Monday, January 2, 2012

Out with the old, in with the new

I love it when the house overflows with our kids and grandkids and friends on Christmas Day. I love cooking and watching everyone eat. All that noise and commotion gives me a feeling of satisfaction, of being connected. I know that memories are being made for future generations. People start arriving at noon and the last guests leave at 9:00. I am in my glory listening to the laughter and banter of our adult children.

I like the week in between Christmas and New Years. I catch up with old friends. Hubby and I reconnect, take hikes, eat our midday meals out as though we are on a date. It is a time to relax, renew, rejuvenate before returning to work. It is a wind down week.

I write poetry. I also hand write thank you notes to my students and messages to their parents. I sort through the stack of papers on my desk and kick myself for missing a submission deadline, vow to do it right, lose a few pounds, eat a lot less, move a little more. I take down the decorations, pack it all away until next year, and I whisper a prayer that we will all be together again next Christmas.

New Year's Eve we went out with another couple, dined and danced. I had fond recollections of years past, when Bill and I used to dance the night away, several times a week. We kicked up our heels a few times at this dance, but we complained that they were playing musuic for the younger generation, a sure sign of aging :)

New Year's Day we went to my stepdaughter's and we played cards with the adults and grandkids. It made me feel happy-sad. We are all getting older. The youngest grandkids are now all taller than me, some even tower over their grandpa. Their photo is on the side bar.

I feel old. Contented-old, not weary-old. Last year is gone, a collection of memories. We have been given a new year, a beginning. We are in a new phase in our old lives.

Today, hubby went out while I caught up on correspondence. I sat down on the couch and noticed something on the floor, a tiny seashell. Oh, how that gives me hope for spring and summer, for a beach vacation, although I can't complain about this mild winter. We are having two cold days with blustery winds, but it is going to be in the 50s again by midweek.

I saw a speck of red stuck down between the couch cushions. I pulled out a small ornament made from my son's thumbprint when he was eight years old. I sat in the quiet house. Still. I reminisced and hoped and prayed for us. For them. I am grateful. I am concerned for all of our children, for our grandchildren, and for all of the children of the world.

A little melancholy creeps over these tired old bones. This wrinkled face shows some wear, but I know deep in my heart that although I am only one person, I have made a difference ... in the lives of children, ours, theirs and other peoples' children.

I hear the back door open, such a welcome sound. Hubby says, "You want to go to lunch?"

I'm ready, and I'll be eating right, a spinach/chicken salad and oh, maybe a wee bit of banana pudding, just a taste, I promise!


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