Years ago, the first time I lived in Albuquerque, I took a class and learned how to make pysanky*, Ukrainian Easter eggs.
This was back in the days before Hobby Lobby. I’d noticed a small craft store on San Mateo, between the wig shop and the scuba shop, or maybe the craft shop used to be where the scuba shop is now.
Anyway, that was a long time ago and the shop is long gone now, but they held unusual classes, such as the Ukrainian egg decoration. I signed up.
Do I talk about a year that I’d rather forget? For me, 2016 can be summed up in one word–difficult. Nothing could have prepared me for the death of my son last May.
Do I concentrate on looking forward? For the first time in many years, I don’t have “plans” for the new year. I have some ideas and goals, but there’s no strategy for accomplishing them. And there are no travel plans. Yet.
Technically, I’m traveling now. I’m sitting in a brownstone in Brooklyn, NY. I spent Christmas with my BFF and Fran, my former student, who was visiting from Chile. Travel makes for interesting connections.
Many, many years ago, long before I got married or Phillip was born, I made an advent calendar.
It was made of felt, in the shape of Santa Claus. On his big, triangle-shaped belly were 24 little pockets. Each one held a felt Christmas ornament, which I also made. There were bells, balls, angels, snowmen, etc. All had sequins, beads, and trimmings.
The idea was to take one out each day and hang it on the Christmas tree. My Advent Santa was a decoration himself. He hung on the wall, and I pulled out the ornaments, one a day, during December.
It’s that time of the year, Thanksgiving Eve, and I’m watching my traditional “Thanksgiving” movie, Home for the Holidays.
Good sound track, great cast. Funny, sad, poignant. Holly Hunter, Anne Bancroft, Charles Durning, Robert Downey Jr.
I’d been planning a low-key Thanksgiving. Alone, but I’m okay with that. I bought all the customary, commercial food, a turkey breast that’s probably loaded with hormones and chemicals. Stovetop stuffing. Just add water, right out of the box. Fluff it with a fork and voila! Instant stuffing. Cover it with gravy made from McCormick’s gravy mix, added to the turkey drippings, and you’d hardly ever guess that it wasn’t homemade. I bought potatoes, both white and sweet, because you need mashed potatoes for that gravy, and sweet potatoes because they’ve got lots of fiber and vitamin something-or-other. Nahhh, I just like them. Last, but not least, I have the cranberry jelly that “slides out of the can,” as Lucy van Pelt famously said in Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving.