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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Vacation 2013

          On the fourth night of my recent vacation I updated my Facebook status by saying the sometimes I feel as if I can’t hold one more drop of contentment.  That’s the truth, and how I was feeling that night as I sat on the hotel balcony on the bank of the St. Lawrence River staring at the stars and listening to the soft lapping of the water on the rocks below while reflecting on the past few days, and our plans for the next and final full day of the trip.

          We arrived in Alexandria Bay, NY on Sunday, midafternoon.  We were excited not just to be on vacation, but because we would soon be reconnecting with childhood friends of my husband whom we had not seen for over 20 years.  We had a nice evening with them, after meeting for drinks and dessert we walked up to the park overlooking the river and sat talking at a picnic table late into the evening like teenagers.  We spent the following day with them, taking a boat tour and ending with visiting in our hotel room after dinner until they finally had to leave for home.  The next day, despite being showery, we spent walking through the town looking in the shop windows and watching the river and boat traffic from our balcony.  Wednesday dawned cool and cloudy and was spent much the same way as the day before except for the bright sun once the clouds blew away.  In the evening we took a picnic dinner to the park where there was a free concert by a local blues band.  We bought both of their cds which they sold during a brief intermission, and walked back to our temporary home in semi-darkness talking about how much we had all enjoyed the concert, and remembering the one from the year before.  Once we got Hillary settled into her bed I headed out to the balcony where I felt the sense of contentment I mentioned earlier.  The following day we spent pillaging the souvenir shops for treasures and ended with a dinner at the nicest restaurant in town.

          Our vacations are slow paced and relaxing which is, in my view, just what a vacation should be since we spend the rest of the year for the most part rushing and running from one thing to another.  I cherish a string of days to let my mind wander and feel the fullness of my existence.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Dishes in the Sink

         There are those who will say that dishes left in the sink overnight is unacceptable.  While I generally don’t leave them there before going to bed, there are times when I do.  Last night was one of those times.  It was 9:00 by the time I would have gotten to them, and although I wasn’t tired, I’d had too much fun yesterday to spoil the mood with such a mundane task.  My daughters and I had a game day on our back deck with my sister-in-law and niece that began with lunch and Mad Libs.  After feasting on cold cuts, pickles, chips and laughs, we moved on to board games such as Apples to Apples and Pictionary.  We broke briefly for coffee, cookies, and muffins and continued on until my husband arrived home from work.  At dinner time we ordered pizza, watched Jeopardy, (well, that’s a game!), then returned to the deck for another board game until darkness kept us from seeing.  We moved inside for tea and the rest of the muffins over yet another game until we realized the time.  The evidence of our day was piled in the sink, and I simply turned off the light and sat down with my husband to watch a ballgame before retiring.  Upon being greeted by the sinkful of dishes this morning I smiled to myself remembering some of the funny moments from yesterday.  Now, if I could just start having the same positive attitude about laundry……..

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Mama’s Pans

         I’ve been spending the past few weeks trying to avoid the things that I must do that I don’t want to think about let alone do.  I took a short foray into one of those must do’s and spent a good chunk of the day in tears until I made a conscious decision to do something that I wanted to do and did it.  Since that day I’ve been trying to mix in every day something that I do for no other reason than because I want to and it will make me feel happy.  So it was that yesterday I found myself contemplating my maternal grandmother’s cookie sheets.

         I was in the kitchen clearing up dishes and cleaning things when I spied in the cupboard a pouch of gingerbread cookie mix and a tube of vanilla cookie icing.  I love making cookies!  I love eating warm cookies!  Out came the mix, a bowl, and the pans.  The pans are old.  My mother had them all my life as far as I remember; they had been her mother’s before that.  They don’t make pans like that anymore.  They are sturdy, rustless, heavy and a bit blackened with age and they bake cookies like no other pans I’ve ever used.  I like thinking about all the thousands of cookies that have been baked on those cookie sheets.  Christmas cookies, potluck supper cookies, bake sale cookies, college care package cookies, and now just because I want to cookies.  My daughter came into the kitchen and asked why I was making cookies, and approved of my “just because I want to” response, as did my husband when he got home.  The ginger snaps were delicious, and we even have some left.  I think it’s important to include in everyday things that we do simply because we want to, especially if life is filled with things that we don’t really want to do, but truly must.  Do something to make yourself happy and everything else won’t seem so bad.