Sunday, December 27, 2020

Lovely and Sad

According to the calendar, it was Christmas this week and, given that we are in the middle of a pandemic that is getting worse instead of better, it was as good as good could be.   Which is to say, it was sad and filled with longing, but also filled with moments of joy, and those are the parts that I need to hold onto.  We are, after all, living through the first pandemic where we could see and talk to our families on Zoom instead of just communicating by letter every few months, and that was the saving grace of the day.  I can't imagine how hard it would be to be out of touch for weeks at a time.  I had a wonderful visit with my son, my daughter in law and my grands as we opened gifts and talked and laughed.  Gosh, I love them all so much.  It felt so good to be 'together,' even virtually, although of course it also highlighted how far apart we are.  I ache to hug them and I warned them that when things 'open up again,' they should just plan to do things with me 24 hours a day for the foreseeable future, because I  have a lot of catching up to do!  

We also did a Zoom meet with Jack's kids -- they had asked him to not open any gifts from them until the meeting, and of course we complied with that (as we had also done with my family).  It was interesting, especially in one respect  -- although Jack insisted that I help open them, there were no gifts for me, although of course I had been very much a part of choosing the gifts (and helping decide the budget) from us to them, including making a quilt for his daughter and embroidered towels for his DIL.   I am giving up on the idea that we will ever be close and am surprisingly at peace with it.    I did not like my mother's second husband at all and so, although lord knows I always included him in gift-giving and celebrations, I can understand where they are coming from.  Still, it was a little sad, and will take more effort for me to try to be loving to them going forward.

My grands seemed happy with their Quarantine quilts and said lots of nice things about them to me; my daughter in law (whom I think of as more than a daughter) told me they never questioned the color of the backing as far as she knew.  They are so grown up now.  I am sure they wondered but it clearly did not spoil things for them and I was grateful for that.  She also told me that my grandson texted a photo of his to his girlfriend, which I saw as the Gold Star of approval.

Other than the Zoom gatherings with my family and Jack's, the two of us had a quiet day home together.  I made an almond pastry and sausage for breakfast, and I stuffed a boneless chicken for dinner -- I bought a few chickens from our local poultry farm and bought one of their deboned chicks on a whim.   I will definitely buy them again, it really was pretty amazing to be able to just slice the roasted chicken and stuffing all at once into a neat little serving size!  I didn't have any kitchen twine so the stuffing was a bit messy one one end, but the next chicken will be tied up in a neat little package and I think it will make a nice presentation.  We spent so much time on Zoom that I never had time to set the table as nicely as I had planned, but that is not the sort of thing Jack would even have noticed, so there was no point stressing about it.

Now, even though it is a week away, my mind is obviously turning in the direction of the New Year because I am already thinking along the lines of resolutions, although I am doing things a little differently this year.  I signed up to do a Secret Santa project for 2011.   At some point I will be given the name of another sewer/crafter and I have committed to making one small gift every month for them, and then mailing them all at once, in time to be opened on Christmas morning.  Some stranger will do the same for me.  I am a little nervous about it because some of the women who were in the group last year made some pretty cool stuff, but I think it will be fun and hopefully will get me to try some new ideas.  There will be a theme every month involving nature, as well as a suggested skill.  The January theme is “winter walk” and the skill suggestion is trapunto, a puffy style of quilting.  I am already working on a trapunto star in glisten-y fabric that I plan to make into a small pillow (because a winter walk makes me think of the way snow sparkles in the sun), and I am hoping to make a pair of mittens to go with it.  I have never done trapunto and I have never made mittens, so I feel like I’m off to a good start (but I plan to cheat on the trapunto and use the embroidery machine to do it.  Not even January and I'm already cutting corners!).  I also signed up to be part of a group where we commit to finishing a dozen projects that we started and put aside — and of course I have MANY of those.  We will number our UFOs from one to twelve, and then every month the leader will draw a random number and that is the project we will complete, sharing photos at the end of the month.    I am hoping this idea will help me get more done next year than I did this year.  A long shot but worth a try.

I suspect that New Year's Eve will be bittersweet.  It is my tradition to spend that evening with my son and Jen and the grands for chocolate fondue and Jack has joined in for the last few years.  It is always a joyous celebration that generally involves food, fondue, Christmas crackers and games.  This year, of course, we will not be together and I am already feeling sad about it.  But, chocolate fondue or not, a new year will begin and we are certainly ready for that.  I hope to spend this week tying up a few loose ends from 2020, and then I will be happy to kick this most disappointing year to the curb.


Julierose said...

We did ZOOM also, hubby and I were quite nervous as we couldn't get the sound up easily--but finally we did!! We olde folke feel very "out of it". It had been a whole year since we even have seen our nice to "see" them if only virtually...
What a world we are inhabiting right now...I am so thankful for my quilting, embroidery and diamond painting to keep me busy...and reading of course...
I am still hopeful that 2021 will be better...take care and stay safe...
hugs from very cold SE CT Julierose

Marie Louise said...

so nice to read that your grands appreciated the quilts you made for them and of course they didnot notice the wrong backing. That is not how teenagers think, that's us who fret over and over about mistakes we made.
I admire your goal about santa's 2021 and it will be a surprise to see what someone else made about the themes of the months.
We will be also alone at new years eve and eat a lot of special dutch treats that only will be eaten that single evening. They are a kind of fried cookies, delicious but very filling so I will start the new year with a full stomac but without resolutions because I never follow up on them.
Stay safe and healthy!

Barbara said...

Nice to read about your holiday celebration. Your ‘no gifts” section made me sad. It would be hard for me to make peace with that too. I’m glad everybody liked their quilt, and I’m with you about texting a photo. Definitely a sign of approval. Here’s hoping for a better year ahead. Honestly, I’m not sure it could get any worse.