Monday, November 23, 2009


Nearly a year. And why now? Because tonight, I experienced the famous straw as never before. Tonight, my favorite lamp was the straw, and I was the camel's back: We broke nearly simultaneously.

There was no reason for me to react the way I did. As disappointed as I was that the lamp broke, and as frustrated as I was about the circumstances that led it to break, and as panicked as I was about all the broken glass, none of those things -- even in concert with each other -- was enough to prompt the full-on tantrum/meltdown that ensued.

Ted was bewildered, concerned... a bit scared. The wife he's known for so many years usually maintains a freakishly even keel. And tonight, she suddenly hit rough seas and near-about capsized!

He tried to calm me down, but was unsuccessful. The cats rapidly made themselves scarce, which was good because they avoided the millions of shards. And in the middle of this wildly disproportionate fit, I found myself wondering why I was pitching it, why there was no OFF button. And so I, too, was something of a witness to the whole episode.

Didn't last long -- a couple minutes, after which, I regained my composure and set about to vacuuming up the bits too small to pick up by hand (Ted got all the big pieces while I was morphing into a crazed puddle). It was an arduous task to be sure. The lamp had truly shattered.

It's done now, and I've since found several places online where I can get replacement shades. So now life goes on. Right? I've folded laundry, chatted about my day with my husband, checked email, read the news, and written a blog entry. Is it necessary for me to analyze all the pieces of straw in my life? Is that the only way to keep my back from breaking again the next time a fly buzzes by and inadvertently adds a speck of straw dust? There are many pieces of straw these days. And my back hurts enough that it's tempting to openly list and/or complain about them (though I might contend that the list itself would be a complaint). This strays way outside my usual optimism, and although it may explain tonight, I know better than to go there. It's time to climb up the slope, not slide down it.

So, let's talk about something more upbeat. Holidays! Here's a great Thanksgiving poem:

"Yam" by Bruce Guernsey

The potato that ate all its carrots,
can see in the dark like a mole,

its eyes the scars
from centuries of shovels, tines.

May spelled backwards
because it hates the light,

pawing its way, paddling along,
there in the catacombs.

Love it. And then there's Christmas.

Christmas countdown banner

I'm not ready for Christmas in any way. Some gifts have been procured. But when my hard drive crashed, it ate my list. That means I have to start from scratch as to who gets what and how much budget is left for everyone, and therefore how much more shopping needs to be done. I'm braving Black Friday with my sister and my Christmas Club money. But I'm not appropriately prepared for it. At a time in the process when I'm typically done or close to it. And I'm still trying to imagine Christmas without my own personal Santa -- Dad.

Oops. Just slipped down a bit. I should call it a night, an entry, a year, and get some sleep. Maybe I'll blog again next August.