Much too early on Thanksgiving day. The turkey should go into the oven in a three hours and I should be waking up in two to get it in there. A co-cook to be sure but turkey responsibility translates into responding to the alarm and pulling on jeans and sweatshirt to begin the big feast.
I kinda’ wish I could go back to sleep but I am not putting in (or out) the effort to do so. Instead, I browse a bit, watch the end of a very sweet movie (Quartet: Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins, Tom Courtenay and Maggie Smith) that I’ve fallen asleep on for the past two nights, and pull this up to scribble. And scribbled on until the day began and never got back to this.
Next morning, first one up. At least first one downstairs. Tea and post-over indulgence haze.
And I’m back to the bison. (Although I don’t think that this is going to be of any help to my friend, Julia, and her buffalo collection. Perhaps e-bay, Julia?)
There is a fine line for me, between beloved traditions and getting stuck. I have never been able to let go of the foil covered egg cup supposed to look like bells Christmas tree decorations that Cheshire made in pre-school. I stopped putting it on our tree when she was in sixth grade. She has two masters now and the disintegrating bells are still carefully stored in Christmas boxes.
But it goes further. I’ve been trying, not doing, but trying to replace my shower curtain. I’ve used clear shower curtains in my bathroom since I moved out of my mother’s house. I lived in tiny Manhattan spaces for years and the clear shower curtains helped the rooms look less claustrophobic. And after I left those tiny spaces, I could never find what I liked. Flowers, stripes, maps or geometric designs just don’t appeal to me. And clear is easy. I bought the last one before I moved to Madison and it’s showing age. I’ve tried to replace it off and on over the last two years but nothing.
So, a few weeks ago when Julia and I were in Chicago, we stopped at Ikea and Julia found a white shower curtain with a giant bison standing in the rain. And I thought, why not? And I think, it doesn’t look bad. And I wonder, was that a shift?
And then there is Christmas. Where are we going for Christmas? What are we gong to do? Two years in NYC, one year in Madison and last year in Florida. Nothing is taking root. I would like something to take root. I think that Julia would like to indulge in the same holiday activity every year but I don’t want to arbitrarily make those decisions. There was a time when I swore that I would never bring a fake tree into my house. There was a time when an afternoon movie was part of Christmas day or a regular Italian feast filled the evening. Last year, I bought a small fake tree. In the past, I never decorated for Christmas until after Chanukah or the week before Christmas, which ever made sense. Julia wants to start decorating as soon as we get home from Thanksgiving traveling. Well, why not? Julia loves Christmas music and twinkling lights. Why not indulge her?
So, I notice that I am observing. Waiting. Wondering. I guess if it happens it will because I or we need the traditions, the rituals, some regularity. I will be patience. Observant and patient.