29 October 2009

Approaching Holidays

They've started posting notices around work about various holiday "festivities". There's a Thanksgiving thing that's basically a giant potluck. There's also the ubiquitous "Holiday Party" (Christmas). Every time I see one of the notices, it makes me unhappy. I won't say depressed, because I am NOT depressed. I'm sad, I miss my husband. I'm lonely...I miss my husband. I get a little teary.

In case you're new to the blog, my husband died January 2, 2009. He was hospitalized all during the holiday season last year, so it's not something I remember with joy.

I've never been too good with the so called holidays. During my childhood, my father made the season miserable with his drinking. I found it was better for me to mostly disregard them. I had a better time with my husband. His birthday fell just before Christmas and our wedding anniversary was right after New Years, so for a while, at least, the holiday times were good.

Now he's gone and I just had it slammed home to me that there will be no more Thanksgivings where we poured out our love for each other with food, prepared with care and lavished with passion as we tried to out do ourselves. We worked the kitchen as a team and it was so much fun that it should've been against the law. Then his birthday would come and I would create my best dinner for him. I would research ideas in the cooking magazines we both loved to read and I would create my masterpiece for him. Man, it was like Iron Chef time! I would carefully match the meal with the best wine we could afford. Christmas was traditionally Roast Prime Rib with Yorkshire Pudding, mash and sauteed fresh brussels sprouts with chestnuts. We worked hard to make everything perfect. The prep and plating looked ready for a photo shoot for Gourmet (we had this fantasy of having Julia Child show up for dinner), and again, the best wine we could afford. We thought we were pretty hot stuff in the kitchen!

We shared a gift...usually something for the kitchen. One year it was a honkin big KitchenAid mixer.

New Years was the evening we stayed in while everyone else went out. My sweetie called it "amateur night" and indeed, he was right, as people who don't normally party go out and get loaded. It's safer and more fun to stay in. We would prepare a meat and cheese tray with imported salami and other charcuterie, a selection of "fancy" cheeses, an ounce of caviar (my favorite that I could eat by the jar if I could afford it), various breads and crackers, and of course, a bottle of Champagne that I always had to wake him for. My DH was never one for staying up late, so as it neared midnight, I would wake him and then open the bottle and pour the glasses to share as the year turned and everything was new again.

It's going to be lonely this year. There will be no Thanksgiving. His birthday will be marked with candles and probably tears as I miss him. Christmas will probably spent at the beach, watching the waves and remembering him and all our wonderful Christmas's past. I think I will just ignore New Years, but the first anniversary of his death will be observed with some small bit of ritual. Instead of being our fourteenth Wedding Anniversary, the fourth of January will be the first anniversary of my widowhood. I promised to love him forever and I will reiterate that promise that evening.

It has been suggested that I should go spend the holidays with my family, but that holds no appeal for me. It's not that I don't love them, but they are more stressful than I can handle and I can't risk saying the wrong thing when they start with their religious/political stuff. My family and me, well, we don't share politics or religion. I anticipate that I will be fragile enough without having to deal with them, no matter how well intentioned and I just don't want to risk the fighting and pressure that would result if I forgot myself and really told them what I think. I hope that my home will be my refuge and I will knit a bit, watch some movies, and just deal with the season on my own terms.

I'll be OK, though...honest. It's all part of the process. And who knows, after the first of the year, I may just have a finished piece of knitting to show off on the blog!

17 October 2009

Yet ANOTHER Change

This weekend I'm preparing to move from my little "beach refuge" to a "real life" apartment (actually a townhouse).

The ubiquitous "they" are bringing my household goods Monday morning. It will be interesting to see how much of my stuff makes it here from Korea. I suppose I should be excited about moving into permanent quarters, but I'm kind of ambivalent. I have had so much peace in this little cottage by the sea. Every night I'm lulled to sleep by the waves on the rocks outside my windows. I'm entertained by the Hawaiian geckos who sometimes patrol my walls, looking for a quick meal. The breezes blowing through the pikake trees carrying their perfume all around the house are soft caresses. The birds who sing and squabble in the mornings make me smile.

I have been able to relax a bit here. I have been able to think, to cry, to regret. Every tear becomes a drop in the ocean. The ocean washes the sadness from me for a little while and the waves massage away some of the pain. I miss Michael, dreadfully. I had Kodak print up an enlargement of a nice photo I took in Sydney. Michael and the Opera House. It will hold a special place in the living room.

I wish he was here to see these sunsets and the beautiful mountains here in Oahu. But I have to laugh...he would HATE the kitchen in my new apartment. It's not even a two butt kitchen, and I'm really concerned about the storage. I may have to fit a pantry cabinet behind the dining table (boy, I wish there was IKEA in Hawaii). I'm also having trouble figuring out where to put the litter box. Mu's food and water will go on a placemat near the table.

I may get new furniture, keeping in mind that I don't have to buy 25 year furniture anymore. Pretty dishes, glassware, and flatware would be nice. One thing I really want is a glider and matching ottoman. I like the way they move, better than a rocker. I will slip cover the sofa and loveseat as I don't like the color for Hawaii (coppery). Probably something sandy or blue.

The upshot of all this meandering in that I wish I could stay here at the beach, in spite of the dirty long drive to work. I love the beach, the sound of the waves, the scent of the salt water. There are spinner dolphins here and turtles, too. Where I am going, there are no dolphins or turtles. No sandy beaches and waves gently kissing the shore. No... my place has some ferns and something "palmy" outside the front door, but there's only grass and concrete. No flowering trees or plants. I will have to get with the pots and the plants and get the container garden going. Maybe some hibiscus, but I'm afraid that pikake will be impossible. I'm even wondering if I could grow come orchids on the front porch.

All this is nice, but I need to get my stuff put away or tossed. Would also be nice if I could decorate for Halloween. The hardest thing is to get motivated, but I will prevail.