Sunday, December 26, 2010

Poor judgement and ghosts of Christmas past

Continuing in my thoughtful mood, been thinking of the recently departed holiday.  Yesterday morning was wonderful, brunch at daughters, opening presents...shades of little kids ripping open packages, barely seeing what they contained before moving on to the next one.  Then a first for me.  Rather than spend Christmas dinner with family, I went to my best friend's house to spend it with her family.  "best friend" is sort of a wierd term to use when one is almost 52 years old...kinda like calling a significant other a "boyfriend", but that's what she is.  I taught her two kids in preschool, and she was my aide for several years.  Fond memories of her mouthing obscene words for me to include in the "letter of the week" brainstorming sessions with 5 year olds.  She's the kind of friend I can call up on the way home and ask what's for supper.  If she's cooking, she says come over, if not, then I'm on my own.  The point is, I can call and she's there.  Not being shy, I was one of the first to serve my plate.  I went into the deserted living room, ate and watched the fire in the fireplace (like where else would the fire be) I sat there alone for maybe 5-10 minutes taking stock of how things change.  It wasn't sad, it just was.  I was warm, safe, surrounded by good people, and fed.  What could be wrong? 

I came home to argue with my stomach about the amount of rum I'd consumed.  My side of the story is that since I was visiting, eating and generally not paying attention, I didn't realize how close the Captain and I had become.  My stomach didn't care what the circumstances were.  Then my brain had to get involved and reason with the stomach...keep a grip on things, we'll talk in the morning.  Nothing horrible happened, just a little payback for the Captain.  Woke with just a little regret nestled around my temples as a reminder that I'm way too old for such poor judgement. 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Empty Chairs and reflections on Christmas past

Maybe it's the season, my age, or the wine I had at the family dinner, but I'm feeling very reflective.  If I tend to ramble, you will forgive me?  It's warm outside, not hot omg why do i live in louisiana warm, but not ho-ho-ho sleighbells ring either.  The traditional Italian dinner always sets me to thinking of empty chairs.  The chairs of Christmas' past that were filled with friends and family we don't have anymore.  When you are little and sitting at the kids table, you long to fill a grown ups chair, be one of the big people.  Why am I with these little kids, I'm sooo much bigger than them, your 7 yr old self says.  But, too soon, we are at the grown up table, in a grown up chair.  We're with our parents and our kids are at the kids table.  I'm at the point in my life in which my Dad's chair is empty now.  My kids are at the grown up table.  My Mom is in her chair, but she gets smaller and more frail each year.  Her chair seems half empty already. 

I guess the point of this, if there is a point besides the one that I'm in a melancholy mood, is that we should try and appreciate the filled chairs around us.  I know that's hard sometimes, and there've been times when I've wanted to pick up my Mother's chair (with her in it) and toss it out the window.  But I digress.  Thank God for those chairs, and ask that He save a spot for the ones headed to His table when they leave ours.