A la Jennifer F. But on Thursday instead of Friday.
1. On Saturday I was given a wedding present. We have these lovely dear friends Dori and Chad, who married the week before we did. We drove from their wedding here in CA all the way back to Canada the week before our wedding. They never did make it to ours. The nerve, going on honeymoon instead.
At some later date they also made the trek to Canada to visit Dori's family and several of our mutual friends. On one such visit they were handed a rather small little box wrapped with white roses to please give to us when they saw us again. That was more than 8 years ago.
See, they forgot, and then we moved to Canada for 5 years or so. And then they moved around a lot. etc, repeat. Finally, last Saturday as we sat down to dinner they presented this little parcel that they have faithfully held on to for more than 8 years, through dozens of moves. The wrapping paper wasn't even torn. We all had a good laugh about it.
I can't wait to write the thank-you card.
2. Ever notice that the less you go out the less stuff you need? A trip to the grocery store is a lesson in how people are encouraged to spend money they don't have on things they don't need, and may not even want.
In what kind of culture does it become possible to sell a blow up snowman on an airplane with rotating propellers for $100? And do people really buy it at that price when we all know in one month it will go on clearance for $20? If you wanted an inflatable snowman, would you really pay $100 for it?
3.Wouldn't it be awesome if the Genius Husband won the Art of Manliness Man of the Year Award? Then I could start calling him Man of the Year on this blog, instead of Genius Husband, or MOTY for short. That would rock. So go and vote for him if you haven't already kay?
4.The scarf that I was wearing in the haircut picture came from Dead Uncle Gordon. That is what we call him now thanks to the Boy. I think when uncle Gordon died the Boy was just at the edge of being old enough to understand such things. And it was the most hands on memorial he has ever witnessed. Who wouldn't remember driving to Palm Springs, riding the Gondola to the top of Mount San Jacinto, and the digging ashes and bits of bone out of a little ziplock bag and scattering them to the wind. Ever since, the Boy does not talk about uncle Gordon with out specifying his deadness. He is, and probably always will be, known as DEAD Uncle Gordon. The scarf is made entirely from muskox wool or qiviut and is from the arctic. We constantly wished, that week of packing up his things that we knew the stories behind the many exotic treasures he had stored up over the years.
5. My grandparents just celebrated their 60 wedding anniversary. That's 60 years of choosing to put up with another person's shit. That takes a lot of commitment to pull off. And realistic expectations. I think possibly the main problem with modern marriage is that people expect it to be like a romantic comedy, and if it's not perfect and they are not always happy they bail.
I'm still trying to figure out how our culture got to such a place, where immediate gratification is the only option. No wonder there are so many people so deeply unhappy and so deeply in debt.
So anyway, yay to my grandparents for not being afraid of work, pain and hardship, and for coming through the other side of life's challenges rich in family and friends and people who love them. Yay to them for putting up with each other and loving each other, even if they do the same irritating thing every day for 30 years. Yay to them for being bigger than the small things, for not stumbling over the pebbles in the road or changing course because of them. I wish I could be there with the giant crowd of cousins and relatives to celebrate them today.
6.My sister is getting married in January. In Canada. One corner of my mind will not stop doing math to try and figure out if I can go, even though my first gut reaction is that I will have to miss it. There is no room in our budget right now for travel, except, you know, plane tickets to Thailand in March?
My brother is having a baby in March, his first. Well, he's not giving birth to her himself... but, you know what I mean. I have a little niece in the works, my first niece. I have wanted to see my little brother as a dad. I know he'll be good at it. I always carry in my heart the image of him in the hospital room holding his little nephew for the first time and talking to him. The tenderness in his face toward that child is one of those things that I will always treasure. I've looked forward to the day when I can see him hold his own child the same way. And of course I will not get to because he lives thousand of miles away from me in a different country and we are moving away even farther.
This segment should be titled, My Siblings Have Lousy Timing. They finally get around to these matrimonial, procreative activities when I'm no longer around to enjoy them. (Wait, that sounded a lot dirtier than I intended didn't it?)
7. So have you seen the news lately? South east Asia is not the place you want to be headed to these days. And yes, it does make me feel apprehensive. I just gave notice this week, and now there is the chance of civil war, in which case getting a visa might be a bit tricky, plus there's the whole moving to a potential war zone conundrum. I don't like living in constant limbo. But I'm sort of getting used to it, which is good, because I have a feeling the need to be able to is only going to increase in the next few years. I feel like my entire life has been a process of letting go of stuff that I really really like, comfort, predictability, safety, and security in order to start to reach for things I want more, like life, joy, meaning. Yes, it's more dangerous outside the castle walls than within, but there's a lot of beauty that will be missed if I never venture outside.