty head and telling him happy new year, but I feel fortunate all the same.

I spent New Year's Eve as I prefer to do, with my son and much-adored daughter in law and my deeply loved Grands, eating dinner and chocolate fondue.  Being with them always makes me happy, chocolate or not.   I was sorry that Jack had to miss because he has not had time to make this the beloved tradition that it is for me.   And frankly, being with my family is easier these days, with less drama and stress, than being with his.   

Dinner was salad, roasted vegetables, and a lovely sweet and sour brisket, prepared by my daughter in law.   The fondue was the much anticipated dessert.   

The chocolate fondue tradition goes back to my own children's childhood, on a New Year's Eve when my first husband was out with friends.  My sister and her husband were doing a catering job, so I ended up home with my kids and their two sons.   I was feeling sorry for myself but wanted the night to be at least a little bit special, so I created a festive interlude with half a Hershey bar, some evaporate d milk, and a couple pieces of fruit.  That first chocolate fondue wasn't much, but the kids were delighted, and it made me laugh to see them chowing down on graham crackers and apples that they would otherwise have ignored,  just because they got to dip them in a little bit of chocolate sauce.   The tradition has continued since then and expanded into a pretty gourmet experience, as our experiments with dippers has gone off the charts.  

It is a marvel to me that what started as a pity party has become a second generation treasure.  The sauce is much richer and more sophisticated now, but the laughter hasn't changed a bit.  Fruit is still a favorite dipper, but everything from bacon to store-bought cookies and potato chips have taken a turn. It might well be my favorite night of the year.   I didn't take a single photo this year so you will have to take my word for it: it was a treat.

Since then, Jack has taken his first solo trip in the Tesla, definitely against my better judgement because of his impaired vision.  But to be fair, even though he is missing an entire field of vision since the stroke, he DID pass the eye exam required of legal drivers.   And of course the Tesla has a lot of safety features that our other cars have lacked.   I will not ride with him anytime soon, but I can hardly raise a fit about a legal driver driving a car that he has purchased and insured.   Fingers crossed for all of us.

Yes, there are flies in the ointment.  Life is not perfect.  My daughter is still in the Orleans Parish Prison, waiting for her hearing this coming Monday on probation violation and the underlying cocaine charge.   She spent her 40th birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years there.  Her biggest fault is a mental illness and the addiction she developed to try to control it.  There is lots of post-company work here at the house that Jack, still mostly in bed, and I, still partly crippled, haven't yet gotten under control.  I have heard from my surgeon, and they are ready for a phone conference about my upcoming surgery.    I will be glad to have some details, although I am still torn about the whole idea.  I am getting used to being in constant, chronic, low level pain, and hate to think of ramping it up to something worse.    Still (taking a deep breath), it would be nice to be able to do usual household chores again.   I'm trying to believe in life after prison, life after chaos, life after recovery.

So for now,  for just a little bit longer, I am enjoying life by the fire.  The tree is still up for another day or so, and we had bean and ham soup simmering on the stove today.  The Christmas leftovers are gone and Dominoes season starts this coming Sunday.   Life is not perfect, but it is still almost unbearable good.   Happy New Year.


Barbara said...

So a real mixed bag for the new year, but it sounds like there’s plenty to celebrate. I’ll tell you what so many have told me: focus on the present. Worry is unproductive. It will all play out in its own time, and it doesn’t sound as if there’s anything you can do to change outcomes. Enjoyed your story about the fondue. I love how those kinds of traditions get started. Definitely making lemonade from lemons.

Marie Louise said...

Barbara said the right words and I am glad you ended on a positive note.
It is nice to have a family tradition. I tried to come up with one especially for our own children and I failed but our daughter speaks fondly about the christmasses when she was young, so I guess in some way it was special for her.
Next year this time you will be glad that you had your operation!
I hope you have a good year.

Denise :) said...

We have a fondue tradition in our family, too! The entire meal...LOL! Hoping things fall into place for y'all. It sounds like your means of facing it is positive and good. Happy New Year to you! :)