While the events in this post happened at the end of 2019, I’m just now sharing them here on my blog.
Most people who knew my dad knew that he had a whole room in our old house in Hanover dedicated to his great uncle, Captain James “Pete” Stepro, who died in WWII in Africa in 1943. (I have previously blogged about Pete here.) Dad became the caretaker of many of Pete’s personal effects/letters/photos/pre-Army documentation from the late 30s/etc. in the early 80s, having received them from Pete’s widow. He then contacted as many people as he could who served with Pete and knew Pete in his Army days to gather as many stories as he could, and that resulted in Dad writing a book about him called Captain Pete.
Roxie loved to barter. She would steal whatever she could find – her dad’s sock, my glasses case, a random piece of paper she found on the floor – and then wiggled her butt and wagged her tail with vigor as she waited for the “trade” to take place. We would meet on the rug in the living room, and I would get her an Alpo Snap in exchange for whatever treasure she pilfered.
This was our dance for years. At least twice a day, Roxie bartered.
I’m avoiding going to stores. Given I’ve got an auto-immune disorder, I’m diabetic, and I’m on several medicines that reduce my immune system to barely anything, the thought of going into stores right now makes me itchy. Thanks to my food storage and weekly porch deliveries from Smith Brothers Farms, I don’t have to go to the store very often. But the one thing we often need is fresh greens. I use a lot of kale in soups, we eat salads, and fresh spinach is always great to have on hand. Avoiding stores means that when we run out, it’s not easy to get more. Thanks to Chelsea from the Little Mountain Ranch YouTube channel, I have found a solution that is working wonderfully.
I hope everyone is well out there in the pandem-osphere. Life here is…. Well…
I already worked remotely full time, and I have for several years, so nothing has really changed on the surface. Except I’m distracted. And worried. And tired a lot. And restless to the point of irritation. I’m so tired of these same four walls.
We’re in the market for a second travel trailer. This time, we want a small one; specifically, on that size that ensure I’ll be comfortable towing it on my future trips down to Yosemite National Park and up to Alaska. Because we aren’t in any hurry to buy it, we’ve been shopping for months to pick out the ideal trailer.
First of all, deciding what to keep in our RV pantry is challenging. We keep our RV on our site in a private campground, and it’s 30 minutes out through miles of working forest and along the curvy road following Hood Canal to the closest restaurants and/or grocery stores. Luckily, I have a huge pantry in my rear kitchen, so I have plenty of room with which to organize. But WHAT in the world do I keep in it?
I’m not going to lie – this Christmas season was hellish for me. For one, I obviously don’t celebrate the holiday and when it’s shoved down my throat everywhere, I get irritated. Anyone who says there’s a “war on Christmas” and that people don’t say “Merry Christmas” anymore has never been a Jew in December. I used to respond with, “Thanks, I don’t celebrate it,” but now I just smile, nod, and walk away. It’s not my holiday, it’s not something I believe in, but I know people are just trying to be kind and spread holiday cheer so I move on. It’s not a battle I feel like fighting.
But mostly, this season was horrendous because I used to celebrate Christmas and so many of my childhood memories are wrapped up in the holiday. Now, when I think about those memories, I think of my father and my younger brother and the spike of pain that stabs me through the heart is almost unbearable. At every turn, I’m reminded of loss this time of year. It makes for dark times during a dark period on the calendar (at least in the Pacific Northwest!)Continue reading “On grief and Jewishness during the holiday season”→