Boxing Day. Julia and I say ‘Happy Boxing Day’ to each other without any idea of what it means. So, I looked it up—It isn’t the day people make bonfires of the boxes that their Christmas presents came in. Neither is it the day to return all the boxes containing ill-fitting or ill-styled gifts. Those were pretty lame guesses but the best we could come up with. Google revealed (with some disagreement) that Boxing Day was British, which we knew, and traditionally a day off for servants. Servants received a ‘Christmas Box’ from the ‘master’ and then were allowed to go home to give the boxes to their families. Umm, but that’s not what happened on Downton Abbey, my British manor house reference point. Having no servants to gift with boxes, we will read, write and draw, then go to the movies. I miss friends who host game playing parties on this day. Maybe next year. Continue reading
Old December holiday styled header today. Not this year’s at all; however, for how challenging the last few days have been, I want to claim December and celebrate cozy holidays.
Today, we put up and decorated our little fake tree. Bought during a year that we were going to spend a long Christmas holiday with Cheshire and Julia still wanted a tree. Since then, Julia has asked to put it up as soon as Thanksgiving is over and I could see no reason to say no. It was on the schedule for Sunday, today is Wednesday, but the little tree is up. As are a few decorations and a string of lights around the mantle. Continue reading
Public Service Announcement: “Regularly used in text messages or online, the word/ letter /phrase /term, “K” really only means one thing: Fuck You. The use of a “K” should be reserved for very selective moments of frustration or annoyance, otherwise it sends the wrong impression.” Read more here.
Am I the last person in the cyber world to know this?? Perhaps. I can definitely think of specific people who have used this with me. If they meant it in any other way but a casual “okay,” I was clueless. I think of myself as a relatively savvy-for-an-old-lady online participant—I do wonder where people get their gifs from and so quickly after I message them. My older daughter has promised to show me. But this, K stuff is perplexing. Who told who and when and why did they leave me out? Continue reading
Believe it or not, I have been journal writing a lot this month and yet I’ve been unwilling to bring anything to the point of posting and publishing.
I read a poem every morning curtesy of Joe Riley and his email list called Panhala. (I can’t find a working link for the site but a subscription request might be here: firstname.lastname@example.org.). I took up this habit about 8 years ago because I never liked reading poetry and it seemed that all the work I was doing and the people that I was working with valued poetry and always had something inspirational to read to begin meetings. At that time, I also remembered that I had promised myself to read poetry (and also Proust) in my old age, assuming as I did when I was very young and callow, that deep understanding would be mine by the time I reached oldladyhood. Somehow I came across Joe Riley’s work of sending out daily poems and I subscribed. I deleted many without even a read when my email inbox got overwhelmingly full and I stopped in the middle of reading many times because I just didn’t get it; however, little by little, over the years, I have come to some understanding of poetry. And I now envy poets, like painters, who can say so much, move so deeply with a minimum of words. It is not my talent, as this long paragraph attests to, but my appreciation grows with every verse I read. Continue reading
~ I found a coffee shop with WiFi and other folks sitting and tapping away on laptops. And pretty okay avocado toast and latte. It is on a side street that is the size of an alley. I had looked for it yesterday and couldn’t find it. Clearly, it is a gem as there could not be much walk by traffic. And I found a parking space.
~ Parking. If I moved directly from Park Slope, Brooklyn, to Newton, MA, I would opine that parking in and around Newton was a challenge but not impossible. However, having spent umpteen years in the midwest, parking in Newton feels close to impossible at times. Also, having a line of cars behind me and no place to pull over and let them pass when I am looking for a parking space is uncomfortable. I’ll get used to it, I know, just now . . . I am very grateful for early Jersey training in parallel parking. The skill is like riding a bike. Continue reading
Tuesday: First day of Julia’s Junior year at Newton North High School. Today has been a bit more than a year in the making. The first queries I wrote to Boston area high schools, when I was still just toying with the idea of moving, were dated mid-August 2018. So, today feels like crossing a finish line and at the same time, it is the beginning of another big adventure.
I drove Julia to school this morning and her case manager met her at the door. Julia went in at 11, an hour before upper class students were due to arrive and two hours after the freshman class started. The Sped administrator, who has been our life line since we arrived, suggested the time and it gave Julia a chance to have lunch and settle in before the school filled up. Continue reading
Sitting in a coffee shop whose name I’ve already forgotten. There is no free wifi here which suggests that I will try the Starbucks around the corner next time. My car is parked at a metered space that I probably don’t have enough time on. I can’t always tell if there is a time limit on parking spaces. Julia is at an orientation for new students. She is anxious and scattered and so am I.
New reality: Carry change for meters. Find a coffee shop with free wifi. Get acquainted with feeling scattered. Continue reading
Sunday, second day of the Framingham PopCult Anime Con.
Spiky green hair or extraordinarily long pink hair, intricate foam weapons, knee high boots with lifts, tails and long gray gloves, short skirted Japanese school girl uniforms, maids and sword carrying warriors stalk the hotel halls. There are a few other functions going on in the hotel. Did the family reunion in the Concord Room know they would be running into imaginary adventurers?
Julia’s passion for My Hero Academia is completely in line with the many, many con attendees who are dressed as Hero characters or sporting identifiable tee shirts. Lots of bought costumes and some more original hand made ones are on display. A beautiful looking Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle won best costume of the con. The character, Howl, is male; I am not sure of the con’s Howl. The gender of many bewigged attendees is a complete mystery and after awhile I stop guessing. So many of the anime characters could be either or both depending on the adventure, the plot line, or the preference of the composer. Boys in skirts and make up; girls as male warrior characters. Julia has gone from rigid identifications of gender when she entered high school to the ability to accept the fluidity of this gathering. She declares that she wants to cross-dress but either I don’t understand exactly what she means or she doesn’t understand the concept. She still wants to wear dresses and skirts all the time. Now, how is that cross dressing? Continue reading
So much moving, nothing stops time, nothing stops emotion ebbing and flowing. There are lessons of impermanence around every corner.
The bullet points of the now:
-We have a place to live! Last Thursday, Cheshire and I saw the first floor of an owner occupied 2-family victorian house, 3-bedrooms, good kitchen, laundry hook-ups in basement, off street although not garage parking and relatively close to stores and restaurants and pretty. I made application on Friday, was rushed along when another prospective renter expressed interest, the RE agent called me (in Indianapolis, thank goodness, we don’t need land lines anymore) and broke the good news. Lease signing, check sending, other document signing was a stuttering flurry over the next few days. I think I can safely say that we have a place to live in Newtonville. Continue reading
I began this two days ago and wrote more in the morning, the day after Judge Kavanaugh complained the his “family and  name have been totally and permanently destroyed.” He also said what goes around, comes around. I believe Christine Blasey Ford. I believed Professor Anita Hill. These women have showed courage beyond my wildest dreams. My thoughts of the season pale beside their actions. I honor them.
Still, I write.
Ah, the turning of the season! Last week or late the week before, I noticed a few fringes of red on the trees I see driving on the Beltway. Why don’t I know the names of trees? I could say the oaks are redding, the maples show scarlet. Maybe one day. Not today. Closer to home, the ashes are yellowing and dropping those tiny yellows so that the street gutters are looking messy with yellows and greens and browns. I love that clutter. Every year at this time, I remind myself never to buy a house in this season. The colors, the wind, the crackle of cold air, the smell of first logs in fireplaces and the clutter of leaves lining the gutters in streets—I would be romanced, swept off my feet. I would not make a sensible decision. Continue reading