It’s finally winter – and I hate it. We don’t have pretty snow. We have a light cover and very fierce winds. It’s really cold and there’s nothing to compensate for it: no snow-dappled trees or the satisfying crunch of my boots as I walk through the white world.
No, it’s just disgusting. The sound of the wind outside makes me feel like staying in bed all day. Mind you, this is pretty much the way it’s supposed to be in January (minus the snow pack). We’ve all been spoiled by the mild winter up until now. We were practically in shirtsleeves outside at Christmas. Now it’s like my image of a moon base – barren and cold. Yikes!
It’s finally cold outside. I need my winter coat. No snow yet, but the local shops are putting up their displays and the Town is getting ready for a holiday blow out this weekend: tree lightings, caroling, special promotions at shops and restaurants. White lights are draped over trees in Arlington Center and trees are on sale, ready for ornaments all all that.
We’ll probably pick out a tree this weekend, just in time to kick off Hanukkah! I’ll have to dig out my husband’s menorah and remind him to get candles so we can light the thing. My travel arrangements for Buffalo are set and I’m starting to look around for presents to purchase or make.
Okay, so this is feeling cool. I’m getting into it. It’s been a little hard to get into the spirit since my mom passed, but enough time has transpired so that I can feel that holiday joy in my heart.
Finally, after yet another bout with an unexpected and unwelcome virus I’ve managed to get myself both outside and active as well as inside and working. At this point, this foolishness has been going on for about two months and I’m not out of the woods yet. So far I’ve had visits from two different viruses, one of which may have been some version of mono. At least that’s what the tests might indicate. I came down with a run-of-the-mill cold about two weeks ago and am still stuffy and more tired than I should be.
And no one, no one, knows why or how I got those hallucinations in November. At this point I’ve had three separate blood tests, a CT scan, an MRI, visits with a psychiatrist, neurologist and a neuro-opthalmalogist. I’ve had my central and peripheral vision tested, my blood drawn and my head examined – literally. So far we’ve determined that I’m not psychotic, don’t have a tumor, don’t have Charles Bonnet Syndrome or anything in my blood that would suggest a source of the visions. The first blood test took place in the emergency room while I was actively hallucinating, so they really started at the beginning. I have an EEG scheduled for January and after that I am done with this crap.
I haven’t had any hallucinations since that one day but am going crazy trying to figure out what the hell happened. Did I eat something? Touch something? Smell something? My doctors don’t think so, based on the sequence of events and the fact that this thing only lasted one day. So, what is it, damn it? Tell me!
I just don’t want that to happen again. It was like going on a bad LSD trip, or so I’d imagine. Whirling things, snakes and bugs, all coming at me. Yuck.
Anyway, I’m back to work and am slowly starting to dig my way out of my backlog. Fortunately, it’s a quiet time of year so I can get away with a lighter task load. I’m leaving for Western New York and Christmas on Sunday. The hubby will be driving out later, after his classes get out. I’m not planning on bringing my laptop along!
Anyway, Happy Hanukkah for those who celebrate the occasion!
Well, it’s that time of year again. Perhaps it’s the fact of my mother’s death last year, but I’ve been having difficulty getting into “the spirit” of things. A few months ago I was really looking forward to Christmas, with much more enthusiasm than I normally muster. As the time came closer, though, I felt more and more down about it. I had decided to mix things up a bit, with new Christmas tree ornaments and garland. I was also going to chuck a lot of my other decorations that I didn’t really like, but kept anyway.
I found myself extremely reluctant to do anything related to Christmas, though. I really had to force myself to go out and look for new Christmas tree bulbs and other holiday stuff. There was a weight on my chest the whole time. I talked to the hubby about it and he offered to do what he could to make this holiday cheerful for me. We got a different type of tree – big and bushy. Normally, I get two small trees and put them on top of the tall speaker cabinets in my living room. But, if I wanted to do something different, that was fine with him. He even agreed to go out in stinking, rainy weather to get the tree and drive it home on the top of the car. It was an awful day to do it, but I wanted the weekend to get it all together. He even helped me string the lights, since I’m short enough so that reaching the top of the tree is impossible without a ladder.
My husband is Jewish. It’s not his holiday but he did it for me. I feel both guilty as well as grateful. We strung up the lights the next day, after the tree had dried off and relaxed its branches a little bit. I had already purchased some new ornaments and put older, worn out ones in the trash. I have some “heirloom” ornaments, stuff that I grew up with and took along with me to Boston. Those stayed but the rest were pretty much gone. I wonder how I’ll feel about that next year. My sister bought a holiday village luminary for me last Christmas. It’s a ceramic scene of two houses, a snowman and evergreen trees. There are places inside for candles, so you can see flickering light through the little windows. It’s very sweet and has absolutely no association with any Christmas tradition I have. Perfect! I perched it onto one of the speaker cabinets to the right of the tree and added three battery-operated flickering candles. Then I laid back on the couch with a comfy blanket and looked at the tree and the luminary. It feels really peaceful and I think I did the right thing by forcing myself through the motions to get it started. Nothing fancy, just a nice view and a quiet heart.
I’m in Western New York with my family. The place is very calm and happy, even with the recent loss of my mother. My dad is moving on with his life and is at this moment attending an exercise and social program at the Veterans Administration. My sister no longer sleeps with her cell phone, expecting calls from hospitals, health care aids or my father. She’s back at work and enjoying it.
Overall, it feels good and I am grateful beyond measure. I feel love, not loss. Good.
I got myself a tree over the weekend and finished trimming it earlier this evening. Even did a little bit of Christmas shopping, too. Something odd – I couldn’t bring myself to hang the ornaments I had bought here in Boston. I felt like taking the whole lot, chucking them into the trash and then going out and buying a whole new set of them. I didn’t, of course. But here’s the odd thing: I felt comforted when I hung the ornaments I’d grown up with. I took a few with me when I left for Boston and was expecting those to be the painful ones. They weren’t and now my tree is trimmed with (mostly) 50-year old Christmas ornaments. Go figure.
It’s December. Time to get ready for Christmas, and the first such event without my mother. I’m not pushing myself too hard to ring in the holidays, but don’t want to sit it out, either. I’ll be heading back to Western New York with my husband and I’m looking forward to seeing my father, brother, sister and brother-in-law.
I’m trying to think of new ways to celebrate. Maybe have our Christmas Eve dinner at someone else’s house. Change the menu. Have fun with the family and spend time with them in ways I didn’t before. See if I can introduce new family inter-dynamics. Who knows?
There will be a holiday kick-off for the Town of Arlington on December 7, this coming Saturday. The lights are going up in the trees, local shops will be holding special sales and promotions and Christmas preparations will be in full swing. That’s when I’ll get the tree, which we always buy at the Boys and Girls Club. Maybe I’ll get new lights and other decorations for it. Like I said: mix it up a little. I think that will work!