Sometimes I experience the Christian season of Advent as an artificially imposed waiting period. Like, you will get Christmas if you sit quietly for four weeks. Let’s all patiently wait for the Baby Jesus to be born though this actually happened several thousand years ago and we go through this every year. This season of waiting, of course, is completely countercultural. We are surrounded with Get ready! Buy now!
It is amusing and a bit mysterious how I reach a set point when it comes to taking on things. I am willing and willing and doing and doing and then suddenly—too much. Something pushes me over my limit. The French have a word for this: le comble, the ultimate, the “too much,” the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Continue reading
A pretty but too early snow falls in my birthday week. Global warming, they say? Well, the snow is falling on autumn leaves that are still attached to trees. Trees used to always be bare by my birthday. In recent years they hang on at least two weeks longer than before. So what does it mean when fall comes later and snow comes earlier?
The key is that it is unusual. Nothing is normal. Or, the new “normal” is change and disruption. Unpredictability is an ambiguous gift for my birthday. Continue reading
Getting the documents together to apply to sponsor an asylum seeker is as complicated as applying for a visa for Congo, a process that always daunts me though I’ve been through it countless times.
The sponsor application was complicated by a last-minute switch in who was being sent to us, complicated by notarization required for one document, complicated by the local coordinator sending jpegs to include in our application that were too small to be readable and having to resend them, complicated by forgetting to include said documents and having to go back into the house to get them, complicated by forgetting my wallet when I did go to the post office and having to go back home to get it, complicated by having to pay more than expected to send a package that will arrive later than expected because the P.O. “doesn’t deliver overnight to some places,” one of them being a border county in New Mexico where said asylum seeker is waiting for deliverance from a detention center into our charge. Continue reading
I’m doing better now that I’ve come to terms with the dark cloud hovering over my head: my late mother and my own mortality. Still, there are days when I can’t do more than one or two things. The weather is that cold-rain, almost-snow deep fall gray more typical of November than October and I literally feel “under the weather” a lot of the time. Sad weather weighs me down. I hibernate and don’t get enough exercise. A head cold threatens despite daily doses of immunity boosters.
But today I made a rather momentous decision. Maybe that is my one thing for today because decisions can be taxing, right? Continue reading
I will soon be 75. This is not old by today’s standards, and most of the time I do not feel old, but if I survive until mid-November I will have exceeded my mother’s lifespan. She died eleven days before her 75th birthday. Continue reading
There was a little gathering Sunday afternoon that meant a lot to me. It was a gathering of cousins on my mother’s side and a few members of the next generation as well. It was not a big, all-day family reunion; just a few hours of reminiscences over ice cream and other goodies including Grandma Kauffman’s date pudding.
It was significant because it never happens, even though many of us live within an hour of each other. Continue reading
When you start out on something that seems promising but outside your comfort zone, you can easily lose momentum, chicken out. You hear the countering voices. What was I thinking? I am making too much of this. I’ve been feeling this about my little Traychon project, about the young man who was shot behind our house, which I wrote about just two days ago. Nevertheless, I have persisted in following my impulses or perhaps the Spirit. Continue reading
I have always been a morning person but recently it’s been taking me most of a morning to get fully charged.
I start with coffee but Vic complains that I’ve been drinking more than I used to, i.e. more than my share. Yet I still drink a bit less than he does. Why is this a problem? Can’t we just make more coffee? Well, the system we’ve adopted to make our artisan pour-over, deliciously strong coffee makes no more than 700 g of coffee at a time. (Yes, we weigh it.) If one of us needs more than our established share, we have to make another pot or partial pot. That’s too much bother first thing in the morning.
But coffee is just the start. I’ve been needing more than my established share just to do the next parts of my charging routine. Continue reading
One of the first things I decided to do after the 2016 election was to stop coloring my hair. In the months that followed, the light brown I’d adopted for the past 20 years, something close to the color I was born with, gave way to snowy white. I am delighted with my new look, the result of genes inherited from my white-haired father and grandparents.
I told friends that I’d been waiting to stop coloring my hair till I was pretty sure it was growing out all white rather than gray. But there were deeper reasons for choosing to go white at that particular time, even though I couldn’t articulate them at first. Continue reading