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Thread: Holidays can be hard...

  1. #411
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    Default Re: Holidays can be hard...

    Also, I just realized that yesterday was Canadian Thanksgiving!!! So here are belated holiday wishes to our Canadian family members — hoping you’re all staying safe and well up there north of the border!

  2. #412
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    Default Re: Holidays can be hard...

    So, Halloween 2020 has come and gone. For my little family, it actually turned out to better than Iíd worried. The weather here was perfect, subsequent to the most recent of several hurricanes to blow through. But by yesterday, the clouds cleared and it was crisp and autumnal. Hubby and I carved our pumpkins, I made our snacks, and Luna proudly wore the orange collar at last. We did put up the card table at the end of the driveway with candy, along with our Jack-o-lanterns and some luminary bags. I really didnít know what to expect. At first I feared that no kiddos would be coming by at all. But as it grew darker, multiple family groups approached. I happily waved from our doorway, Luna by my side. It felt strange to have to remain so distant from them. But I donít think the little ones minded it much at all, and the parents seemed very grateful for our efforts to keep their children safe but still happy.

    I went to bed feeling the best I had in several weeks. I missed seeing our friends who normally always celebrate alongside us. But it still felt like a holiday. A different holiday, but still a holiday regardless. I donít expect Thanksgiving or Christmas to feel as peaceful for me. Those days are so linked to family gatherings that just cannot happen this year, for multiple reasons. But Halloween turned out to be an unexpected treat, and for that I am really grateful.

    Marianne

  3. #413
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    Default Re: Holidays can be hard...

    We had very few kids show up. I still have a half a bowl of candy left. I didn't put out any of the animatronics, it just didn't seem worth the trouble. Jess, Sigi and the kids came by in their costumes and stayed for a while. She was very disappointed in the fact that there was hardly anyone in the street. They looked adorable, I wish I could post a picture. I did let Sibbie wear Lena's Boo shirt for a picture, but it was a little too small to keep it on her.

    If Lena were still alive, we would've been sitting on the stoop wrapped up in sweaters since it was so cold. I waited until 7:50 and then shut the door and turned off the porch light...a really different Halloween.
    Joan, mom to my Angel Lena, Doree, Gable, Cooper, Angel Phoenix and now Sibble.

  4. #414
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    Default Re: Holidays can be hard...

    Awww, I’m sorry it didn’t turn out as well for you guys, Joan. As I say, I was totally surprised by the turn-out here. Earlier in the evening, I almost didn’t put out the candy table at all because there was zero activity that I could see. But I asked a neighbor driving by if he’d seen any kids at all, and he said there were some coming. So we hurried and set things up and then we were grateful that we did. I think two things really helped. The weather was just perfect after so many crappy rainy days, and people just wanted to get out. Also, our neighborhood e-newsletter had mentioned putting out socially-distanced driveway tables for anybody who did want to participate, so there was kind of an overall plan.

    Anyway, I’m glad you got to see the grands, at least, and that Sibbie got the chance to wear the Boo shirt, even if only for a little while. I was hoping that Peg would have been glad to see her orange collar keeping up the tradition on Luna, and I’m hoping the same for Lena. There was definitely a tug in my heart and tear in my eye when I brought it out, but it also made me feel a little bit like Peg’s spirit was still joining in. I really hope maybe it was that way for you, too, Joan.

  5. #415
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    Default Re: Holidays can be hard...

    Wanting to wish a safe and meaningful Thanksgiving to all our American members. I know this holiday will be very different for so many of us. But even in the midst of the restrictions and the losses, hopefully there is still much to be grateful for in all our lives.

    Best wishes to all our Family!

  6. #416
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    Default Re: Holidays can be hard...

    Hi Everyone,

    I hope you are all finding new normals as we start the holiday season. I also hope my post finds everyone safe and well.
    Marianne and Kathy, I thought of you both yesterday. I was missing my mother as we celebrated Thanksgiving, just me, hubby and Koko. I imagine you both had that sense of missing someone special and dear.

    We actually ended up having a pretty good day all and all. We dressed up, no sweatpants allowed, lol, hauled out the tablecloth and china, opened a bottle of wine, followed a few more traditions and I think it really helped put us in a better frame of mind.

    We are fine and remain hunkered down at home. I am training my replacement and do that from home. Not exactly ideal but it works. 35 years of that job leaves me with mixed emotions; ready to stop working but struggling with the loss of that identity, if that makes sense. it feels weird at times to think of someone else in my office. Especially since, I picked out all the colors, rug, chairs, dog beds too��. I miss my work dogs but after losing my Lucy last year, it is ok. When I packed up my office last March and said goodbye to Bob and new little girl Lulu, I knew in my heart, I would not see my work dogs again. I knew it wasn’t temporary.

    Koko is still my therapy dog and loves having me 24/7 though, he is getting anxious whenever I leave the house without him, even with hubby home. I am grateful to have this extra time with him. Every night I say thank you, dear God for another day with my Kokomo, please keep him safe through the night. He is 13 or 14 now but still jumps on the sofa and will pulll me down the street if he gets excited about seeing another dog. Each day is a blessing as I see his eyes starting to become, cloudy, see him tire more easily.

    Wisconsin has been hit hard by the pandemic and the numbers are scary. We were in the national news daily the last few weeks before Election Day. I expect things to worsen in the next few months so we have tried to prepare as best we can so we are able to limit errands, appointments, etc in January and February.

    Koko is overstocked with food as I worry about his food security more than ours. Typical dog mom, right?

    I think of you all and miss the conversations, laughter, even the tears. I miss the special bond we all shared but know it is now part of who I am, part of my sense of self and I am eternally grateful for that.

    I am waiving and smiling at all of you and hope you feel the love.

    Sorry for any typos, I forgot how small this type is.

    Stay well, stay safe, stay strong.
    love,
    addy, zoe and koko


    My little dog - a heartbeat at my feet. ~Edith Wharton

    Memory is the power to gather roses in the winter

  7. #417
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    Default Re: Holidays can be hard...

    Hi Addy (waving wildly)!! I miss you so. I miss all of our very close friends here on the forum. I still get to hear from Marianne, but most have drifted away. Thank you for coming back to update us. I am thrilled to hear that our koko puff is still going strong.
    You are correct. Thanksgiving was very difficult without Mom here. Dad and I were supposed to go to family (up the street). Just my brother and wife. No big gatherings due to COVID. I won't go into that horror here. We have our other thread for that. This thread is about holidays. So anyway, we didn't end up going to dinner. We found out early yesterday morning that there had been Covid exposure and dinner was off because of it. Can't risk exposing me, or Dad.
    We missed a family dinner last year because it had rained and my Mom couldn't risk slipping on the ramp, so we stayed home. This is two years in a row where it didn't work out. There's always next year. Dad is 89. I don't know how many more holidays he has left.
    Yes Addy, i can imagine how difficult transitioning to retirement must be. I am dealing with that pressure myself. I should retire, particularly right now, but I'm just not ready. I don't want to be home all the time. My idenity is mixed up with what I do. Without my kids, what is my purpose, who am I? It is hard.
    Much love to all. I realize that many of my old friends may still be reading, just not posting. Please take a few minutes when you get a chance and drop in and say hello. It means so much to hear from you.
    Please take care and stay safe.
    Kathy and Angel Buddy. The mightiest of all lizard hunters!

  8. #418
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    Default Re: Holidays can be hard...

    Oh Addy, I was thrilled when I briefly checked in earlier today and saw you’d added a reply! I decided to wait to read it until I had the time to sit down and relax and savor it. So here I am back, with a glass of wine of my own in my hand. And I see that Kathy has now added a note, too — it’s so good to chat with you both!!

    As I had suspected would be true, yesterday was a harder holiday for me than was Halloween. This was the second Thanksgiving without my mom. It was not as piercingly sad as last year, but it still felt pretty hollow and empty compared to our many celebrations of the past. Last year was especially hard because we had planned to be with my brother’s family in Tennessee, but had to bail out at the last minute cuz everybody up there had the flu. So being here alone, without my mom, caught me by painful surprise. This year I *knew* we’d be home alone, so I’d hoped that planning that way in advance would make things easier. It kinda did. But mainly didn’t. There was still no way to ignore my mom’s empty chair, and all the chattering we’d have done while preparing the food.

    My mom was a wonderful cook, and especially a wonderful baker. Years ago, she even won a blue ribbon at the Iowa State Fair for one of her pies — and all of us midwesterners know what a huge deal it is to win a ribbon at one of our ginormous state fairs!!! In these final years, she mainly coached me in the kitchen while sitting in a chair. But she still always made our Thanksgiving pumpkin pie herself, with the crust from scratch. I’ve inherited all her strong, sturdy pots and her mixing bowls and her pie plates. So I used them all yesterday to make our meal, including the pie. I must say that it turned out great. She would have been very proud of me. I was proud of me. But I still missed her so much, and the holiday did not feel special in any way close to how it always was when she was here. But still, we have a lot to be grateful for. And so I’ll try to focus on that.

    I sure do understand the angst that both you girls are feeling about retirement. I had similar feelings when I stopped working, but my decision dovetailed with my mom moving down here to Atlanta from Iowa. The timing was actually quite fortunate, because she was needing more and more assistance with errands, appointments and chores. And upon leaving my job, I was free to help her. In a way, *she* became my new job, and all her friends and staff at the seniors community where she lived became my co-workers. When my mom died and all those ties were ruptured, it was kind of like I had finally retired for good. Last year was pretty aimless for me as I tried to figure out the new path forward. And just when I was on the cusp of joining some groups last spring, COVID struck and you know the rest of that story...

    So I still feel as though I’m drifting right now. And that’s probably a big part of why I still check in on our family here so regularly. The connections have meant a lot to me throughout these years. And that’s why it’s such a treat to talk with you girls, and why I hope some other folks may take Kathy’s suggestion and stop by, too! But in the meantime, it’s wonderful to read your update and especially to hear that you and hubby and Koko remain safe and sound. Please do stop back by again, any time.

    We love you!
    Marianne

  9. #419
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    Default Re: Holidays can be hard...

    So, so different this year. It was just the seven of us. With my mom gone and my sister and her family just moved to South Carolina last week, and the virus, my brothers did not do any traveling. Jess did a lot of prepping for me as hubby is not doing well and could not do what he usually does...the shopping. He had surgery last week for some mass along his jaw into his throat that we are still waiting on the pathology report that was sent out of the country. The surgeon didn't do as much as he was supposed to because he wasn't sure what he was dealing with and didn't want to do a lot of damage if it's not cancer... very unsettling. The doctor is based at Lenox Hill, so that's been three trips into the city in the last few weeks, which cut down on preparing for the holiday. I did as much as I could, but with all the traveling, the surgery, the waiting and not knowing, and taking care of him, I was just too tired most of the time. It turned out well though. Hubby was able to get up and prepare the turkey, which I hate doing, and it came out delicious. The ham had to be cooked at Jess' house, turned out to be too big for the convection oven and wouldn't fit in the regular oven with the turkey, so ran it around the block to her house and all she had to do was put the oven on (Jess does not cook! LOL). She does make the sweet potato pies though, No one can make them better that she does.

    I didn't want to cancel the whole thing in spite of all the troubles. Josh was so looking forward to it. When he heard that we might just buy a precooked turkey, he said that it wouldn't be Thanksgiving so we went ahead. The child loves his turkey dinner! I wish I could upload the picture of him after too much turkey all stretched out on the couch, fast asleep. Sibbie was not happy! I was too busy to pay attention to her. Lena would've been happy just laying in her bed in the kitchen, watching the oven, but not Sibs.

    And next is Xmas....I don't know what that's going to be like yet until we find out what Victor has, and how it will be treated. It seems my being laid off came at just the right time. There's no way I could still be working with all the early morning trips to the ER we've been doing and now facing more surgery.

    I can so relate to your story of your mom, Marianne. Except it was my MIL. She used to do all the prepping with me helping her when she was able to do it. Then when we took over the holidays, she would still sit at the table with me, telling stories and doing as much as she could. I miss those days every year. This year I had Josh come over to help, or just to keep me company. He cut off all the pointy parts of the artichokes, which he loves to eat. He brought his Bose speaker and played all Christmas songs on his playlist from his phone, asked me what some of mine were and added them. He's such good company and we had a good time. I hope that he will remember this when he gets older. I can't believe he still wants to hang out with grandma! He's going to be 13 his next birthday. He comes every Sunday and we spend the day together. Now that people are decorating, we leave a little early and drive around looking at the houses and singing Xmas songs. He can play the piano, electric keyboard and even compose his own songs, but the boy can not sing! I try so hard not to laugh at how off key he is, but I love to listen.

    I love reading what you are all doing. I am glad we are all well and safe. And I am thankful to have you all in my life.

    Love you all!
    Last edited by Joan2517; Yesterday at 09:22 AM. Reason: misspelling
    Joan, mom to my Angel Lena, Doree, Gable, Cooper, Angel Phoenix and now Sibble.

  10. #420
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    Default Re: Holidays can be hard...

    Oh Joan, weíre so thankful to have you here with us, too!!

    I am so sorry about your husbandís surgery, and especially about the uncertainty of everything related to it right now. I am not one who can easily compartmentalize, so when Iím worried about something, it just bleeds into most every waking moment. I do not do well with waiting for results! So my heart goes out to you right now, and for sure my fingers are crossed that this turns out to be a minor problem rather than a major one. Weíll be so anxious to hear when you know more.

    I loved reading about Josh being your assistant, though! Thatís so sweet that he still loves to spend quality time with you. And why wouldnít he, though ó you sound like a wonderful grandmother, sharing all these special times together ;-))))). You are making memories together that Iím confident will last his lifetime.

    Thanks so much for stopping back by for our chat. And truly, do let us know how things proceed for you and your husband, OK?

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