Wednesday, November 1, 2017

You Knew I'd Show Up...Eventually

November! Finally! And it feels like November! Has your autumn been strange? Mine sure has.  August and September were dreamy and cool, and then all of the sudden it shot into the 80s and stayed there! The fuck?! It was so fucking gross! The leaves all started to blush early and then many of them fried on the branches in that bullshit heat.  Though with the other weather phenomena lately, I guess it’s horribly unbecoming of me to complain about shit being ugly in Ohio.  That was the worst of it. Was your area in the path of some apocalyptic weather system this summer-fall?
I got a tiny taste of coastal life with hurricanes shortly after Labor Day with Irma.  I haven’t bought my Hilton Head place yet which I had been a little frustrated with leading up to hurricane season.  Once it arrived, I was glad!  The hurricanes haven’t changed my mind though.  I just need to go turn some tricks for people with a fetish for maladjusted rude fat men (it’s a niche market) and get it done.  Anyway, the plan was to stop in Atlanta to see my brother (he had moved to Atlanta, but he just moved back), and then head to Hilton Head.  Before I left Columbus, the forecast looked unfavorable and by the time I arrived in Atlanta it was obviously not going to happen.  The South Carolina coast wasn’t even expecting anything “bad”, just maybe 3-7 feet of storm surge.  Listen, I was not about to put myself in the situation to potentially need rescuing with my dog and my Le Creusets because my dumb ass wanted to walk the beach (though I did reeeeeeeeeeally want to be there leading up to the storm to photograph the waves!).  So knowing the fucking disaster that is Atlanta and their idiot motorists and miserable traffic, I left Atlanta about 4AM the Friday before the storm.  How incredibly eerie to be casually driving back to Ohio among all Floridians.  There were no lane changes or speed fluctuations, just disturbingly judicious driving almost in a drone-like trance.  You see cars crammed with people and possessions and pets, clearly distilled to the essentials.  Obviously for so many this is a familiar sight but I hadn’t ever experienced it. 
Not my photo! A buoy that washed ashore in Hilton Head during Irma
 beautiful shot courtesy @that_lowcountry_life
What could be a long story, I’ll make short.  (edited to add, Ha! Short. Sorry!) What a weird fall.  Now I don’t want anyone talking about this on my Instagram, this is a blog only type of deal, but I literally fell into another relationship and it could not be going better.  You know I’m a Taurus and my ability to romanticize knows no bounds, so I’ll be careful and not say anymore.  On the other hand, my goodness, does it take time! I am simply short on time these days.  It’s an adjustment I’m happy to calibrate but I need to strike a balance as I’ve been robbing time from sleep and that’s not good! Even with missing a week for a would-be vacation, September was one of the busiest months I’ve ever had workwise. Well of course I did what I always do and charged through thinking I’ll sleep when it’s all over! Well by the time my last wedding of the season rolled around, I had been going on 3-4 hours of sleep a night for like four weeks.  The last wedding was October 7, on Sunday October 8 I woke up and thought nooooooooooo! Of course, I was sick.  I keep doing this! Push too hard, burn out, get sick.  Oh? And among all this, my uncle died.  Now the truth is I was simply not close with him.  Never any issues, we had a nice rapport, but we just didn’t have that connection.  But this was my dad’s oldest brother and my dad absolutely adores him.  It was a complete shock as he had just turned 67 and was in incredible shape, a marathon runner and triathalon person—I don’t know what the fuck they’re called, triathletes? Anyway, it just knocked the wind out of my poor dad as I could see he had that terrible feeling of robbed time.  My uncle was to retire at the end of the year and planned to travel extensively and my dad was excited to do some of that with him.  So while I was not personally as heartbroken over this loss (and I hope that doesn’t sound as bad as it does to me, do you know what I mean?), I could feel these sort of agonizing vibrations of loss around me.  Luckily I was finally better the week of his Ohio funeral and was able to pull it together and host dinner for 50 (short of 50, no idea how many would come so I was prepared for 75).  The temptation is to think that people don’t care if you cook or host in your house, but the truth is many of them do.  There is a soul and a feeling of legacy that is irreplaceable to me.  The funny thing is the older I get, the more people I lose, the more I believe in the sense of duty of family.  I knew nothing could matter more to my dad right now than if I help him send his brother off the way he wanted.  He doesn’t have the time to do things this way, but he can count on me to do it.  I thought of my cousin’s children who have just lost their grandpa, schlepping to Ohio and wanted it to be nice for them, I thought of how my grandma, the indomitable Virginia, would have opened her doors and fed everyone somehow with only like two hours of work, and then my beloved Aunt Patti, who shared none of her mother’s practicality and all of my artistry and Martha Stewart fantasy, and all I can say is I so intensely felt them.  I almost felt selfish as everyone was at the church service and I was alone in my kitchen getting ready having this world-bending moment of connection and intuition.  For me, these meals the cornerstones of family life. 

After the meal when everyone was sort of milling around, talking with my cousins I realized they think of me the way I thought of my aunt and grandma.  I have no clue where the silver will go when I’m no longer using it, but hopefully there will be another link in that chain. It feels good to hold the spot. 
So? Thanksgiving! Oh my god I am so glad for Thanksgiving.  I am so glad for November.  Things are slow right now, there is a bitterly cold rain falling, and the upside of our mostly shitty October is that there are still beautiful leaves to admire.  I am glad to exhale, breathe in the beauty, and enjoy planning Thanksgiving with all of you. 
A Halloween tradition started by Michelle, still in practice now. Chili on Halloween! 

It will be a little different this year as I have pledged to myself I will not allow myself to work past 11PM, no matter what kind of groove I’m in or how much it may throw off my schedule.  The important thing is that I do it.  Of course, my aim is still lasered perfection as always (though never achieved, because remember! I am not a perfectionist because perfectionists never get anything done because nothing is ever perfect!), but my first priority will be maintaining a normal sleep schedule.  Things change, hurricanes come, people die, you fall in love, and you eat too many mashed potatoes and drink too much wine.  Sounds more or less like Thanksgiving. 

As always, this only works if you participate.  You can argue with me, point out the obvious holes in my logic, whatever you want.  But mainly I want to know about you.  I want to know what you do for Thanksgiving (or Christmas if you’re Australian!), how have things changed for you from last year? How many turkeys? How many people? How many bottles of wine per person? Who can’t be seated next to each other? Tell me! You know you don’t even need to sign into anything to comment here.