This evening I will celebrate with an old friend who is in assisted living with Stage 4 Cancer having been diagnosed 4 or 5 years ago now. We will share an hour of no phones, no TV, meditate, light candles (LED candles as no fires of any kind are allowed in her place), maybe sing together. We'll drink some sparkling juice, eat traditional Scottish shortbread and welcome the coming light. In ten days I will go out and cut some forsythia branches and watch them come into bloom indoors as a sign that spring will soon be here -- even though today is the first day of winter. I hope you are all settling for the long winter's night, enjoying the dark time and looking forward to the coming light.
I'm going to participate in National Small Stones Month, in which I will write a "small stone" every day in January 2011. I will write it here in this blog, and will create some sort of river to start my new year. Will you join me? if you are interested, please visit pathofpossibility.com for more information.
Trying to keep those spirits up! Buckets of rain not helping much. Daughter's car (which I share) broke down on Friday night -- brakes went out -- that didn't help much. I have to walk down to the auto shop now and pick it up. And pay for it. That's a chunk o'change. But part of my caregiving package: physical, emotional, financial. I'm glad I'm able to help. So many people in so much worse shape, here in Portland, all over the world. I mailed another get well card to my recovering Mom today with a letter of encouragement (get up and walk, Mom) as well as a birthday card and letter to my ex. Two people I spent a lot of years with. So, Happy Holidays everyone! Let's keep those spirits up, remember to be grateful for what we do have, not despairing for what we don't have. Cheers!
Had a wonderful coffee break with a young friend today. She came with CDs of my grandchildren singing in their recital, as she was their singing teacher. They have both left her now, but both gained a great deal of self esteem and knowledge from her while in her charge. She is a remarkable young woman who was caregiver for her mother and grandmother, so we spoke of our experiences. We also discussed creative outlets, singing, music, writing. Talked about favorite relatives, had some laughs. A much-needed outing, very much enjoyed.
I still need to wrap some gifts for the mail this week, write a letter to my Mom this evening and put it in the post tomorrow with another get well card -- she's going to be in rehab for that broken hip a long time. sigh.
The car has to go into the shop tomorrow. So no Holiday Shopping for me for at least one day, maybe more. And more debt. ugh.
I hope all of you are NOT incurring debt this holiday, but are spending only the cash you can afford when it comes to gifts. We can have cheer without debt, yes?
I'm forcing myself to get into the holiday spirit. I have made plans to celebrate Winter Solstice (my favorite winter holiday) with my friend. We will light LED candles (she can't have real candles in her assisted living joint) have some sparkling cider and talk about writing and the goddess until late in the night (9pm). Last night I sang carols with my teenage grandson -- I knew the tunes, even if I didn't remember the lyrics. All those years in Sunday School ground those tunes in deep. He has never even heard most of them having been raised in non religious households and schools. He has been going caroling with his choir groups this year though and is learning some, so we did our best. Also, I have now shopped for two people. Yay! Three more to go. One is a Visa card, she knows that. One is books. What to get my son who needs everything? hm. Also, I may wrap up some of my own abundance and send it to my faraway friends who don't really need anything, but who doesn't like to get packages in the mail? Yes, I'll wrap and mail those gifts tomorrow.
OMG, it's December 7th already. I sent out Hanukkah cards on time. I also sent out early Holiday e-cards, trying to lift my own spirits and remind my close friends that I care about them. I've bought exactly one gift so far. How are you people doing? Where does one dredge up the energy to get through the season when one simply doesn't feel like it? I really don't feel like it. My mom broke her hip eleven days ago. She's 93, 2,000 miles away being properly cared for by my sister and brother-in-law, and I'm here caring for my daughter who needs me way more. All my grandchildren are teenagers who really only want money, although my grandson has asked for books, the girls just want money. I don't know what to buy my faraway son. He needs everything, as he is starting over in midlife. We are all living on far too little money, everyone is sad and/or depressed. Mom may or may not live through the holidays. I am grateful for what I do have, that is true. I am grateful that my kids are alive, that my grandchildren are healthy, that I'm alive and this sadness will pass. I have my writing, I have so many good friends, and I have my wonderful sister and brother-in-law out there with my Mom. There is love and light.
Blue Roses and Copperheads and Common Women are now available on Amazon.com in book form.
In Kindle-compatible format at Amazon.com are my short story Summer's Over and my mystery novel The Hounding, which is an homage to Sherlock Holmes and has received great reviews. You can also find either of these on my website in pdf format at www.SandradeHelen.com.
A myriad of plays: full length, one act, solo, ten-minute, and monologues. Please hie yourself to my website for excerpts, even some mp3 versions. www.SandradeHelen.com