Tag Archives: Holidays

“I’m all right… I’m all right!”

Wow. New Year’s bash indeed. It lasted for two days, and I think I slept for four hours.

We were informed that this was to be a dressy affair, and so we got all dolled up for the New Year, only to find that it wasn’t exactly French champagne and hors d’œuvres. Instead, the host had brewed up a keg of “champagne” (I insisted on calling it chahm-pahg-neh, and asked if it was going to make us go blind, but I have to admit that it was rather tasty, if rednecky) and some cider. Everyone got just a little bit tipsy (OK, more than a bit). Half the party was a dance fest and the other half was an outdoor bonfire. In other words, we put on our best clothes to stand outside by a campfire drinking keg champagne. It was hilarious.

As for me, I chatted up just about everybody, danced up a storm (including learning the merengue, well, kind of), and in general had a splendid time. When my sister and I left the party at three-thirty to get some sleep, things were still in full swing, with musicians and others jamming (and singing) in the basement, dancers dancing, and drinkers drinking.

I woke up the next morning after my brother-in-law came downstairs, and we chatted and drank coffee as we waited for the others to rouse themselves. At around eleven, we went back over for a day of brunch, games, music, and watching episodes of The Office (alas, the American version, but still really funny). I left around six, completely exhausted, but happy. I went to bed at eight. I woke up at eight this morning, and now I’m here.

What’s my job again?

What did you do?

Advertisements

Happy New Year!

Hafsumorebeer! Er, excuse me. Allow me to try that again.

Happy New Year!

I’ve spent a lovely morning up in the loft here at Casa Sundry, reading the Sunday paper over coffee and looking out the window at the snow-covered roofs and the brilliant winter sky. Now that I’m informed and caffeinated, I am in a reflective state of mind. Here are some thoughts on 2006 and hopes (I do not do resolutions) for 2007.

Reflections on 2006
I think it’s safe to say that 2006 was a pivotal year in my life, and one I will remember.

I had a nasty spill early on in the year that I thought would destroy my life. Instead, I was honored by supportive friendship and the grace of people, and I learned how to forgive myself. I am a stronger person than I was in 2005 because of this, and while I wish it had never happened, I am still grateful that it did.

In the spring, I traveled to Italy and had the single best vacation I’ve ever had. Walking through the streets of Rome reminded me that life is still out there to be lived, and grinning like a fool, I felt lighter than I had in years. My visit to Florence with my sister showed me another dimension to her, and I loved learning from her. She and my brother-in-law were incredibly good to me.

I went to Memphis and reconnected with an old friend.

I developed an interest in the theater, going to several plays, including one on Broadway.

I got better at dating. I fell in love. Ex-Boyfriend hurt me terribly, but we had some wonderful times together. After we broke up, I was still strong enough and hopeful enough to go on.

The 2006 election restored my hope for my country. Americans woke up and saw the right for what it was—an affront to everything we hold dear. The wars continue to rage, and there is a lot of ground to make up, but I have hope again. It’s been a long time.

My parents gave me an amazing gift that has opened up new possibilities for my future.

And, I started this bloggy thing. For years I’d talked about writing, but I never did it. I might not be turning out polished prose all the time, but I am writing. It makes me happy. I’ve also met some extraordinary people here in cyberspace. You make me laugh; you make me think. It is a privilege to know you. Thank you.

Hopes for 2007
As I said, I don’t do resolutions, but here are some hopes I have for 2007.

I’d like to be more flexible. Lately I’ve been thinking about finding another dance class or possibly taking up Yoga again, but I would also like to be a more flexible person in other ways. If nothing else, 2006 taught me to roll with life and know that it will get better. I’d like to continue with that.

I want to continue writing. I want to get better at it.

Knitting makes me happy, and I don’t want to stop now that the holidays are over. I’d like to find another pottery studio to work at. I’d like to get better at taking pictures.

I’d like to find a rewarding career path that still allows me to support myself.

I’d like to move. This home has been good to me for three years, but I would like to try something new.

I want to continue dating.

I want to travel again.

I want to keep learning about the world around me. Perhaps also learn a new language? It would be fun to do more than exchange pleanstries and order food. I enjoy fancy cooking, and I’d like to get better at that (and, Carissa, I also want to stop being so lazy and make my own lunches—bagels be damned!).

I want to continue to be a good and supportive friend. I would like to make new friends.

And, I suppose it would be a good idea to kick my occasional smoking habit.

So, I’ve reflected, and I’ve hoped. Now I must dash in order to get ready for the big New Year’s bash I am attending this evening.

Happy New Year!

Death, Random Holiday Photo, and Blog Whoring: Typical Wednesday Thoughts

Death
Good God! Go on a little holiday, and everyone dies. James Brown left this world on Christmas Day. That made me sad. Time was, all anyone needed for a party was to invite the Goddess Posse (my group of gal pals), clear some room, provide some drinks, and put on some James Brown. We’d do the rest. “Hot Pants!” and “Good God!” were common greetings among us. I know the man had his issues, but his music makes me happy.

Then I woke up this morning to hear that Gerald Ford died at the ripe old age of ninety-three. I’ll never understand why he pardoned Nixon (or forgive him for doing it), but I always look on him with pity. My mother used to say of him, “Oh, poor Gerald Ford. He fell a lot.” I thought of that this morning.

Here’s a strange thing James Brown and Gerald Ford have in common: They were both lampooned on Saturday Night Live back when the show was worth watching. Not everyone can say that.

Random Holiday Photo
One of my closest friends was in town to see her family for Christmas, and I had a good time hanging out with her and her siblings. Her sister, it seems, is not much of a wine drinker. This was how the wine was opened at her house (the drill “bit” was a corkscrew. It got stuck in the plonky cork, and we had to wait for rescue).

Wine Opener

Blog Whoring
When I checked my e-mail this morning, I read this message. Apparently someone read my post that mentioned The Shining as a pretext to show off my terrible typing skills. Based on that post, this person would like me to blog about the DVD release of The Illusionist. Here’s what he wrote:

Hi,

I’m contacting you on behalf of Fox and M80 regarding the DVD release of The Illusionist starring Jessica Biel and Edward Norton. I found your The Shining blog entry http://sassysundry.blogspot.com/2006/11/shining-drunken-rodents.html and think you might be of some help to me. Since you blogged about The Shining, I was hoping you might find The Illusionist DVD release, contest or something related to it, blogworthy. I would be happy to send you The Illusionist DVD as a thank you for your help or for you to review.

If you’d like to help out, or would like more information, please let me know and I’ll be in touch soon!

Thanks!

I did in fact see The Illusionist with Ex-Boyfriend on his birthday. Edward Norton did some nifty illusions, but I can’t say as I think that the DVD release has me all hot and bothered. Besides, I’m not that kind of blogger.

Have any of you received these kinds of solicitations? What do you think? It strikes me as very unseemly.

Have Yourself a Fluffy Little Christmas

Fluff wishes you Happy Holidays, too.

Fluff Christmas

May Your Days Be Merry and Bright

I like Christmas lights. Here are a few photos from my family’s tree.

Red Christmas Light

Green Christmas Light

Blue Christmas Light

Happy Holidays and Peace on Earth,
Sassy Sundry

And the Real Reason for the Season Is…

Happy Winter Solstice, Northern Hemisphere! On this darkest day, we anticipate the return of the light. And that is a happy thought.

In Memory of Santa

Every Christmas my dad tells the story of how we met Santa Claus. My family moved from upstate New York to the New Hampshire town where I grew up in the winter of 1976. That being a primary year, my parents went to City Hall to register to vote. They were a little late, but the city clerk, Mrs. Dearborn, allowed them to register anyway. And so my parents voted, and we settled into life in New Hampshire.

The following Christmas, we found out just how festive the town got for the holidays. A big parade, starring Santa Claus, wound its way through the still-thriving downtown, and the tall balsam tree in the square was lit. People crowded the streets, children on their parents’ shoulders, eager to see the fire trucks decked out with lights, the radio station van playing Christmas music, the high school band, and the floats overflowing with bundled-up children singing Christmas carols. And right in the center of town was a little hut where children could visit Santa Claus.

My father says that he and my mother got in line with three-year-old me and waited for my turn to chat with Santa about toys and life in the North Pole (I was an inquisitive child). We got to the front of the line, and my father says that Mrs. Claus looked at my parents and then leaned down and whispered something into Santa’s ear. I ran over to Santa, and he picked me up and placed me on his knee. “Hi, Santa!” I cried.

“Well, hello! Didn’t I see you in Glens Falls, New York, last year?”

“Yes!” I replied. “We moved here last winter. I like it here. There’s a beach and the park and we have a dog…” I went on and on, chatty little girl that I was. Of course Santa knew where I was last year. He knew everything.

My parents, however, weren’t so sure. While I was making small talk with Santa, my parents were exchanging worried glances. “What the…” my father started to say, but that’s when Mrs. Claus gave him a big wink. It was then that he saw that Mrs. Claus was really Mrs. Dearborn, and order was restored to the universe. “They really had me going,” my dad always says.

So that’s how we met Santa Claus all those years ago, but it isn’t how we got to know him. That Christmas parade was nothing compared with the Christmas Village the town put on every year. Christmas Village transformed the Community Center into a Winter Wonderland. The basketball court was covered with brown paper and people spent hours stamping red paint bricks. Lights were set up to offset the yellow lighting of the gymnasium. Carpenters and artisans worked to construct Santa’s Workshop (“Elves” would turn wooden toys for children and make little personalized ornaments—I still have mine from 1977), the Gingerbread Man’s house, a Candy Cane hut, a Blacksmith’s shop, a huge Frosty the Snowman (made by my very own mother), an “Ice Rink” (the surface was white plastic and elves skated on it), and Santa’s house. Nearly the whole town would turn out for Christmas Village when it was complete. Starting in 1977 my parents were on the committee, and so for years I got to witness the creation of the magic (and was even an elf for a few years), but that never tarnished the wonder of Christmas Village.

The workmanship that went into Christmas Village was truly remarkable, especially for such a small community, but it wouldn’t have worked without our Santa. See, there was a reason why my parents were awestruck by Santa’s knowledge of my whereabouts Christmases past. Mr. Dearborn had white, flowing hair and a long, white beard. He had a soft and gentle voice, and an even softer and gentler demeanor. (He also wore very distinctive cologne. I’ve never figured out what it was, but if I smelled it today, I’d be transported back to being a three-year-old, chatting away with Santa. One summer day in his antique shop, my sister looked up at Mr. Dearborn quizzically and said, “Mr. Dearborn, you smell just like Santa Claus.”) I’ve seen many men who bear a striking resemblance to Santa Claus, but Mr. Dearborn is the only one who ever had me convinced.

I loved running around, helping to set up Christmas Village, but it always broke my heart to see it torn down. One year when I was five or six, it was just too much, and I ran to a corner and cried. As I was sitting on the floor despondent, I felt a little tap on my shoulder. There was Santa, back in his outfit. He said, “Come on, let’s go have a chat.”

“OK, Santa.”

We went out in the hallway and sat down on the steps. Santa asked me, “Why are you sad?”

“Because it’s over, and it was so wonderful, and I want it to stay the way it was always.”

He looked at me with that gentle gaze and said, “Well, would it be wonderful if it was always like that?”

“What do you mean?” I asked him.

“Christmas is a special time, sweetie. If it were like this always, then it would just be the way things are. You wouldn’t think it was magical. But you can keep it in your heart all year, if you want. When you are feeling sad, you can think about Christmas, and that will make you happy.”

I mulled this over and saw the wisdom in what he was saying. Wiping my nose, I said “OK. Thanks, Santa. I’ll remember.”

“Good,” he said. “Let’s go back and find your folks, shall we?”

We walked back into the Community Center, and he dropped me off with my parents with a wink and a tap to his nose.

As my sister and I grew older, my parents stopped working with Christmas Village, but we would still see Mr. Dearborn in his antique shop from time to time. When I registered to vote, Mrs. Dearborn signed me up. “Thanks, Mrs. Claus,” I said when I was finished. We chuckled and talked a bit about Christmas Village.

Some years back, Mr. Dearborn died. I was in graduate school at the time and couldn’t get back for the funeral, but the whole town turned out to mourn Santa Claus. A few years later, Mrs. Dearborn retired from her post as City Clerk. I’m not sure who the town Santa is anymore. I just like hearing my dad tell the story of how we met the real thing.