Thursday, January 03, 2008

Life & Time

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything meaningful for this blog. At one point I had determined to write twice a week, to treat this as the column I’d love to write some day. Then I had a dark tea time of the soul and I haven’t thought of that since, until now.

Christmas has come and gone. It’s my brother’s 20th birthday tomorrow. Soon I’ll be headed back to Rosebud and then on to Medicine Hat for the wedding of L & K. It seems the busy never stops, not even for the birth of Christ.

Well, the remembrance of it, anyway.

My cousin has mono. She’s a school teacher, like her sister and another cousin. Looking in from the outside it looks like Holdeman Mennonite girls graduate school, stay home for a few years, and then if a proposal hasn’t come along they go teach school. They don’t go into nursing until it looks like those wedding bells are going to be a while. I wonder at my cousins and their acceptance of their life with the apparent lack of choice. They probably wonder at me and the life I’ve chosen.

My extended family and I have very little in common. I realized that at this years family gathering. They sit around and talk about people I don’t know, events that I don’t care about, details of life that don’t involve me or I don’t experience. The things I want to know – who likes who, what are their thoughts on God, life, relationships – they don’t talk about those things. I disconnect from them because it doesn’t come close to anything I care about. I think that’s unfortunate.

I haven’t been outside today. I’ve looked outside and seen the snow falling from the sky and landing in little drifts. I’ve thought about my dog, getting fatter every time I see her, who probably spent her day in her house too. I’ve thought of my brother’s ferrets. If they weren’t so smelly I’d go play with them but they reek of musk.

In a way it will be a relief to go back to my home and my schedule. There is a certain stress to being ‘home’ for the holidays. This isn’t my home and never has been. Any place I lived with my parents is in their (and my) past now, since they moved here (and bought this land) after I left to go to school. It’s strange to come to a place where I’ve never had a bedroom, where my furniture is in the storage shed and my things have never had a home. They have to carve out a space for me when I come visit. It’s a change for both me and them and I think while we both like seeing each other we also both breathe better when it’s over.

Maybe not. Maybe they don’t find my visit a stress at all. Now I feel guilty for feeling stressed out here. Well, being the daughter of a recovering addict, a Holdeman Mennonite, and two Catholics (and yes, that’s just two parents), I’ve probably come by this guilt naturally.

I have enjoyed being here. Seeing my brothers. Seeing my parents. Relaxing and eating and drinking and being merry. I haven’t had any deep heart-to-hearts with my mom, which surprises me. Every chance we would have had, the television stole from us. I’m not used to having a TV.

I have seen a lot of Christmas and New Years shows and it makes me want to be with S. on New Years, to join the tradition of kissing the one you love when the year ticks over. Someday I know it will happen. I like traditions and being part of them so I will make it happen.

Happy New Years, everyone.

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