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In honor of Turkey Day, I’d like to post pictures of some moments this year that I am grateful for….
Crimebake Vampire Ball–Meeting Clare “The Hamburgler”
Meeting Charlaine Harris at Crimebake
Attending Margie Lawson’s workshop with M and catching up with J.E.
Cherry Blossoms with Lily
Seeing the fall foliage with Grandma H
Vatan with Oliver
Blaue Gans with Anthony
San Diego beaches–finally being able to go back…
Holidays with my family
Time to play with Emerson
Spring Brunches and Outings with B including Smorgas Chef
What are you thankful for?
I’ve spent July 4 with friends, with family, in foreign countries, in NYC, at the beach, etc. It’s funny how holidays become so significant in memory. July 4 and October 31 are two of my favorites. They are fun holidays without the pressure of gifts. Almost like holidays without expectations as opposed to Christmas and New Years, which always feel like make it or break it holidays. Like if the day doesn’t go as planned, something major is lost.
I’ve shared July 4 with lots of people I’ve cared about over the years. Josh, Carina and Anju in 1998–Beijing, Linds in high school and college, Ant at the beach. Emerson–who’s been around for the last 6 July 4ths.
This past July 4 was with family. Catching up with my grandma. Making smores with my aunt using ginormous marshmallows. Whipping up strawberry shortcakes with my mom. A great way to pass the day. Being grateful for what I have in my life.
The day is so tangible, it’s like cracking open a page in a photo album and boom you’re back in that moment again. I guess I’d like to say thanks to everyone who made July 4 special for me over the years.
What did you do for July 4th? Did you enjoy the day?
A friend told me there were not enough pictures here, so this post is my attempt to remedy that. I’m going to try for a picture post once a week…
This was an amazing sensory interactive art exhibit at the armory in May 2009.
Boat ride to governor’s island…
Evidence that I may be a long lost Cullen. I glow in direct sunlight. Is that normal? Jazz festival on governor’s island.
Salzburg Sound of Music Tour
Salzburg take 2…
On the book front, I’m retooling my query letter for the Backspace conference. I also wrote 1300 words tonight for my new story hitting 10,300 word count. I’m exhausted. Dreaming up scenes is hard work. I love it. I devote hours to it. But it leaves my mind mush.
Thank goodness, I dvr’ed Merlin. That show totally transports me away from my daily life and my writing and lets my mind chill. Not that I ever get away from my writing. I was doing my back exercises tonight (core strengthening) and of course that is when I get a new line of dialogue and have to scoot over to the laptop to get it down.
Tomorrow I head to the MWA-NY Chapter Library series on forensics. Looking forward to it. Will let you know how it goes.
Sorry for the lack of words….so tired. I was up all last week bidding on the DTWTFN auctions.
I was in the kitchen at work perusing the beverage choices when I decided to go with a Tazo Calm Tea. Opening the tea bag, I sniffed to make sure this was something I wanted to make into a drink. It really did smell calming. It also triggered a memory.
Iced tea was the summer drink of my childhood and teen years. My grandparent’s fridge was always stocked with a pitcher of it. So the sugar-free Lipton iced tea mix became a favorite of mine. Maybe because it represented family and comfort. Or long summer days sitting on the porch waiting for something to happen and passing time together in the interim.
As I got older, a cup of Lipton with sweet n low and milk was my grandmother’s trademark. Every time I came home from college, she’d be boiling hot water for a cup. She always insisted on preparing it for me, making sure it was really pale and beige the way I liked it. Then we’d sit down at her kitchen table and catch up.
Is there any drink that conjures up memories for you?
If you’re asking this question, it probably ended a long time ago and you were just holding on because it hurts to say goodbye and let things go. Harsh? Yup. Valid? Probably.
I was looking through photo albums of the past 15 years and I’ve known some awesome people. I’ve had some deep meaningful friendships that I thought would sustain me for decades and I’ve had convenient friendships that I never expected to survive more than a few months. Most of the time, I was dead wrong in my predictions.
Unfortunately, relationships don’t come with expiration dates. We never know who will stay and who will leave. Who will evolve into someone we no longer care about. Who will surprise us with loyalty and depth we never expected.
I see pictures of people whose names I no longer know. Their faces are familiar and I can feel remnants of the emotions I felt for them, but I cannot tell you who they were or why they mattered. Because time marches on. So if people do not move forward with us, they tend to fade away over time.
A few days ago, I got an email from someone I still loved. We had been close friends in college and he always held a special place in my life. But he told me he determined that allocating time to me was a waste and he needed to build friendships where he lived, not with someone he didn’t see since he moved half way around the world. It stung.
Look, we all may think these things about efficiency and time allocation, but to say it to someone is rather cruel and shows a complete lack of feeling for that person. So I left. I ended what remained of a once beautiful friendship. My only regret is I should have walked away sooner. I held on and now I have these terrible memories of a person I have come to dislike. If I had let go and never tried to reach out, the past could have remained untainted. We could have had our unspoiled beautiful memories.
The simple fact is people change. We grow together or we grow apart. We love and we laugh and sometimes it stops. We can’t go back. We can’t make it work. Then comes the hardest part. Letting go. Like any death, it’s a blow. But it’s kinder to walk away with good memories than to linger and become bitter.
Sometimes, things need to be allowed to end. Standing in the middle of the road refusing to get out of the way is a bad idea. Like that old Bonny Raitt song says, “I can’t make you love me if you don’t. You can’t make your heart feel something it won’t.”
How do you let go of old friends and people you loved?
My nervous energy continues. At times, I daydream about where I can move things. Like my mason jars. Don’t ask, it’s a long story. But I have to store them somewhere until I need them. And I am absolutely certain I will need them. But aha! The cabinet space I cleared two night’s ago is perfect.
I finished cleaning the fridge Friday night. Then I moved on to a storage cabinet in the living room area.
I hit the file cabinets and boxed up files I never look at but have a perverse need to keep. I’m one of those people whose memories are triggered by physical objects. Show me a credit card bill from 2006 and I can probably tell you what most of the purchases were and throw in a funny story. Pull out one of my skirts from 1999 and I can tell you the highlights of my best moments in it. So I like to keep things. But I’ve been in this apartment awhile and the things are starting to keep me. So the tossing has begun. But other items must be transferred into my storage space. Though, it is oddly liberating to box up those old VHS tapes and say buh-bye.
Some things that were once so precious have ceased to be. Funny how time gives you perspective. Some memories don’t need to be triggered anymore. I’m okay with forgetting. It’s like tiptoeing through several other lives when I look at all these things. Lives I used to lead but no longer do. It’s kinda cool to see where I was and realize how far I’ve come. Yes, going through old bills does all this for me.
I still have the closets and the bedroom and more of my office area, but I am making progress. It will probably be a two-week adventure. Hopefully in the end, I’ll have an awesome looking apartment and some peace of mind.