Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Having Myself a Little Christmas

No huge news for Christmas this year. Highly subdued on the home front, and as we were driving back to Florida for time with MIL, who has just moved into a new "assisted living" condo, highly subdued there. On the very morning, we spent about 30 minutes opening presents (Star Trek:The Original Series with the newly spiffed up graphics is MINE. I'm not so wound about spiffed up graphics as the old klutzy ones are endearing, but I'm quite pleased none the less.). My big gift this year was tires for my car. Otherwise, I got a new bathrobe because I don't own a bathrobe and I now live where bathrobes are really an important item of clothing, and a couple of very pretty dust catchers for my collectible dust catcher shelf. Also, good smelly stuff in delicious quantities. Oh, there's also a B&N gift card waiting to be plundered and an Amazon certificate to my credit. Really, not so bad.

Florida isn't "home" anymore, but it is familiar. It should be after some 43 years of living there. My first announcement upon crossing the state line was "Hey! Look! A Palm Tree that isn't on the back of someone's car!" The Upstate is very much lacking in live palm trees, but as the palm tree with the little moon is SC's symbol, stickers are everywhere.

The second thing to impress me is the wide sky. Now, sky is sky -- it's always up there. But, geography affects the appearance, and when one is used to a mostly flat geographical location, moving to hills and mountains and folds in the land changes the appearance of the sky. I hadn't noticed how small the sky in SC is until we went back to Florida. Upstate is not known for dramatic sunrises and sunsets. In fact, I can't recall a single one since I've been here. Sunrise means when the sun gets above the block of buildings and the trees and the hill on our east side. Sunset is hidden behind a fence and some trees and a bunch of buildings on a higher elevation. That seems true where ever we are. Things are oddly close in here.

Florida felt quite wide open by comparison. From MIL's 4th floor condo window, I saw a bit of the sunrise.

Third thing -- Spanish Moss. Again, not a common item in the Upstate. I hadn't thought about it since I can't remember when, but it's thick and heavy this year everywhere we went. Long grey tresses, bushy beards, huge masses of it dripping curtain-like from treelimbs and power wires.

The last big thing I noticed was related to that wide open sky. I can see weather coming in Florida. Clouds moved in rolls and billows. Long striated clouds welted like beach sand after a wave, piling up on one side and stretching out on another. It is possible to see the weather coming, to watch it progress, to time when it arrives and when it goes. In SC it seems that weather is always what's directly above my head. It comes in, featureless and concentrated. It stays for too long, whatever it is, and then it is gone suddenly. Also, it works backwards from what I knew -- in Florida in winter, rain means cold weather coming. Here, it means warm weather is likely to show.

We caught up with a few friends and spent hours in conversation, reciting the story of our time here, discussing again how open and uncertain our future is, hearing the news of a year we didn't see. I've never before left so completely my own past. My past has always hung close to me, memories painted onto places and locations and people. Now, the past is somewhere I go to visit.

Obviously, I stayed longer in Florida that I should have done, but that's what I have.

So, it wasn't the merriest and happiest of Christmases, but neither was it particularly sad. It was just a slightly noisier day than the rest.

Which, I suppose, means I'm an adult now. I do not like that part. Next Christmas I plan for something better.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hey, Another Post!

Still not much going on, but rather than my usual whining, I thought I'd just report on my life.

I'm on hiatus from Goodreads, the place online that centered my life for the last 2 years. I don't know why. I have good friends there, people about whom I care, but right now I can't work up any interest in being there. I feel like I'm repeating myself, just trodding a circular rut . Oh, I'm not shutting down my account (this time!) but I don't feel anything pulling me there. I don't know why. It happened suddenly. I suspect it will go away just as suddenly.

I've been enjoying the wonders of Netflix lately, especially streaming video. The Husband and I watched the first episode of Dead Like Me last night. I'm debating watching the Dexter series, although the first 15 minutes of the first episode did bother me a bit. I've read the first three books. I can read stuff in a book that will bother me like hell in a movie or TV show. I guess it's that I can control stuff in translating it from text to imagination -- sometimes I don't let myself picture things. I just read words. I saw the latest book in the series a the store today. It was a hardback -- a sign of success for Lindsey, although, really, I thought the third book was pretty weak -- so I skipped it. I traded away the earlier books, so I'll look for an e-version. I did pick up a couple of other books (Hey, I was at B&N -- that story later) -- an autobiography on Leslie Caron, and a bio on Ayn Rand that I read about a few weeks ago.

I haven't read a book in weeks, so feeling like reading something is positive.

Anyway, this week started with adventures. The therapy for my back has taken a back slide. Last Friday I tripped or slipped or stepped funny and my hip and back started stabbing me at odd moments. I went to the chiropractor on Monday (three times a week for a bit) and told him. He did his thing. I left and drove The Husband to GSP (airport) for his trip to Florida to work for Bosszilla for a few days. I dropped him off and started back.

I'd left my purse with my cell in the back seat and the phone rang. I won't answer my cell in the car while I'm driving if I don't have my headset, and I didn't have my headset. It kept ringing and ringing, so I found a place to pull off the highway. It was The Husband. His flight was canceled. Come get him. I had to drive him to Charlotte to pick up his connection. Yay.

I went back. Oh, no, he said, Charlotte was the place socked in with fog. No flights at all going in or out. So, we went home. Not a big deal, he moved his flights to Tuesday, it would be fine.

I was sitting down on the couch as I often do, with one leg tucked under me (I seem to be always sitting with one or both legs tucked up somewhere). My back/hip slammed me with pain so hard that I actually got dizzy -- I mean, the whole ear buzzing, vision swimming thing. It dialed down after a few minutes, and after an hour with the heating pad had mellowed considerably. I still could feel it at bedtime, though, and had to be careful how I turned over.

So, this morning, we hauled ourselves out of bed early (for us) and got on the road to GSP again. On the way, The Husband called to check his flight. First, they said "delayed". Well, it takes about an hour to drive to GSP, and between the time we left and the time we got near Greenville, the flight went from "delayed" to "canceled". However, Charlotte expected to have the connecting flight to be on time.

We drove to Charlotte. After some roaming around trying to find the airport (no sign! I swear, no sign at all!) I dropped him off and drove back. After 4 hours in the car, I wanted to stop at B&N. I needed some more Christmas cards, you see. No, really, I did. And I even remembered to get them after I'd bought my books and started for the door.

So, now I'm settling down for a couple of days on my own. The Husband will be home on Friday. Next Wednesday we drive back to Florida to spend Christmas with MIL. I haven't been to Florida in over a year now. We come back on Sunday, and the following week will be The Great Paper Chase -- clearing files, shredding, cleaning things, and preparing for the new year.

Friday, December 04, 2009

I'm Alive

But I think this blog is dead. Or maybe it's just resting. Or I'm going through another of my phases. I can never tell until it's over.

Ok, the bullet list of Things Happening To Me:

1) Found a chiropractor at last. Xrays demonstrate my spine is basically sliding off my pelvis. This hurts. We are fixing. Not being in pain is nice.

2) Same day, chiropractor discovers my blood pressure is sky high. Also, I suspect I have a sinus infection. Make appointment at the university clinic.

3) University clinic - yes, hypertension. Why? We don't know. Testing. Also, yes on the sinus infection, although I do indeed have sinuses that look all allergic. They had a picture so I'd know what allergic sinuses look like. Meds.

4) Same day. My car needs a 30,000 mile service. Oh, and two new tires. Oh, and two more new tires.

5) Next day. The credit card we were planning to use to buy the tires has had the credit limit cut by 75%. Without notice. We scramble.

6) I'm behind on my whole editing/proofing gig. Reading bad fiction saps my will to live.

7) The townhome we are renting, that is on the verge of foreclosure and on which we have made a shortsale offer, is still up in the air. We wait. Week after week we wait.

8) Trip to West Virginia for Thanksgiving. Fun time, long drive. Long, long drive.

9)Improving back. Blood pressure is weight related -- heart is good, cholesterol good (can be better, but is not horrible). Being (expensively) tested for allergies.

10) Head is everywhere and no where. Concentration is for shit (like that is so unusual). Don't feel like doing what I did, don't feel like talking to people, don't feel like much of anything.

Friends around me are in various dire straits, I am bothered that I can't help, and I feel like I'm swimming hard to keep my head above water, but at least I am swimming. Husband is coming to the end of the semester and as much as he complains about how stressed he is and how short his time is, it doesn't stop him from making more commitments and spending even more time at school. In general, I feel very done with things right now. The great experiment has almost run its course. Can it be over soon?