Every fall, The General and I earnestly promise to attend one of the local agricultural fairs – and then somehow it doesn’t happen. Usually, I’ve had to work and then we forget or get absorbed in the minutiae that comes with keeping the house going. In other words, it hasn’t exactly been a priority.
But lately there has been so much sadness around us. The kind of sadness that presses down on you, making it hard to take a decent breath; it presents itself upon awakening, I can feel that tiny jungle drum in my heart, warning me that nothing in life is static or safe. I know this feeling well and I understand that it has been re-ignited by the passing of friends and family of friends, lately, by world news, giving “fresh hell” a whole new meaning. But in order to be happy now, right now, I can only focus on the everyday things that delight me. Obviously, we’ve all heard this before via Oprah, the Buddha himself or those dreadful Facebook memes but it’s still valid.
Which brings us full circle to the agricultural fair. Continue reading
A week has passed since Mother’s Day but I still wanted to blog about it because there are very few perfect days in life and this was one of them. It’s strange too because it was free of most of the things I have enjoyed in previous years, such as breakfast in bed and lacy, velvety cards with the sort of tender doggerel that can swiftly lead to a sad afternoon on the couch contemplating one’s own mortality if you’re not careful.
But there was none of that.
Since no one fancied trudging from one restaurant to the next only to encounter long, winding queues of angry, red-faced fathers who had forgotten to make brunch reservations (just like Frasier and Niles had, to be fair) The General suggested that everyone come to ours, and he would prepare his somewhat famous Eggs Benedict. I was briefly rattled (as I always am by spontaneous, sudden plans) but the boys seemed very excited to come and the house was soon filled with warm, delicious eggy smells, deeply savoury slices of ham frying gently on the stove and the booming notes of male voices as they laughed easily and regularly with one another and were generally having a great time. I studied each face in turn, knowing and loving each one so much and watched expressions from childhood pass fleetingly: a dimple in someone’s cheek as they were smiling, the mannerisms and cadence of speech I recognize as my own; the sheer symmetry of Niles’ girlfriend’s gentle face, flawless as a bone-china teacup and eyes that shine between violet and navy; And The General of course with his well placed one-liners and a touching effort to re-fill coffee cups and make sure additional heated, croissants kept appearing. With jam.
(Can I say that kindness and handsome-ness are, for me, an unbeatable combination). Continue reading
Today is the last day of a few days off – no particular reason for time off – just something to break up February and offer the chance of getting some things done around the house. To that end, I have failed miserably and I don’t know why but I just couldn’t face starting a project: perhaps, because there are so many things that need attention and I feel overwhelmed. I then play games with myself all day that I will start emptying a closet in a minute, then after a snack and before you know it, yes, I have been on the computer looking at items I will literally never buy or getting lured down a rabbit-hole of dire political forecasts.
I hate to be such a cliché but there it is. Continue reading
The General and I were having our usual Sunday morning coffee discussion group today (only 2 people permitted, dressing gowns required) and listening to a superb documentary about “grey divorce” which caused us to sit exchanging (sometimes worried glances) as women discussed either having to leave their partners of many decades or being left themselves, each terrifying for different reasons. Of course, for the person who leaves, that ‘terror’ could often be called excitement; the beginning of something new; or a totally fresh start sponged clean of predictability, routine and those little pyramids of toenail clippings in the tub. (Editor’s Note). Continue reading