Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Little By Little (with digressions)

That's my mantra for the season.  I'm applying it to the physical and the emotional pieces of my life.  I wrote about Kaizen after we came home from Canyon Ranch. I didn't think of it until I typed it, but it's obviously the same thing.

This is why I love you, denizens.  I think out loud, and you are there to listen.  Without you, I'm a raving lunatic.  With you, I'm a thoughtful blogger.  But, as usual, I digress.

I was feeling overwhelmed over the weekend.  I had some post-holiday blues to mix in with the Halloween decorations festooning the edges of the garage, haphazardly piled atop one another, earrings next to plastic pumpkins from Happy Meals gone by.  Thanksgiving was in a box on the kitchen table, awaiting strong, young legs to transport it.  There were boxes and boxes of Christmas and Chanukah stacked higher than my achy hip was willing to lower.

I pushed away the random nastiness which was threatening to creep in from the sidelines.  Sure, two years ago this was no problem.  It's really too bad. It's also a fact.  Dwelling on it won't make me any stronger.

My brain repeated it as my heart and soul tried to embrace it.  Brain was losing, rapidly.  I cried.

For once, TBG heeded my pleas and didn't try to solve the problem.  He just listened.  It was lovely. Then it was over and I asked for help in moving the boxes and all of a sudden I had Fall put away on the shelves and Winter on the gardening bench, ready to be unpacked.

Did I mention that there are lots and lots of boxes?  I once complained about not having any Chanukah decor; FAMBB took care of a lot of that and now I've moved most of it to Amster's, since she'll be hosting our-now-annual-Chanukah party forever and anon.  Even with that purging, I have boxes for the Jewish half and boxes for the Christian half and even some boxes for the heathens, too.

Heathens?  Well, how else can I explain the fact of a snow man in the desert?  To whom am I appealing? It made sense in Chicago, it never came out in California, yet here, in Tucson, it smiles at me from under a saguaro. Holiday iconography is an interesting subject; I wish that Nance were still writing Mature Landscape so that she could research it and tell me what I need to know.  But, again, I digress.

JannyLou and Fast Eddie, the world's most wonderful next-door-neighbors, put away my holiday after I was shot.  Yesterday I opened boxes left untouched since then, and I was covered with love.... in the shape of styrofoam popcorns attaching themselves to me and everything around me.  It was snowing in the desert, and I laughed.

Small steps, denizens.  I'm taking small steps.  I didn't bring the whole box into the house.  I unpacked what I could carry in one trip, and brought it in and set it out.  Little Cuter was the recipient of many of my ornaments and tchotchkes when she and SIR set up housekeeping.  What remains are the special things, the ones that make me smile.

I'm taking my own sweet time.  When I go out to the garage, I bring in another item or two.  I'm amazing myself; I polished the silver reindeer before I put them away.  What a lovely gift to have given myself.  How thoughtful of me. It's the little things, remember?

There was less and less of G'ma at Thanksgiving.  There were times when she knew a phrase was called for, but she didn't know which one it was.  She's losing track of the conversation more frequently.  And then, there are those damn, clacking dentures.  Little by little she's fading away.  Little by little I'm learning to let go.

We sat outside on Thursday night, under the stars, on the much-too-low-for-her lounges.  I was in shorts and a t-shirt; she was wrapped in the grey cashmere throw.  We watched the bugs then the bats then the birds.  The sun set and she asked to go home.

She never asks to go home.  She always wants to stay and enjoy the party.  Thursday night she was finished, and it wasn't even 7 o'clock.

I took her home and got her settled and walked away.  Little by little is easier than all at once, but, for me, it still takes some work.


  1. Baby steps is much better. That way you aren't overwhelmed. Many of us get overwhelmed this time of year. I like the way you are bringing in a little at a time. That way you can reflect and take your time putting out the decorations and the memories.

    Sending hugs.

    Megan xxx

  2. I'm finding the holidays stressful while moving to a strange and large Southern (TX) State. It's complicated, I can only imagine how you feel as you navigate your Mom through the holidays. I miss our friend Mature Landscaping, too! (Can we get her to write again?) Hugs and heartfelt wishes as we celebrate family, friends and connecting through the blogosphere! XO


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