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by KimChi
Rated: 18+ · Book · Inspirational · #1201980
Coffee and ideas bouncing off the walls.
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Grab a cuppa Joe and fall into a seat. Here you may find the latest news, a bit of gossip, a rant, or a movie review. You'll definitely see what makes me tick.

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February 25, 2009 at 8:21pm
February 25, 2009 at 8:21pm
(Highly partisan and Pagan—not for the easily offended.)

Tuesday, February 24

I hear the choppers again. It’s 11:30, and tonight they’re zooming by my window, right on each other’s tails. I don’t know who’s in those helicopters, but I know they’re important. And they’re probably flying away from the joint session of Congress where Obama just spoke. I send out gratitude for their service and a bit of luck.

Hearing helicopters zoom over my house used to give me anxiety. Back before the war when my blood pressure was soaring and my feet were marching, it dawned on me one day that Bush was literally flying over my head. Each successive flight, an eighties song by Bruce Cockburn (thanks, Lynn!) popped in my brain, “If I Had a Rocket Launcher”. Even thinking such a thing gave me a guilt trip, because of course I’d never hurt a fly. As irrational as it was, every helicopter that flew over my house carried Bush.

The dread only increased after I heard my nephew died in Iraq. His helicopter crashed in a sandstorm, so they say. If I was sitting at the computer, I made sure to look down at the bumper sticker taped to the paneling. I needed that constant reminder to “Honor the dead, respond with peace.” It finally occurred to me to do something proactive about my fear. And to be honest, my hatred. Because it was killing me. I was crazy, but not too crazy to realize that popping a xanax when I saw a helicopter was downright crazy.

My mama taught me to pray every time I heard an ambulance, and so I prepared a mantra.

Whenever I heard a helicopter, and my heart started thumping out of my chest, I prayed. “Goddess, please open our leader’s hearts.” That was as unselfish and pleasant a thought as I could muster at that time. And I opened my heart, allowing green light to expand in my chest. I thought love and family and hugs and happy reunions. But most of all, peace. And I sent those good vibes right to the helicopter.

I like to think some military personnel got a romantic dinner out of it, at least. *Laugh*

Once I killed my TV (long story) and got my heart right, the helicopters stopped scaring me. Although I still sometimes send out a prayer. To be clear, I don't hate Bush. (Anymore.) I think he's got good intentions; he's a true believer who's friends took advantage of his fear to line their wallets.

But tonight, those high tech machines are music to my ears. Usually a fast-flying helicopter is trouble, but maybe the pilot is in hurry because a legislator wants to get home quickly to help his people. Maybe someone has a brilliant idea for green energy. Maybe a private has to study for her final exam, to get her degree.

Yes, I’m an idealist. Yes, my perspective has changed. America is changing her perspective too. I’ve looked at this up, down, and sideways, and I can’t help but feel hopeful. Maybe because I have a sliver of trust in our government again, or maybe just because I have nothing to cling to but hope.

If Obama can find a way to make one tenth of his promised reforms into law, the ripple effect will cause huge changes to our way of life. I think he’s right about our need to embrace new technology to revive the economy and plan for our energy future.

When you live long enough to see the “crazy” bumper stickers of the past make it to the highest levels of government, you wonder if your generation was ahead of its time or politicians are just way behind. It’s frustrating and gratifying all at once.

Will the legislators snag this opportunity to change the course of history? Do they have any idea what hardship normal middle-class Americans are feeling? Can they trust us to give them advice, and can we trust them to follow it? Can’t we all just send them some good juju from our heart chakras?

God, I hope so.

I looked up the words. Unfortunately it's all still relevant.

Rocket Launcher
Bruce Cockburn 1983

Here comes the helicopter -- second time today
Everybody scatters and hopes it goes away
How many kids they've murdered only God can say
If I had a rocket launcher...I'd make somebody pay

I don't believe in guarded borders and I don't believe in hate
I don't believe in generals or their stinking torture states
And when I talk with the survivors of things too sickening to relate
If I had a rocket launcher...I would retaliate

On the Rio Lacantun, one hundred thousand wait
To fall down from starvation -- or some less humane fate
Cry for Guatemala, with a corpse in every gate
If I had a rocket launcher...I would not hesitate

I want to raise every voice -- at least I've got to try
Every time I think about it water rises to my eyes.
Situation desperate, echoes of the victims cry
If I had a rocket launcher...Some son of a bitch would die

February 24, 2009 at 9:52am
February 24, 2009 at 9:52am
I've never had a problem finding a man. Or six or eight, sometimes.

I don't have a problem keeping a man. I'm a loyal lover and I like to spoil people.


However, my first husband dumped me for smoking. At least that's the lie he gave to the marriage counselor. We both knew it was because I grew a spine and some confidence and he couldn't handle not being my mentor anymore.

Years after the hell we put each other through, we met up at my niece's wedding. He looked exactly the same, maybe a bit more fat on his face, and definitely a lot more fat on his body. But it looked great because he was always way too skinny.

After a few drinks and getting reacquainted he told me he became a heroin addict. For at least a year he stuck a needle in his arm every day.

How in the hell did that happen? (He says he got addicted to pain pills when he was in the hospital, and was trying to get relief.) We never did anything harsher than pot when we were married. It completely changed my view of him, sad to say. Even more ironic, it brought back a conversation argument we had about my smoking. I told me I'd stick with him no matter what--jail, heroin addiction, etc.

He told me he would stick with me if I got hooked on heroine, but not on nicotine. And then turned around and got hooked on throwing up to feel good.

I just don't get it. I was living in the same town and didn't know what was going on. I even googled his name a few years ago to see if I could get in touch with him and found a famous heroin addict with the same name who wrote a book. I laughed, thinking that was so far off the mark...

I know our breakup was not the cause, but the timing says otherwise. I'd like to think I could have saved him from the ordeal by being there for him.

Not my problem anymore, but it does go to show you don't really know people you're intimate with.
February 19, 2009 at 8:44am
February 19, 2009 at 8:44am
Man, am I wiped out from partying yesterday! I'm definitely getting too old for the wild life.

First, I met my cohorts around 1:45. It took us almost an hour to do our hair and nails and get dressed in glitter and lace. Then we started the heavy drinking. And can those girls drink--the four of us drank almost a full liter!

I served us; so whenever someone wanted something I had to get the silver platter, offer it to the guests, and put it back. The heart shaped PB&J were a big hit, as were the fancy tea cookies I bought. Not so much the vegetables and dip.

Everytime I spoke in my most haughty English accent, those girls laughed at me! They were obviously intoxicated--giggling and wriggling so hard thought they were going to tear down the lace canopy over the table!

I swear! You throw a party, and people laugh in your face. Good thing I'm not really the Queen of England. I had to keep reminding them to stick out their pinky while they drank their "tea" (apple juice).


We are very serious about our parties here at Key Castle. So I need to buy some white gloves for next time. Three more of these will either a)let Doodle play with all the girls in her class, or b) kill me.

I only have one kid, so I prefer the term "creating memorable experiences" versus "spoiling". *Bigsmile*
February 6, 2009 at 9:13am
February 6, 2009 at 9:13am
An old friend on Facebook tagged me for 25 things, and although I don't usually enjoy silly games, I'll do this one. For one thing, we haven't talked in ten years. For another, I have no inspiration for a blog entry so I'm killing two sites with one stone.

1. I only wear Gloria Vanderbilt jeans. They fit my Rubenesque form.

2. I had a natural childbirth in my own bed at home. The pain was bearable until the last 15 minutes. *Laugh*

3. I haven't worn makeup in 20 years, except for special occasions. I used to not need it.

4. One of my hobbies is buying rental properties. The other is scrapbooking.

5. I fell six feet into my excavation unit in Mexico and screwed up my back.

6. I have teeny-tiny ears, but excellent hearing.

7. I needed glasses by third grade but refused to wear them because I didn't want to look dorky.

8. I have a "hole in my head". Also called "empty cella syndrome". Supposedly there's no harm in having spinal fluid surrounding your pituitary but I'm not convinced.

9. I will be a Democrat until a third, greener party can actually win an election.

10. Java is my god, there is no god but Java.

11. "I've smoked a lot of grass, and I've popped a lot of pills, but I've never touched nothing my spirit couldn't kill." Not since I became a mother, anyway.

12. I'm borderline allergic to alcohol, and rarely touch the stuff.

13. Just once, I want to be called a MILF*.

14. I've been to Jamaica, St. Thomas, England, Mexico, Guatemala and Hawaii, but not Stonehenge or Machu Piccu --yet.

15. I collect special needs cats, completely by accident.

16. I'm an ordained priestess, licensed to wed Virginia couples. Hope I live long enough to perform a gay marriage.

17. I hate solicitors--business or religious.

18. I dislike small talk with strangers. Could be a social disorder; could be that people in general suck.

19. I am the most loyal friend you'll ever have.

20. I have bought 10 books in the last 3 years for me, 231 for my daughter. I'd use the library, except I forget to take the books back--it's actually cheaper to buy them.

21. I would curl up and die if I had to drive without my GPS.

22. My living room is spotless; my computer room is a disaster.

23. I once skated for 24 hours, raising money for Muscular Dystrophy.

24. I have never cooked a turkey.

25. My exercise routine consists of yelling at the Wii a few times a week.

Want to know more? Too bad. I depleted all my brain power coming up with 25.

Have a fabulous weekend, friends! *Heart*

*edited to add: Mother I'd Like (to) F (engage in a sex act with)

February 5, 2009 at 9:30am
February 5, 2009 at 9:30am
A rant

Sometimes the public review page feels like a damn sermon. God does, Jesus is, blah blah blah. I don't want to know your beliefs, I want to know if the item is any good. Give a personal experience that fits--fine. But stop preaching to me. I've heard it all before.

How would you like to see this on the review page?

I love this poem. It clearly shows how much the Goddess loves us. She wants us to embrace nature and stop destroying Her world. If you would only open your heart, be still in meditation, and allow her gentle essence to flow into your spirit, only then will you peace and be at one with the Earth. It's the only way.

Irritating as hell, isn't it, to see opinion posted as FACT.


Have a great day, friends.

February 2, 2009 at 12:04pm
February 2, 2009 at 12:04pm
An old classmate of mine on Facebook has a motto that goes something like: "Boring lives make boring people."

I take exception to that, although I realize he's talking more to kids who can't find something to do. I have a boring life, but I'm not bored in the least.

My life has been blissfully uneventful lately and I'm completely satisfied with it. It's a rare zen that comes upon me a few times a year, and I'm going to milk it. I'll sing doing dishes and I'll dance while dusting.

Yesterday we went to the Chinese New Year Parade in Chinatown. You couldn't have created a more perfect day-sunny and upper 50's. I got claustrophobic for a few minutes when we were packed in the street and couldn't move, but we managed not to lose anyone. Doodle sat on Daddy's shoulders and had a front-row view of the dragon dancing. What a cool memory. Now I'm all eager for spring so we can go to the Air and Space Museum and the Cherry Blossom festival. Which will be great because the purse strings are shut tight this year if we want a vacation.

And believe me, we do.

Right now the waterproofing guys are rocking my socks off with their jackhammers. We paid a good chunk of change last year to get it done, and of course it still leaks. At first they wanted to apply some sealer and be done, but we made them honor their guarantee and do it right. Took forever, but they're here. It would be so nice to actually use the basement for something other than storage, you know?

My life. Jackhammers, dragons, and the dust dance. Boring or not, I'm loving it.

January 28, 2009 at 1:05pm
January 28, 2009 at 1:05pm
Thanks for GabriellaR45 for honoring me with this awesome award. I saw MDuci and Ladyoz sporting them, but didn't really understand the concept. It's a thanks for working on behalf of the Rising Stars, and I'm completely tickled and humbled by this award.

I noticed several other friends received one this week too. Congrats!

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January 27, 2009 at 6:08pm
January 27, 2009 at 6:08pm
My little darling was released from school early, and we had a great day of doing absolutely nothing! First we ate pizza and took turns reading out loud. We donned our snow gear and I shoveled the walkways while she made snow angels. Muddy snow angels, since what little snow we had was slushy. Then we grabbed a flower pot and a cup and made snow castles. When that got boring, we etched and molded them into wedding cakes. That's what happens when you watch too much Food Network.

I just realized we were out there over three hours. Usually I'm whining about the cold after ten minutes--no matter how many layers. Right now I'm way past ready for a nap and she's bowling with Daddy. *Rolleyes*

We both needed the break, time to do nothing but enjoy each others' company and listen to the hiss of snow. I hope there's no school tomorrow. *Laugh* It's a great excuse to be a kid again.
January 26, 2009 at 3:55pm
January 26, 2009 at 3:55pm
Now you'd think, living so close to DC, there'd be a Little China closer than Chinatown. Okay, so DC is five minutes away, but I don't drive in DC. Period.

There's a huge Korean supermarket and several Vietnamese supermarkets but no Chinese supermarket. I guess most of the ingredients are the same. I found everything I needed. Except the cool new banner I got is in Korean. I know, what does it matter? I can't read it anyway. I think it says "Happy New Year" but it could say "Eat more durian" for all I know.

Speaking of the nasty fruit, I specifically forbid my husband to buy one. I'm putting away the groceries and I get that not-so-fresh sensation of rotten eggs and moonshine. He bought frozen durian, and I could smell it through the plastic corsage box and the plastic wrapper. The vestiges of his guilty pleasure continued to haunt me this morning.

I'm up to my armpits in dumplings, and every time I open the freezer I'm smacked in the face with funky sulfur socks. I tolerate a lot of stuff. I prepare a feast each Chinese New Year. I give his ancestors the choicest bits of food, burn incense in prayer, and burn paper money so they're not walking around heaven in holey socks and ragged sarongs. I chanced ruining my entire year by using a knife and washing my hair today. For him. Because that's how much I love my family.

And I get repaid with Durian, the fruit obviously discovered during famine. Divorce is not an option, but murder is looking good about now.

January 22, 2009 at 10:26am
January 22, 2009 at 10:26am
Between the Wii Fit and Leger's contest,
 Invalid Item  []

by A Guest Visitor
I should be feeling mighty limber right about now.

What do you expect for 15 minutes, perfection? Not gonna happen. One day I memorized the entire story so I could type it up in the time allowed. Remind me never to use up my few remaining brain cells to do that again. They are needed for other areas of my life, like walking and chewing gum.

I wrote my first fight scene. I wrote my first Sci Fi story. I wrote my first fable. Nothing is working; I haven't won a single day. But I'm determined to continue, because I'm not a quitter. Plus, at least two of the ideas are good enough to turn into a story.

I'm limber, and I'll stretch myself as much as I need to.
January 20, 2009 at 12:56pm
January 20, 2009 at 12:56pm
Can one die from too much hope? The tears flow and I'm still filled with optimism. I loved Obama's speech, paying tribute to our ancestors' sacrifice and asking us to pull from that well of strength to put America back on track.

He's a serious thinker. Or maybe his speech writer is. Anyway, I've been waiting for someone to ask me to sacrifice since the war started. I shopped; I did what I was asked.

Now we've been asked to use creativity and hope to solve our problems, to bring our ideas to the table and work together. A simple question, but I'm glad it was finally asked of us. Now we can be participants in the process, not merely workers ground into the machine.

Hope and democracy aren't just words. You have to use 'em or you lose 'em. Knowing Obama sees ideals as something to cherish and utilize instead of words pulled out to sway people is the change I've been waiting a lifetime for. If he can inspire his cabinet the way he's inspired me to believe in our country again, I have no doubt we'll get through this.

January 15, 2009 at 12:54pm
January 15, 2009 at 12:54pm
I dropped the next-to-last load of laundry on the couch when I heard a knock on the door. Like I need another magazine. *Rolleyes*

When what to my wondering eyes should appear
but a long cardboard box tow'ring over the beer*
I waved to the UPS man as he drove out of sight,
and carried that package in under the light.
I quickly exclaimed as my heart filled with cheer,
"Hell YEAH, my Wii Fit is here!"

(*My husband keeps his beer outside. I know, weird.)

I figure if I can speed write, I can speed clean. Leaving a glorious day of getting better acquainted with Scarlett 's secret pony tailed love guru.

Have a great day!

January 14, 2009 at 6:06pm
January 14, 2009 at 6:06pm
I'm only typing because the stupid reminders in my inbox set my teeth on edge. Nothing much going on here. Getting the house in shape for Chinese New Year, plotting my Bagua map, and writing a bit here and there.

I'm stretching out this year into more contests, like Legerdemain 's 15 for 15. I urge you, if you aren't a contestant, next time it comes around, enter it. The picture prompts so far have been great. The first 2 didn't infect my soul, but I got decent entries. But today's--man it rocked my world. I snatched that puppy and held as much as possible in my brain before spewing it on the page. My poor gray matter is bruised and battered from the ordeal. I know it's probably a one time deal, but it felt good. It felt real, like I was downloading someone's life, or maybe it was one of my own past lives.

Freak-a-delic, man. Hey, maybe I sent it to my Higher Self! I'm still claiming it for my Masters in channeling. *Laugh*

I'm also remodeling the joint for Satuawany 's contest, dedicated to the donors. Even though I can't enter, the contestants will be looking through my port and then some of them will write a blurb about why it's great. We can't let them write lies, now can we? *Bigsmile*

January 7, 2009 at 9:00am
January 7, 2009 at 9:00am
All my friends are having wild dreams. They're haunted by talking characters who drop bloody roses and aliens bent on taking them away from here.

Where are my hauntings? Do all the characters stay far away from me because they don't trust me to tell their story? The only time I have wild ass dreams are when my gallbladder malfunctions. Healthy as a horse right now and no damn creativity.

I'm such a hypocrite. I say write what you know only because I have nothing else. My life is so boring I have to add meat and potatoes to get anything edible. Yeah, I'm mixing metaphors again--that means my inspiration has flown the coop.

Maybe the Perdue Oven Roaster will sing in my ear. One can hope.

January 5, 2009 at 3:52pm
January 5, 2009 at 3:52pm
Whatever you do, please don't participate in a poetry campfire. Especially not one with deep themes. And most assuredly not one with immensely talented poets with amazing prompts.

Windows open. Poles shift. Planets align.

Weird dreams snake into your words. Dark stuff. Private stuff. Best of all, stuff that wasn't supposed to be there. Even you can't interpret it. Like it comes from god or aliens or something.

*Blush* Oh my gosh, I'm channeling! *gulp*

Eh, who cares? I'm not hurting anyone.

Yet. *Laugh*
January 4, 2009 at 9:41am
January 4, 2009 at 9:41am
1. I keep getting emails exhorting me to send a rose (or some silly saying) to all my friends. I delete them. If I want to say "hello" to a friend, then I'll take the time to write an e-mail. Because I care enough to send the very best--me.

2. I keep getting messages from the "channeled masters". Forgive me for not believing every half-assed New Age concept that someone dreamed up for fun and profit. No, I am not paying to get a sermon downloaded from the stars. If I could understand even half of what the "ascended masters" were saying I'd be in Nirvana right now, waiting for the rest of you schmucks to catch up to my enlightenedness. But stay tuned, I feel LrdButtux calling on my soul line, and his wisdom is beyond compare.

"Greetings, fellow earthlings. I have come to remind you that the answers lie within you. Follow no one but your inner guide."

Well that won't work. How am I going to get rich telling everyone to listen to themselves? You suck. Are you sure your name isn't Lord Farquad?

3. Kuthumi says: “It is a time of walking straight into the light of one’s master self. 2009 as a whole holds the master vibrations more so than ever before therefore, be prepared and understand that the masters who work with you as well as your fully mastered and Christ self of the light are going to push you in the direction to attain self mastery.”

Wait? Didn't this dude say the same thing last year? Let's parse this looooooong sentence. "The masters push you." Same as it ever was; now go pick some cotton.

Stop the madness! Stop embracing every two-bit stellar seller as the next Buddha! I thought the whole point of the New Age movement was to reject orthodox established memes and think for yourself.

How can you think for yourself when Ascended Master Gitchergoonie is calling the shots? Furthermore, what's this dude's background? I want to see his Doctorate of Ascended Masterdom or something. You're not really giving credit to a figment of someone else's imagination, are you?

My own figments are much cooler. Give 'em a few shots and they make Confucius sound like a toddler. "Seven seven and sevens make one weak." Inspiration, creative math, and a treatise on alcoholism in one short adage.

That will be $9.99.

January 2, 2009 at 4:14pm
January 2, 2009 at 4:14pm
Who's got time to update a blog? I'm busy schlepping around the house, playing Wii, and leisurely cleaning the aftermath of the Yule bomb that destroyed my living room.

Who cares if a wee munchkin barely three feet tall kicks my butt at every game? She's a good bowler and an excellent boxer. I'm proud we're both getting some exercise beyond walking around the neighborhood! And Daddy looked so adorable in his princess outfit, waving a magic want at Cinderella! *Laugh*

Who cares that January brings credit card bills and icy winds? My family is snug as a bug in a rug. We've got a quarter of Bessie and Piglet's entire butt in the freezer. Plus a few of Chicken Little's buddies.

Who cares that I'm behind on everything related to WDC? Vacation is over on Monday, and my family will go back to work and school. My cleaning and painting job is almost finished, shopping and cooking is over, and there's nothing but time to spend with my beloveds.

Best. Vacation. Ever!
December 22, 2008 at 9:55am
December 22, 2008 at 9:55am
The sun came, saying, 'Shall I lift this light
Against the lime-tree, and you will not look?
I make the birds sing-listen! . . but, for you.
God never hears your voice, excepting when
You lie upon the bed at nights and weep.'

Then, something moved me. Then, I wakened up
More slowly than I verily write now,
But wholly, at last, I wakened, opened wide
The window and my soul, and let the airs
And out-door sights sweep gradual gospels in,
Regenerating what I was....

--"Aurora Leigh", Elizabeth Barrett Browning

You should know by now this is one of my all-time fave quotes. Had I not found Miz Liz at fourteen I probably wouldn't here. I would have gotten pregnant and never gone to college. I know that as surely as I know the squishy thing supporting my voluminous buttocks is called a chair.

My (half)sister is heralded into a casino to the spontaneous applause of clinking coins, but I consider myself the lucky one. One stumble on the path and my life would have been very different. It seems I spent an inordinate amount of time walking the straight and narrow, fearful of a tumble. By college I loosened up enough to dance down the path. (Okay, lurch, fumble and some nights, crawl.) But I always knew I was going the right way.

Somewhere between endless doctor appointments and reading Cat in the Hat, I found myself on an unexpected path, wondering how I got here. There are days when I feel so far removed from the bright, articulate, care-free person I used to be that I despair the light will never return. I'll be stuck in this house at the end of my path, never to climb Machu Picchu (shoot, now there's a train most of the way up--I'll need it). As if I've been downgraded from light to shadow, from sun to satellite.

But every year the sun returns. Maybe not on the Solstice, or the Equinox, or reflected in the fat, fertile moon, but on it's own cycle. My moods rise and fall with my internal path. Nature, especially winter, just reminds me it's okay to let go of all expectation--like always being "on", going, doing, being SuperMom. A good time to sit on my fat ass to reflect, assess, and plan. I wouldn't trade my life experiences for anything; they've made me who I am. I just want more sunrises, more moonlight, more travel. I don't want my life to change overnight, just to be aware of all the gradual gospels sweeping right in my door.

Thank my lucky stars the cold is pouring through the windows and the car wouldn't start yesterday. I have an excuse to play mechanic with my husband, watching his cheeks grow red with cold and laughter, and I have an excuse to sit beside the fire with a fuzzy blanket and a fat book.

December 21, 2008 at 11:23am
December 21, 2008 at 11:23am
Solstice, "sun standing still", but I won't be with my church to celebrate it. No, I'll be stuck at the "new" house, painting and cleaning. I must say, it is coming right along. The huge, eat-in kitchen sports dark mottled tiles underfoot, the counters dark gray, the cabinets and trim bright white. The walls a lighter shade of green pulled from the tiles. My husband lobbied for white, white, and more white, but he's delighted with the chic effect--the room is begging for a large wrought-iron table, with a crusty loaf of bread and a coffee press lounging upon it.

I have fallen in love with its charms, with the large porthole window on the landing and the crown moldings. I hope someone else does, too, now that everything is repaired, replaced, and painted. It is the largest remodel we've undertaken, a remodel no one else wanted to do, judging by the amount of time the house was on the market.

There's a moment right after the house is finished, when the world stands still. I look at the effect of my handiwork, and I'm sad. I won't ever get to live in the ambiance I've created. Someone else's children will bounce their balls and race their cars across the tile. Another family will leave the french doors open to the deck, drinking in the summer breeze. I'm jealous because the house I live in is half the size. No deck. No master bathroom or walk-in closet. But it is only 10 minutes from DC, where my husband works. Location trumps amenities, at least until retirement.

I'm really worried this time that we won't find a renter. How can we afford the mortgage? Are we in over our heads?

It's scary. I'm frozen in place, holding my breath. This is the first time I've ever worried about our future, the first time I've dreamed of pulling on a retirement check that won't stretch to cover the grocery bill. What if all our carefully laid plans get blown to bits? We have no backup plan; we're standing still, waiting for the economy to improve.

But we will be fine. The worst that can happen is foreclosure, which is unlikely unless we hit a depression and rents drop like a stone.

We have a long winter ahead, with a tight budget and a lowered thermostat, but I refuse to hibernate through it. Let me sit still and bask in the fruits of my labor for a few days, hide in the darkness. I'll think on the mistakes and blessings of the past year. I'll plan my next move, sketch out my spring plantings.

The light has returned, and I have to believe it will illuminate the right path.
December 18, 2008 at 10:27am
December 18, 2008 at 10:27am
I love the way we sometimes put everyday cares behind us at Christmas. The bills can be put off, the grudges forgotten, and we make time for ritual, family, and service to others. We've got half of it right--focusing on other people--giving gifts, giving time, giving voice to the mute of our society.

It's the expectation we need to get rid of. That's hard for me. I want a perfect Christmas, a perfect Yule, and a shiny New Year. My expectation sometimes obscures the beauty and joy of unexpected events.

That's one of the reasons I put nothing on my calendar this year. I want to do something or nothing with my family, I want to be full of holiday cheer and embrace memories as they appear. I want to let go of expectation--rushing around to get ready for a party or wrapping gifts. I want to be open to new traditions.

The rituals of Winter comfort me. I love accepting old chocolate from old Madame Collette. I love eating dinner by the glow of candlelight and the lit Christmas tree. I love seeing the cold night sparkle with icicles, trees, and reindeer. I can't help but wonder if the shadowed houses are missing something. The whole neighborhood casts a soft glow of belief, that we'll make it through the winter with the help of friends and faith. That the light of the Sun, or the the Son of the light, will shine in our hearts.

As the days grow shorter, we hold onto each other, waiting for heat and light. To feel true warmth, arms-length won't do. We have to trust our friends, our selves, and the cycles of the season. Belief--not necessarily in a concept or religion, but each other. That's the light we need to bring back, into the family first, then shine it out into the world.

I noticed that while I'm not as social this year, I have put up tons more lights. I can't help but broadcast my faith, adding to the glow of holiday cheer. When I expected something, relationships were reduced to a checkmark on a list. I expect nothing, and my neighbor's cheerful wave this morning struck me as nothing less than a miracle.

(This rambling but uplifting message brought to you in honor of MDuci )

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