Saturday, January 1, 2022

Happy New Year, Please.

We celebrated Christmas and kissed 2021 goodbye by having a lovely dinner of Indian carryout and chocolate fondue with my son, daughter in law and the two older grands.  I love our fondue tradition, I love those people!,  but it is clear that things are on the verge of change again.  It took a "grown up" to suggest that we open gifts, and we totally forgot to do the Christmas Crackers before Ray left early to go to a party with friends.  The grands aren't babies anymore and so they naturally will continue to be pulled away by friends and circumstances as they find their own lives, just as they should.   It is possible that the fondue tradition will continue for a few more years before its next pause.  It is even possible that it will circle around again, as it did when  my son left home and created his own life and his own family.   But whether it continues any distance into the future isn't within my control, and that's okay.   I have gotten so much more value out of a tradition that started with a cheap chocolate bar and a little bit of fruit than I ever would have imagined.  More evidence that the seeds we plant, often by accident, sometimes take on a life of their own.

Jack and I were talking this morning about what we would like to accomplish in 2022.  I told him I was formulating a "Hope List," which he mis-heard as Hopeless.   At this point, of course, we have a blank slate so it could go either way, I guess.  What we really wanted to talk about was travel, but it is so hard right now to imagine what kind of travel options we will have in 2022; day trips only?  Visits to other states?  A tour of another country?  We just don't know.  So  the conversation quickly turned into a ToDo list for things that need doing around the house.  That led, naturally, to talk of the Covid-19 progression and then to the realization that a virus and a corporation seem to have many of the same goals -- to grow and prosper, even at the expense of others, but not completely destroy the host.  Since my Hope List had by this point gone further toward Hopeless than either of us wanted, we thought it best to stop there and revisit 2022 goals sometime later.

We know for sure that some practical considerations are on the list.  The house needs to be repainted or sided, if we can find available workers this year who are competent to do the job.  Last year local businesses complained that their usual workers were not available much of the time.  We had our crumbling porch repaired last year because it simply had to be done but, although it is pretty, the workmen did not do a competent job; the center of the porch is uneven and gathers water when it rains or snows, and the porch is unlikely to last as long as it should.   Not surprisingly, talk about house repairs led to talk about how long we should expect to continue to live in a house that is many times too large for us, and where we will move when it all becomes just too much.  Which led to a brief conversation into the political situation and the weather concerns and the connection of both to climate change.  We quickly walked away from that conversation and into our respective sewing rooms, where we found it nearly overwhelming to just tackle our own post-Holiday mess, much less the mess of the world.  I set my timer of 15 minutes and managed to clear out one small box before I came back to my laptop to rest up before returning to another 15 minutes of productivity.  I am hoping to regained some sort of order before next week, when I will take down the Christmas decorations and need to create some pretense of order out of that.

Still, I have no serious complaints.  If things have been better at other times in my life, they have most certainly also been worse.  Most of Jack's kids are out of work, but they are healthy.  The baby is thriving.  My son and his family are coping and, even if the pandemic has caused some havoc with their school and work lives, and even if the kids' high school experience is not what any of us expected, and even if everyone's future seems somehow unsettled, they are all healthy.  Jack and I are cozy and very well fed and happy to be together, at least most of the time.   There are times when we crave company, and times when we think we would be fine if we never saw another person.  So all in all, we are content.  If we can have another year with no larger problems, I dare not be disappointed.   To paraphrase the Leonard Cohen lyrics,  although the pretty woman in her darkened door might cry out to me, "why not ask for more," I am more akin the the beggar leaning on his wooden crutch who says "don't ask for so much."   I hope to embrace every bit of goodness that comes my way.  

Whatever you hope for, I hope you get it.  Happy New Year.