Thanksgiving Pies 13     Thanksgiving…usually a time of great blessing for me. The trial of moving has put a strain on it, however. Hosting it was probably not the best idea, but it gave us a goal of having the house unpacked enough to have guests.
     My mother came over the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and we prepared apples and dough for pies together. I had hoped it would be a transition into a more relaxed holiday mode, but this was not to be. The next day was devoted to getting her to and from the hospital for her biopsy and keeping an eye on her a bit. Time wise, it really amounted to little impact, but the emotions and concerns it stirred were consuming. Wednesday was filled with shopping and cooking, trying to find things that were still packed or packed away, and trying to get a final head-count of who has coming and who was not.
     Thursday morning started out slow, but soon ramped up to full blown stress mode as my wife and I mis-communicated on our definitions of a “clean house.” When the day was finally over, I was glad we had hosted Thanksgiving, but it did not have the satisfying afterglow it has had in the past. Circumstances and miscommunications conspired against it.
     Writing? Are you kidding me? Well…some…very little…but some.

     Black Friday—of all the days in the year, I hate this one the most…with a passion, I say. In the United States we have few holidays that are uniquely American….something that stirs a sense of admiration in our international cousins and pride in ourselves. We have the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving. In my opinion Thanksgiving is being conscripted by capitalistic concerns as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. It was one thing to claim Black Friday, but now major business are opening their doors as early as Thanksgiving morning in an effort to claim the cash. It utterly and completely disgusts me. Another sign of the times.
     Autumn is sacred time to me and as far as I’m concerned, Black Friday is a black eye on America’s cultural landscape. Some love it—more power to ‘em. They can have it.

     Marirose and I are both creative, she a song writer and musician and I a literati and piobair–piper. In addition to several other obsessions, we both suffer—endure, entertain or indulge, take your pick—an irresistible need for artistic fulfillment. Thus, in addition to service oriented jobs that are extremely demanding, she as a nurse administrator and I as a teacher, on any given day are both off pursuing our particular muse wherever they might lead us. This might include my wife heading to an out of town practice with various band members, partaking in an online “Go-Girl’s” musical support group chat, or scoping out a new venue. For me an early morning writing session, an online bagpipe lesson with my piping-mentor or brainstorming session with sticky-notes and colored pencils would not be unusual. The point is, we are “a-blowin’ and a-goin’” at Iona Céin. Time for slowing down is as much at a premium as it is sacred. Unfortunately we don’t find that time often enough.
     The odd thing is that with two such creative people living together, one might think we’d give each other time to be creative without interruption. This is most definitely not the case, but rather than wade into that morass of volatile tar here and now, I’m going to save it for a future post.

     Winter and Christmas are coming. I dread that holiday most of all. Probably because of how its more contemplative bent has been bent all out of sorts and reformed into one huge season’s long commercial. Yesterday was the staff party. As usual I did not go. The emails of “if you are going send your money…” really turn me off. This weekend is the Student Council party…I can hardly stand that: “Remember, don’t spend more than $15.00 on the gift exchange…”
     Why not, “…we’re getting together to play games, build gingerbread houses and watch “Home Alone”, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, “White Christmas” or “A Christmas Carol” while we stuff ourselves with homemade goodies. Wanna bring a dish and partake?” No frackin’ gift exchange. No frackin’ entry-fee. No frackin’ money required. You wanna exchange somethin’? Make a homemade card and actually write something thoughtful on it for a change! God, I hate Christmas.

     Sick time.
     If you can’t tell, I’m sick. As in ill. Maybe the other way too. Almost very year I get sick with a heavy cold right around Thanksgiving. Last year was an exception. This year the bug waited a few days until after I was back in school to strike. Monday after vacation, mid-morning, I got that itchy feeling in the back of my throat that got steadily worse throughout the day. I have no clue how long it will hang on. It steadily gets worse and worse and then, typically, after a week or so, begins to lighten up. I can usually feel it gradually releasing its death-grip on my throat as it leaves. Today is but day four. The croups are yet to come.
     Needless to say writing creatively is not something I find myself particularly inspired to do. I’d rather sleep. I will, however, soldier on. Even if it means but a paragraph a day. I will write.