Since the pandemic put the kibosh on travel, our anniversaries have been extremely low key. In the Before Time, we at least took a weekend away and the five-year anniversaries were usually a little more special-the train from Williams, AZ to the Grand Canyon, a night at East Brother Light in San Rafael Bay. We’d been planning our dream trip to Paris and Normandy for our 40th in 2020. You know that ended up a non-starter…
Keeping it low key again this year, we’re off to Simi, CA, to take in the Secrets of WWII exhibit at the Reagan Library and spend a couple of nights in a favorite hotel. With gas prices over $6 and Covid once again on the rise, we plan to stay close to the hotel, walking when we can, and keep as much to ourselves as possible while wearing masks at the Library. But despite those travel drawbacks, we’ll have a good time learnin’ and relaxin’.
I thought I’d share some of our wedding pictures on the blog today, even though it’s a day early. It was a bittersweet journey through the photo’s this year, since we won’t be getting an anniversary card from The Mom. Also missing my grandparents, especially my grandfather, who walked me down the aisle.
I’m not really into sculpture particularly but there was something about Thomas Blackshear’s Leap of Faith that struck me the first time I saw it in Virginia’s Gift Shop at Knott’s Berry Farm years ago. I kept coming back to it, fascinated with both the detail of the piece itself and the effect it had on me.
The figure is balancing on his toes and it is literally the moment before he raises his wings and leaps into the unknown. What a terrifying thrill! And what a thrilling inspiration!
You know I’m a signs and woo woo kind of girl, right?
I’ve been working from home the past two years and three months, after four years of a long, stressful Southern California commute. I decided that my sign to quit this job would be the call back to the office. Since I’m over 65, I was considered an exception when the call back came earlier this year for most everyone else. I thought I ‘d be safe until the pandemic is eventually downgraded. So, I was a little surprised when I was told my accommodation is no longer being honored and I needed to come back at least two days a week. True to my own word, I put in a month’s notice last week.
I bought the purple “A writer is a world TRAPPED in a person” bracelet from an artist on Etsy somewhere around the beginning of the lockdown, when I’d decided to pick up an old half-finished story and work on it again. Since then, I finished another story and now I’m two or three scenes away from completing a novella.
At the hospital the night before The Mom passed away, she asked that she be buried with a particular ring that she’d left in her apartment. Two years before that, she’d asked that a postcard I sent her from a visit The Husband and I made to NASA also be buried with her but when I asked her that night where it was, she didn’t have any recollection of it. She was pretty out of it by then.
When we got to her apartment, The Husband found the ring, a circle of calla lilies entwined with the word Jesus, on her nightstand. I stored it in a small box in my purse for the trip to the funeral home.
The day after she passed, as I started the sad task of cleaning out her apartment, I came across this magnet on her fridge:
There isn’t much to like today, after the mass shooting in Texas on Tuesday, with all its attendant finger pointing and political BS. Some days, just making it through one day and into the next is just so fucking hard. Some days, all our hopes and dreams seem so insignificant and impossible to care about.
But I digress.
Or do I?
I recently discovered an Instagram account called Under the Desk News. I probably came to it from Alexandra Billings’ account.
Up until my mother, Shirley Chester, died and was buried in the Boston area, I never really understood visiting graves. I wasn’t compelled in any way to go look at headstones with names and dates that would just end up making me sad. Maybe it’s because I know that’s just a physical place where their body resides but their spirit is beyond that rectangle of earth. Since I believe that they’re still around, in a mysterious form somewhere beyond the mortal consciousness, I preferred to “pay my respects” by just talking to them and telling them how much I miss them.
Last week was a Hanukkah recommendation, this week it’s Christmas!
I’ve just needed some Feel Good/Happy Endings stories
I’m writing a Christmas romance and I guess the holidays are on my mind.
First up, Single All the Way, the first gay Christmas movie produced by Netflix, starring Michael Urie and Philemon Chambers. It’s a friends to lovers trope with a bit of love triangle thrown in as tension.
Peter loves his family in New Hampshire but the thought of going home single again drives him to extremes—he talks his BFF and roommate, Nick, into posing as his lover. When that ruse quickly falls apart, mom fixes him up with her hunky trainer, James. In typical romance fashion, wires get crossed, feelings get hurt and they all live happily ever after.
I took the day off and streamed the first few episodes of the last season of Grace and Frankie, because we both loved it and she didn’t get to see this final season.
At one point, I was thinking about birthdays past and how it got harder over the years to come up with presents for her. As she lost more of her sight and mobility and the list of things she could eat got smaller and smaller, the defaults became DVD’s, books on CD and jewelry I made for her.
So, I’m either late or really early for holiday reads but who cares. I loved this rom-com about a Jewish writer of Christmas rom-coms whose life turns into a rom-com when she’s pressured into writing a Hanukkah rom-com.
Rachel Rubenstein-Goldblatt is hiding her Christmas stories from her parents and her chronic fatigue syndrome from the world. Jacob Greenberg runs a multi-million-dollar event business in Paris that masks his fear of abandonment. They broke each other’s 12-year-old hearts at a Jewish summer camp 18 years before and have been archenemies ever since.