Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Looking Forward

It's the time of the year for ruminations and meditations and looking ahead. I htink most of us will agree that we are not sorry to see 2008 go. It was filled with highs and lows, for many of us more lows than highs.

It's the end of a error -- the Bush-Cheney Imperial Presidency. Good bye and good riddance.

Which lows were the most memorable?

First, it's the economy, stupid. That preyed on everyone's mind. My husband and I began thinking more about how we could help others than ourselves. True, our "portfolio" is thinner than it once was, but we thought about people who had no portfolio. We told our children that they could expect very nice cards, small gifts, and donations made in their names to food banks in their neighborhoods. It worked.

Then, it was political stupidity. It began with NY governor Elliot Spitzer getting caught transporting prostitutes across state lines. Hmm, we all knew what his wife thought as she stood behind/beside him as he resigned. It continued with John Edwards confessing that he had cheated on Elizabeth, "but her cancer was in remission." That made it all right. Then it was Sarah Palin, who now thinks she is the leading candidate for president in 2012. Keep thinking, Sarah. You might also consider returning to school to bone up on civics. Might help. And lastly, we have Rob Blagojevich apparently trying to sell Barack Obama's Senate seat. There were probably more examples, but you get the idea.

There was political history of the sort we couldn't have imagined when Dr. King gave his "I have a dream" speech in 1963. Not only did we have a credible woman running for president, we had an African-American, a Hispanic, and a wrinkly white guy. When all was said and done and when all the votes were counted, the iconic image of the campaign flashed across our television screens on November 4: Jesse Jackson with tears of joy pouring down his face. So much progress, so much more to go.

And of course, there were the inevitable drop-ins at Christmas. We had enjoyed guests throughout the year, but had planned on a quiet Christmas day a trois.
We woke up Christmas morning with ideas of a quiet breakfast, putting dinner in the oven, going for a walk, and opening our presents in peace and quiet. I hadn't counted on having two whipped houseguests collapsed in the dining room. What do you think? Did I do well in feeding them?

And now 2009 is on the doorstep. We have a new president coming in. He's inheriting a pile of problems, and we hope he'll live up to even half of our expectations.

2009 will bring more time to write. I want to continue writing 4-5 days a week. My first Mad Max novel, Unintended Consequences, is complete and out with an agent for review. Book two, working title Shades of Pale, is nearly done in draft. V-E-R-Y rough draft, but a draft nonetheless. I should finish the draft in the next month, take a cruise to clear my head and return to revies-revise-revise the draft. Book three is taking mental shape,, but I need to do a boatload of research before I begin writing.

To all of you who have stumbled upon this blog, thank you for reading my musings. Have a terrific 2009. See you next year.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Recessive Genes

With the election behind us and the economy sucking all the energy out of the news, I woke up the morning after Thanksgiving with an uncontrollable urge to DECORATE. The recessive Martha Stewart gene was ascendant and nothing I did drove it back where it belonged.

I dragged down a dozen large plastic tubs of Christmas decorations, put them in order in the garage, drove up to the storage unit and fetched the tree. We went green years ago with an artifical tree and have never regretted it.

No longer do I tramp through parking lots shaking trees to see if even a single needle stayed on. No longer do I harbor fantasies about cutting down a tree in the woods, since I learned years ago that perfect trees do not grow in the woods. They grow in tree farms. No longer do I worry about how to get fresh sap off of the top of the car, my hands, my jacket, or out of my hair.

After much fussing, I got the big tree up in the great room, a smaller tabletop tree up in the office and two other indoor trees ready for decorating. Nothing was safe. Not even the cat.

Every tabletop was a target, even the double dresser in the bedroom. I hung stockings from the chimney with care, including the one my beloved grandmother knitted for me for my first Christmas. Terry and the cat both have stockings, which of course will be filled by Santa on Christmas Eve.

I don't know what got into me, but I was done with my shopping before Black Friday. I did peek into Cyber Monday and bought a couple of things on excellent sales -- with free shipping, of course. And I dropped my cards in the mail a week later.

For the first time, I can sit back and enjoy the season and the reason for the season. It's a good thing I don't bake. With the recessive gene, I would have baked a houseful of cookies that we don't eat!!

And now, recessive gene, go back where you came from and do NOT return until next year!