So... another "first". I am getting so tired of these. But there they are. Only two more to go: Christmas and New Year's Eve/Day. We won't discuss 2009 yet.
Thanksgiving was fine. I was with friends, weather was great (close to 80 on Thursday), and the deep-fried turkey was great! Love it!! Had the traditional dishes, except for mashed potatoes. And let me tell you, a day without pie is... GREAT! Since I never (okay, rarely) have pie, it was at first a treat. Eventually, it felt like a prison sentence that HAS to be completed. I copped out with just a small portion for take-home and I am thankful that I did not bring a bigger cooler with me and thus could NOT take home any more than that little bit. The turkey carcass (destined for soup stock) took up too much room!
My Wimberley friends have goats on their property (referred to as a "ranch" in Texas) which they raise for meat (they don't do the prep work - they will truck off several of them to auction from time to time). It was baby-poppin' time, and those little guys and gals (called kids) and all their bah-ahh-ing for mommies was cute to see and hear. Four of 'em needed bottle-feeding, as either they were offspring of a mama who has since died, or of a mama who would not let them feed. So-o-o, four times a day, a bottle was prepared for each, and we would walk into the holding pen and feed 'em. I somehow managed to miss that 7 am feeding, but was there for the noon, 5 pm and 10 pm ones. The first bottle that was produced was attacked by one kid, with 3 others trying to grab it, too. So you literally had to grab one by the head and practically shove the bottle in its mouth, to break up the mob. They made short work of the bottle, I can attest!
Anyway, the weather was cooperative, and the last two days were cooler, but tolerable. Traffic was HEAVY on the way back to Houston, including a half-hour slowdown that was caused by rubber-necking at a minor accident on the opposite side of the interstate. Puh-leez. Since most of us were probably heading back to Houston and had seen our fair share of accidents over the years... what was so damned fascinating about THIS accident? Jeesh.
My W/W group has its monthly dinner this Saturday, and since A is going (she went to the church bazaar the weekend before Thanksgiving), I guess I will go. That creepy "assistant organizer" is going, too. Need to avoid HIS end of the table, for sure. Plus G, along with her boyfriend. So far, it seems like a small group will attend. That could mean an early exit me. I don't want to listen to B complain about how "we don't ever get over it". I want to shout, "Speak for yourself!" It is a journey, this grief, this loss. But we WANT to heal, and still remember the times spent with our spouses, the good and the bad. It is a journey, there is no doubt.
My Christmas will be quite subdued. No decorations. Greg and I always put up the tree together and also decorated it (and the house) together. He had a good eye for these things. I have been trying, in my mind, to write a brief letter to include with cards this year. Almost everyone has heard the bad news, and I cannot think of one (on the card list) who has not. I am sure that some will fall off the card list, thinking that the only reason they were comminicating was because of Greg - and not knowing that I addressed the cards and composed most of the letter. Last night I was thinking - I got lots and lots of cards from MY friends, but very few from his. His family has been very attentive to me (okay, except his brother, but that is HIM, not me) and were great to visit with this past summer. The guy who surprised me, who sent me (out of the blue) Greg's certificate for induction into the Mid-America Music Hall of Fame, was a former bandmate of his. His income had been pretty stretched, and still he sent me money and a nice note. Greg would be happy about that. Not for the money - but for the thoughtfulness. I need to try to see him on one of my trips to Mpls.
Need to try to get a package mailed up to MN before I head up that way myself. Greg's sweaters would probably find a better use in northern climates rather than in Houston weather. Nice sweaters, too, and in good condition. Maybe a Christmas gift for someone who can't afford much but will shop at Goodwill. Hope that is the case.
I have already received a few cards - on Thanksgiving and one Christmas card - telling me that these holidays will probably be pretty lonely ones for me. Well, way to pump up the spirits of the widow, folks! Come on... please just wish me a Merry Christmas and tell me that your thoughts will be with me, or something along that line. Or would you rather have me collapsed in tears most days?
Okay, okay.... I'll calm down. But if you ever find yourself thinking about what to write on a card to a widow (or widower) for the holidays, think about the wording, eh? I'm just saying.