to the moon and back

I really didn’t want to be one of those people sharing all the romance and flowers and love notes and gifts that are Valentine’s Day. I really didn’t. My darling husband and I are basically old married people…he looks like a grumpy Get Off My Lawn old man and every waking and most sleeping hours I am now painfully aware of my swollen, achy, arthritic joints…so we basically made no plans for Valentine’s Day. It’s for the young ones we agreed.

Still my darling husband DID buy new dishes the week before. Understand that we have had the same dishes since we were potty training adult members of this circus act. We now have dinnerware for GROWN UPS; dinnerware that I noticed one time months prior as really good looking dinnerware. Y’all can have your flowers and cards and box of chocolates and wine…okay, I would like the wine too…but my darling husband and I don’t need One Day to express our love. We have every day together and five children and two grandchildren and brand new dishes. So, for Valentine’s Day, which was Tuesday, I worked so that the young ones could have the night off…and go out to dinner on a Tuesday. My darling husband and I have the weekend off when our favorite restaurant won’t be crowded at all. Oh, and we have new dishes too!

Love is in the air here under The Big Top!

Coming home, early Tuesday morning, the last thing I expected was this.

Sometimes, I think about the day we met. I think about how I was in the right place at the right time to see your face, and how you smiled a smile that told me you were someone amazing. Ever since the day we met, you’ve made me realize that true love has perfect timing.

Yeah.

New dishes, beautiful flowers and the best love note ever! There is a very good reason why I call him my darling husband.

Yeah.

I love him too, to the moon and back.

Of course I shared these beautiful flowers all over social media, as young lovers, old married people and all those other people do on Valentine’s Day.

 

 

best made winter break plans

On New Year’s Eve, Christmas left The Big Top; and it packed up and left very quickly thanks to the help from my darling husband and my favorite son. Nothing more motivating than the idea of kicking 2016 to the curb and getting our New Year’s Party on I guess.

Happy New Year Bitches!

Yeah, she hated us for a moment there.

And so onward because with holidays over and one more week of Winter Break before back to school it was time for a little fun. Block out a week off from work. Have that What do you want to do…I don’t know what do you want to do conversation. Make some plans thinking this week is going to be fun.

And…

You will wake up like this. Guaranteed! At least I am still a majestic unicorn. A sick majestic unicorn who can barely get out of bed and squeak I’m sorry son as he brings you tea and cup of noodles.

He really is my favorite son!

And come Friday, just as you are starting to feel a little bit better, except for the coughing up a lung, you learn that atmospheric river is an actual thing. A real thing that has people in Northern Cali who actually remember the 1997 New Year storm and flooding in the Central Valley to stock up some supplies, clear the gutters, maybe get some sand bags, have the candles ready, charge all the tech devices and hunker down

Probably a very good idea since I am still coughing up a lung and a little bit…okay, a lot of snot! And with the NFL Wildcard Games and the Golden Globes on this weekend, well, I’m sorry son. Spring Break will be here soon.

and when they learn to read and write

I once said that I have never felt old while my children fast grew from babies to teenagers and adults, nor even when that first grand baby was born…or the second. But when that first grand baby started kindergarten, suddenly I began to feel a little bit old because life does speed up when the kids skip off to school. But it’s all good because when they learn to read and write they enchant you even more with thoughts and words and dreams and wishes that will always make your day.

Always.

I will leave this one right here for you, for me, for everyone…until she erases it and writes something else.

Happy New Year’s Eve Eve!

things needed

When Bill’s step-mom was alive, she was known to always ask for the simplest of things for Christmas: pot holders, placemats, dish towels, note cards. Nothing fancy, mind you. I learned that gifting her with the fanciest of place mats when all she wanted was some simple-everyday-when-the-grandkids-are-here kind of placemats. The simple things were the things she wanted, needed and loved the best. Me, the 20 and 30-something, who had the most complicated (and often expensive) of wants and needs never got why someone would want pot holders for Christmas.

Here we are, years and years later, and when pressed to share what I might be wishing for Christmas this year I could not think of anything…nothing that I desperately wanted or needed. Nine months ago I downsized in a big way moving our Big Top to 800 less square footage. The last thing I needed was more stuff…except maybe I could use some new potholders.

POTHOLDERS?!

Yes. I know. I seem to be channeling Barbara but the potholders I have are old and raggedy and have to be at least 13 years old. Sure I could pick up some while making a Target run…and I should have. But while making a Target run, I am usually there for other things: prescriptions, t-shirts for the guys, trash bags, shampoo, soap, whatever, anything…anything but potholders because when I am running through Target, likely spending too much money, the LAST thing I am thinking of is those ratty, blue potholders that have seen better days.

Point taken.

And so Christmas morning, I received

Oh yeah! Potholders! Also these sweet counter height stools from Pottery Barn for my kitchen along with lots of others wonderful, thoughtful and much needed gifts including chocolate and wine; because I really do need other things.

But this, this was the best and what I need more than anything.

Even potholders.

Yeah, I’m feeling very thankful, very blessed.

in the end, just a day

Checking my Twitter feed this morning, I found perhaps the perfect sentiment that sums up exactly how I feel this Christmas.

At this time of year, we’re bombarded with images of perfect lives, which bear little relation to reality as tinsel does to gold.

If you’re lucky enough to be with the people you love, warm and safe, with enough to eat, I’m sure you feel as blessed as I do.

But if your life is full of difficulties; if you aren’t where you want to be, either literally or figuratively,

remember that extraordinary transformations are possible. Everything changes. Nothing is forever.

Thinking back to my worst Christmas, I found it hard to believe that my unhappiness would pass. I was truly afraid of the future.

You never know what the future holds. Astonishing reversals of fortune happen every minute.

So if you’re sad, or lonely, or bereaved, or ill, separated from your loved ones or in any other ways suffering this Christmas,

I send you love and wish you luck and better times. Millions of us have been where you are now.

Remember Christmas is, in the end, just a day. It isn’t a test or a scorecard of you or your life, so be kind to yourself.

Merry Christmas!

~ JK Rowling

Looking back from where I am and where I came from, I can agree that during my worst Christmas ever, it was impossible to imagine a life where I would be happy…and full…and warm…and not afraid…and safe. But here I am!

Right here, right now, under The Big Top surrounded by some of my family circus and looking forward to tomorrow to spend more time with the whole circus together, I know that Rowling is right. Christmas is just a day. Just another day for me to give thanks because I am here.

Happy Christmas! Merry Hanukkah! Warm holiday wishes, y’all!