A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!
At the dark table in the corner of Singha Thai last night, the fortune cookies arrived, as they always do.
It was my birthday dinner, and I was feeling blessed. The food was good, and I was in the company of a long-time beloved friend. George had arranged for an earlier surprise celebration at The Original Pancake House, where he works. Daughter Annie had flown home to Ft. Collins safely, even though the gale winds left our yard covered with a winter's supply of kindling. Earlier, she and Liz had done the Christmas shopping for everyone, and all I had to do was foot the bill.
All that was left for today was last minute shopping and raspberry torte baking. Life was good.
Still, I picked up my cookie with skepticism. I tend to get fortunes that read "you will work hard and die," while friend Susan's say "you are beautiful and everyone adores you!!"
But it was my birthday. Good fortune abounded. Surely this time, I'd get a great message. I cracked the stiff egg white and sugar shell.
"If you persist for a long time, you will accomplish your goals. Eventually."
Susan looked sympathetic as she pulled her fortune through the brittle cookie bits:
"Gold coins will rain down on you today!!" She laughed and showed me the new gold earrings her husband had given her earlier in the day.
I am not making this up.
That's the interesting thing about life. You do not have to -- in fact, you probably couldn't--make it up. It's all its own wonder, joy, frustration and sorrow.
I'm typing this with clumsy fingers. Last night, while Super-gluing together a wreath, a tubular overflow incident ensued. My right hand now is covered in rigid adhesive. But the pain from the tiny cut in the corner of my thumb is gone, so there is blessing in misfortune. (If you don't know the Superglue as first-aid for paper cuts trick, it works. I learned it from both a surgeon and a pianist.)
Now I will wake the kids, nestled all snug in their beds. Grandma in Oshkosh is having problems, so there's a change of plans. I'll go up sooner than planned and stay later, and the kids will have to take on the homefront a bit.
An hour ago, my inner Christmas Nazi was marshaling dark thoughts. May all our lawmakers discover first hand what it's like to actually have to deal with the broken healthcare system on a holiday.
But my better angels prevailed. it's a blessing to be able to go there. Another blessing: the kids' father will come to the rescue and move in with them to help out.
I guess we've got a new tradition: Christmas improv.
May your holiday be full--not so much with presents, but with the Presence of each other and what is holy.