Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I Love This Time of Year

I'm having a very nice day.

The sun is out, the sky is blue, and the temperature is clement enough that G'ma is comfy in just her sweatsuit. Old ladies in sweatsuits is my favorite sartorial statement of the last quarter century. It's such an obvious solution to a universal problem - old people are cold all the time and many don't have the manual dexterity to make buttons and zippers useful appurtenances. The home economist in me loves them.

But, back to my nice day. The Little Cuter sent me several heart-warming emails, most of them dealing with how much she loves this season and how she channels me while making a gigantic mess creating her latkes. She's gushing over the fabulous gift tags she found this season, and I know just exactly what she means when she tells me that she crumbles with joy as she attaches them to her presents. She's my girl, and I love her.

The Big Cuter woke up early to be functional for his last exam of his first semester of law school. They take them on computers, and if there's a technical problem the geeks are there with a solution -- a pencil and a Blue Book. Seriously. He packed a bottle of champagne and popped it as he turned in the test; he's on vacation until the middle of January and I can feel his bliss.

If you're only as happy as your unhappiest child then I am ecstatic.

Arrived at the gym to find that I'd misread the schedule and the clock - in fact I was on time for my favorite yoga class of the week. I love surprises like that. Mattie is one of those flexible people who seem to have no bones; she's all ligaments and tendons and bends and stretches like silly putty. And she laughs as she leads us and instructs us and moves us in ways we never thought possible. And yet, there we are.

She sent us inside ourselves and I started to think about my nascent New Year's Resolution. Watching John Wooden at his eponymous basketball tournament last weekend (Hoya Saxa!) reminded me of what a fine man he is. One of the current Bruins looked straight into the camera and said "When Coach Wooden is around you stand up straighter and you're always acting the way you know he would expect you to act." 19 years old and he'd been in the presence of greatness and he knew it and he wanted to live up to it. That is a role model.

So when Coach Wooden quoted Abraham Lincoln (his favorite person after his wife, Nellie.... I told you, this guy is the real deal!) I paid attention and found the germ of a resolution:

"Mr. Lincoln said that people are generally as happy as they allow themselves to be."

I still was exploring the concept of allowing myself to be happy during the reading at the end of class when Mattie read a similar homily from the Bhagavad Gita and I was struck by the quantum connection between my burgeoning resolution and her finding that passage for us. I left the gym floating a cloud of connectivity.

Came home to a Hanukah card from my Aunt Lillian, she of the green jello mold. She was thanking me for the bundle of World War II era photos I'd found in G'ma's hutch and sent on to her. She had never seen those pictures of her husband (G'ma's brother, Paul, who trained in Texas and fought with Patton and apparently knew a lot of other very handsome soldiers with whom to be photographed) in his uniform and they'd opened a floodgate of memories for her. She told me the story of how they met - and G'ma, later in the day, remembered the outlines of that day as well. Aunt Lilly loved me for sending the memories, and I loved her back for sharing hers. The fact that her grandson could use the pictures to make a collage for his 1st grade's Veterans Day celebration was an extra added bonus for both of us. The day was only getting better.

G'ma and I found a wonderful new sandwich place and we created 2 perfect lunches before we went to the bowling alley where I somehow threw 2 strikes and 3 spares and ended up scoring 130 points and winning the first game. Not that we care. Not that anyone will remember. Not that it made a difference. But it did make me smile. I'm not going to talk about the second game we played. Suffice it to say that it's a good thing we don't care.

Got home to find a holiday card from Amster and it turns out that she likes me as much as I like her. There's something very special when your friends take the time to write down how they feel and then take the next step and send those feelings on. Very special indeed.

I cleaned up the wrapping supplies and re-set the outdoor lights timer and read another chapter or two and cooked dinner and did the hundred other things one does as the day winds down. And I did them all with a great big smile plastered on my face.

I told you - I'm having a very nice day.


  1. Hoya Saxa? Are you Georgetown grad? Mr. kenju is - 1962.

  2. My son, the Big Cuter, is an '05 alum. Having paid for the education, I claim allegiance as well.

    Thanks for reading, Mr. K.


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