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!
Driving down Watertown Plank Road on the way to the dog park Saturday, I noticed the driver of the car next to me reading Pick 'n Save ads. While he was driving.
He pulled ahead, and I saw the "Baby on Board" bumpersicker, and then the baby. Judging by the height in the appropriately placed car seat, and the glorious halo of loose, soft baby curls, I'd guess the child to be about 18 months old.
My inner grandma-wannabe (someday) aroused, I considered following him to the store and reminding him that babies and other drivers are distracting enough without adding newspapers, radios, and cell phones to the mix. When driving, it is quite enough to drive. But that's an idea that meets with much resistance. It seems so un-modern, possibly un-American, and I decided to mind my own business.
Since I'm unemployed, it's easy for me to say that whatever the holiday season means to you, be kind and release yourself from the obligation to buy more, worship more, celebrate more, decorate more, do more. But I started doing less years ago, and I've never regretted it.
Yesterday I'd planned to clean and decorate my house, finally, for the holidays. Instead I went to a concert by a community chorus, Choral Tapestry, and a brass ensemble at the Lutheran Home. The hall was more crowded than most years, and people in hard seats or wheelchairs relaxed into the music of the season. Kids I've known since they were babies on board, now in their teens and twenties and driving the cars, sang and played their horns with confidence and strength. New voices dared duets, a solo clarinet stirred us with Ave Maria, and an old friend with a deep honey voice warmed the room with Silver Bells.
Of course, a few dozed off. But as darkness fell and it came time to sing the familiar carols, everyone roused and lifted their voices in song. Something magic or sacred happens then, when this simple, peaceful expression of our shared humanity unites us in wonder and hope.
That was the real start of the season for me.
Needless to say, housecleaning didn't seem like the right thing to do after that, so I joined some folks at Biggs for after-concert dinner, libations, and a rousing dispute about the worst popular music of the 80s.
This morning I'll attend to the mundane tasks. One at a time.