Saturday, December 24, 2011

On the exhale

Yesterday, I dodged a few raindrops to grab some spinach out of the yard for lunch. It’s the only thing growing out there right now to speak of; there are some onions slowly getting bigger under the lightly-frozen-each-night ground, some rogue potatoes that hid well enough to be missed when I dug up “all” of them and then cheerfully sprouted and sent up plants ha ha, you think you know so much, human!, and of course the blackberries and fruit trees are merely sleeping…so I can’t really say the garden is “dead.”

But in terms of the daily work, the every-weekend-I-am-out-there, up to my armpits in dirt or mud or dust or all three, the constant messing with compost and weeds, the eternal battles with the bugs and birds…the garden is dead right now. Everything from it is safely in jars in the pantry, or lying in state in the chilly garage on newspapers or nestled in sawdust, or the freezer or already eaten.

Of course, just as that sigh of relief was beginning, the holidays hit. Aw, crap-apples. Breath sucked in, I plunged into the shopping and buying and cooking and cleaning and cleaning and cooking and cooking and cleaning, and what do you mean, you’re hungry, you JUST ATE, and cleaning and last-second holy crap, I forgot to buy X for Y! stuff.

And of course, there is a lot of coming and going. And traveling. And receiving travelers. And all the other joy-filled accoutrements of the festive season.

But now…we have arrived. It is Christmas Eve. Whatever I’ve forgotten – is forgotten for good this year.

The last thing has been received from Amazon.

The last trip to the supermarket has been made.

The stockings are ready to be filled.

Gifts have been found for all the kids. Nobody got unfairly left out. Nobody got overly showered.

The food for the holiday meals is ready to go. The guest list is set. The days off work are settled (and arguably too few in number, but, hey – it is what it is, and I’m lucky to have a job so, no complaints from me, thank you very much!).

And that sigh of relief that got stuck halfway is finally on the way out; for the next few weeks, I won’t have much more on the chore list than a “normal” working suburban mother of four with a monster commute. (Ahem.)

There’s still stuff that needs to be done out in the yard, but it isn’t urgent. I can go ahead and decide that it’s too cold, or too dark, or too eh, whatever today. I can focus instead on inside-stuff, on getting things fixed, cleaned, organized. Flipping through seed catalogs, redesigning next year’s garden over and over and over again.

Goofing off with the kids.

Goofing off without the kids.

Playing Toontown en masse via the three paid and three free accounts we have.

Getting buried to the neck in art work from four very artistic children who have two whole weeks off school and a craft closet that is better stocked than some Michael’s stores.

Listening to a long explanation of why this-or-that Skylander is vastly superior to this-or-that other one from Captain Adventure.

Watching Boo Bug’s knitting grow.

Watching Danger Mouse master anime drawing.

Reading the manga Eldest is creating.

Being astonished that these children are mine; how I could possibly have produced such superior little minds is beyond me, really.

Catching up with friends and family, through cards and email, blogs and even text messages on the phone. Seeing pictures of kids that have grown ten feet since last I saw them. Hugging people I only see once or twice a year – if even that.

Catching up on email, catching up with clutter, catching up on sleep, catching up in general.

One of the gifts I get from my self-inflicted crazy: I appreciate stuff like that way more than I think I would otherwise. It’s so rare to have this luxury of time, I savor it like a fine vintage wine when I get it.

I hope you all are having very merry and relaxed holidays, too, and that your Crazy is well-balanced by Blessings. Thanks for hanging out with me all year, and for sharing your lives with me. You're a great group of people, y'all, and I feel honored to be among you out here in the wild, wild Internet.


Another Joan said...

Dear Tama and all Denizens: may you have joy in your hearts, laughter in your days and (some) quiet stillness in your lives. Thank you for sharing your life and your insights with us in the blogosphere. Blessings be.

SarahG said...

I have never commented before, but I wanted to let you know that I love your blog and hope that you and your family have a great Christmas and a very Happy New Year full of joy and prosperity!

Steph B said...

Merry Christmas, and may the new year be full of blessings for all of you!!

Jenn C. said...

Merry Christmas and wishes for a happy New Year to you and yours!

Louiz said...

Hope you had a fantastic time off! Sounds lovely:)

PipneyJane said...

Hope you had a lovely Christmas and New Year, and that 2012 brings you more of the good-stuff.

- Pam