Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!
Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The funny thing about mourning ...

The funny thing about mourning someone’s death is that it strikes you at the weirdest and most inopportune times. Some times are appropriate. I have trouble dealing with holidays and family birthdays. Of course, the death I am referring to is my mother’s, April 10, 2009. She was just a couple months shy of her 67th birthday. She died on Good Friday that year. So now every year, I will actually mourn her death on two days: April 10th and whatever day Good Friday occurs on. My mother always loved the spotlight, so now she gets two official days for me to mourn her (insert awkward reader laugh here).

I mourn on those above dates as well as Mom’s birthday. I mourn on my brother’s, sister’s, and my birthday because my Mom should be here. I think about her on my Nana’s and Grandpop’s Yahrzeit (the Jewish anniversary of death). I wonder if they are together again celebrating their reunion in Heaven. I mourn Mother’s Day and each holiday that my mother is not with us. Thanksgiving is particularly hard as this was Mom’s holiday. She LOVED it. She brought out my Nana’s crystal, china, and silverware to serve with. When my sister was very young, she painted a ceramic turkey napkin holder for my parents as a gift for Thanksgiving. It was painted with the utmost love. Mom named it Turkey-Lerky. My Mom cherished it so much that you’d think it was a piece of her best fine china! Every Thanksgiving, it would come out and hold court in the center of our table, much to my sister’s chagrin! Mom really loved that napkin holder and during the year, it had a special place in the dining room hutch until the following holiday.

I also mourn my mother at the oddest times. One of Mom's favorite shows was Dancing with the Stars. So when the promo comes on TV, you got it, I get upset. There is a particular song I associate with the week she died. Maybe it is because I heard it over and over on the radio. Now when I hear it, I sometimes pull over while driving and have a good cry. I mourn Mom when I play my ABBA, Diana Krall, or Gloria Estefan cds. Mom loved these artists. Particular smells drive me insane. The smell of meatloaf or baked chicken makes me think of Mom cooking them while I was growing up. I would run into the house after a long day at high school, and be overtaken by the smells of comfort food coming from the oven.

Mom’s birthday is August 24th. This year was hard. Luckily, Sheryl and I had Mom’s dearest family cousin, Robert, out with his daughter Dana, for a vacation over her birthday. It was difficult as my brother Adam couldn't not make it out. We relived a lot of memories with them. Between Sheryl and me, I think they saw as much of NYC, Philly, and the PA countryside as anyone could see in such short time. It was a great trip for them. We did particularly enjoy looking at Mom’s photo albums.

I grew very melancholy after that and that is when I took a break from writing. I just wanted to dwell in my sorrows and emotions, to focus on mourning my mother’s death. Well, one week became two, became three, became 2 months, etc. I can’t promise it won’t happen again. I reserve my right be melancholy and mourn my Mom whenever, however, and how often I want to. I continue to be angry, sad, depressed, and despondent at different times during the year. I am SLOWLY allowing happiness back into my life and I am happy, though, to be writing again.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Getting the yard ready for the winter!

It’s been awhile since I have written my blog. There have been various reasons, but nothing that I feel or need to get into right now. So without further adieu, let me get started.

I worked hard this weekend preparing the yard and deck for the coming winter. I forgot how much yard bric-a-brac that I had accumulated this year. My main goal was to get all of the shells, candles, flags, and lawn ornaments put away. My shell collection from childhood is pretty extensive. Most of it is tucked away in the attic, but I keep the large conchs and whelks out on the deck to remind me of my love for the sea and beach. Each one of these is carefully wrapped up at the end of the fall so that I may bring them out and enjoy them again the coming spring. I noticed this year they are really bleaching white from the years in the sun. Candles and lanterns were next. Carefully wrapping everything in newspaper or bubble wrap, I filled about 4 milk crates with all of my yard and deck "stuff."

The lawn hoses were drained and put away. All seat cushions and pillows were aired out, cleaned, and stowed in the garage. I took down the swing on the deck, as well as the umbrella and chairs. While taking the umbrella down, I was showered with what seemed like 100’s of stink bugs hiding in the folds and creases. Thankfully, they are slow and didn’t spray me. I still kind of freaked out (shudder). Dead marigolds were ripped up and tossed into the humus pile. The ornamental grass and dead herbs were cut back. I even got a chance to teeter on a ladder 10 feet up and cover the air conditioner!

One of the activities which brings me the most joy and relaxation is taking care of my feathered friends. I love watching the birds in my yard. The end of fall is about getting the feeders ready for the winter feeding season. I cleaned out each of my three seed feeders and filled them up. My two suet feeders were next. They are filled to capacity with suet cakes. Someone once told me you could make your own suet cakes. I will have to try it out at some point. The birdhouses were also repaired if they needed it, with wood shavings put in each to act as a shelter in inclement winter weather. I created a pile of loose branches right in the woods off the property line to act as shelter as well. Lastly, I have a squirrel feeder in the back which the guest bedroom overlooks. The cats just love watching the squirrels. Each feeder is also placed by windows so that Max and Moxie can spy on the birds. My cats sit on the large window sills and chatter away dreaming of a songbird or squirrel snack.

I think I am in pretty good shape. I will have to continue raking probably until the first snowfall. That’s the breaks when you live on the edge of the woods. Leaves from trees 50 feet in always settle in my yard! It’s not that big of a deal I guess. Yard work these days tends to relax me. I also figure with each leaf pile I rake up, that’s another helping of Thanksgiving dinner that I can treat myself to!