SO YOUR DAUGHTER DID NOT INVITE YOUR FOR THANKSGIVING…

SO… You spend a while regretting the fact that you did not have more children.  Competition is a good think and you suspect that capitalism was born of children who were vying for their parents’ love?  affection?  pride?  attention?   When only one person holds the cards – in this case your daughter – it is a monopoly and as monopolies go, she gets to call all the shots.  And she did…

SO… what do you do?  You make a SANE Thanksgiving!  You cook a SANE one-course meal:  turkey tenderloins done to perfection, parsnips and carrots roasted with parsley, roasted asparagus, and you clinch it with your specialty – the irresistible cranberry-orange sauce your guests have loved.  Dessert is easy because you do not make any.  Your dietician will be very proud of you.  She is younger and skinnier than your daughter and she gives you a complete hour of her undivided attention.  (Of course, your insurance company pays her).

You have eaten heathy and clean-up is easy – two dinner plates, two forks, two knives.  And then you go to the movies because the theaters are EMPTY!  And you just wonder how your daughter will feel the Thanksgiving she does not get invited.

SO YOUR DAUGHTER DID NOT INVITE YOU FOR THANKSGIVING…

So you spend a few minutes regretting that you did not have more children.  You know that competition is a good thing and you suspect that capitalism was born out of children vying for their parents’ love? affection? pride? attention?  But when there is no competition, it is a monopoly and my one child holds all the cards.

So what do you do?  Well, I made a SANE Thanksgiving meal, a one-course meal:  Turkey Tenderloins done to perfection, roasted parsnips and carrots, roasted asparagus, and my special cranberry-orange sauce.  Half a plate of veggies just as the dietician ordered.  No extra calories.  No need to pass on the desserts because I did not make any.  My dietician will be very proud of me.  She just happens to be younger and thinner than my daughter and she gives me a solid hour of undivided attention.   (Yes, of course my insurance is paying her).

So then what do you do?  We went to the movies – but not just any movie theater.  We went to an AMC theater and saw the Mr. Rogers movie in the extra spacious reclining seats.

Now in all fairness to my daughter, she is overwhelmed at work.  But I am not the kind of mother who just lets her do all the work.  I give way more than I take so after great consideration, I let myself wonder how my daughter will feel when her kids do not invite her for Thanksgiving.   I mean, I would have cooked and hosted and cleaned up if my daughter had just said:  “I can’t do it.”  instead of saying:  “I booked a hotel for Thanksgiving.  I need to get away,”  without adding:  “Would you like to join?”

 

LIFE IN SIMPLE TERMS

 

If you would have told me that I would write a book when I retired, I would never have believed you.  If you would have told me that I would spend a lot of time preparing all kinds of vegetable dishes in my retirement, I would never have believed you.  If you had told me that we would be working in our retirement and still be paying a mortgage, I would never have believed you.  

Yet, here we are.  My book is still selling and I still have great reviews.  My compost bin is full of vegetable clippings since our dietician insists that vegetables are the way to go.  I find vegetables boring so I spend more and more time trying to find exotic ways to couch the plain vegetables we are supposed to eat.  Half a plate of them at each meal!  Plus, we are not allowed to add salt.  I am still tutoring, even more than last year.  My husband is still tutoring any chance he gets.  We are still paying down a first mortgage and yes, we have an equity line.  I guess we are doing okay because they always ask if we have a second equity line in addition, and they are always impressed that we do not.

I find I do not have the energy I used to have.  If I go food shopping, I cook the next day.  If I cook one day, I do the laundry the day after.  One day, one activity.  And on the days that we exercise, well, that IS the activity.  

If you told me that I would stop caring about my house and let things slide a little, NO one would have believed you.  Yet, I look the other way a lot now.  

So that is how aging happens.  It creeps up on you.  You focus on the past.  You appreciate what you have been through.  You obsess about health – yours and your loved ones.  And you see the future through your grandkids.  You are not that relevant and you know it.  But the grandkids…they are the raison d’être, and you focus on them.  When you go on vacation, you don’t bring home souvenirs because honestly, who needs them?  But you send age appropriate ones to your grandkids.  You want them to be comfortable in the big world and you want the big world to open up to them.  And you have to stop your thoughts from going there, to the dark places, to the real concerns, the real fears and worries – the pollution, the climate, the out of control weapons grade guns that are everywhere.  You have to stop your mind from thinking about the future of our democracy.  You have to stop seeing the robots that are now appearing everywhere, including our very own supermarket.  You have to focus on the good.  So you do.  And you are already counting the minutes till you see your grandkids again.

SO…

So…I am getting small royalty checks monthly.  My editor tells me that is AMAZING in today’s market where no one is reading anything more than two lines long.  IN ADDITION, I just received 4 stars on Goodreads and I am an “unknown” author!

So…WHAT DO I DO NOW with my new Laugh-out-Loud FUNNY piece:  IS THERE SEX AFTER SLEEP APNEA?

Any thoughts, please?  Suggestions?  Any publishers out there who want to publish a VERY funny but poignant piece about aging??????

THE HYBIRD

“We don’t have those trees where I am,” she said pointing.  “Are they sycamores?” she asked me. 

What my daughter’s mother-in-law does not understand is that her question took me back over 45 years ago to when I finished high school.  What my daughter’s mother-in-law does not know is that I took an aptitude test after I graduated high school because I had no idea what I wanted to be.  The top recommendation came back – “botanist”.  

I grew up in a small walk-up apartment in the city   I had no experience with plants  and could not envision myself spending my life grafting vegetation to create new species

I have long since left the city and I have become an avid gardener.

I knew enough to look up at the leaves.

“No,” I answered. “They are maple trees. See the leaves?”  

  “Oh yes,” my daughter’s m-i-l said.  

But the tree trunks looked like army fatigues so I googled the tree up.  Lo and behold these were sycamore maple trees.  

Our shared granddaughter was sitting in between us.  I leaned over to Linda. “ The trees are hybrids just like our granddaughter,” I said.  “Look!  June has your nose and my hair!”

MY PROMO was very successful!

It led to new sales and the stats are showing me that in this month alone, over 300 NEW people read my book!  Thank you http://www.kindle.com!

THE YIZKOR CANDLE by Jacqueline Becker as it appears in MSK anthology

 

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     It was time to light the Yizkor, or memorial candle.  We traditionally light it during the week of shiva, or mourning.  We light it at sundown just before we light the four major holiday candles.  We also light it on the anniversary of the death of a close member the family.  The candle represents the soul.  Yizkor is the command verb to remember.  It would translate into:  “He SHALL remember.”  Remembering is imperative in our religion.  The candle is meant to burn a full 24 hours. 

    When our department took our supervisor out to celebrate her retirement, we went to a small, lovely Mexican restaurant.  It was late afternoon and the staff began to light the candles on our table.  My colleague-friend, Debbi, looked at me and I looked back at her.  We were the only ones who understood.  We burst out in laughter.  We could not hold back as the tears streamed down our cheeks.     To be continued tomorrow…