730 Days

We lost Mom two years ago today.

It still feels odd, even though most of my contemporaries have lost one or both of their parents, some many years ago. Both of my familys are long-lived, and it didn’t seem that unusual that we were lucky enough to have both of them. But Mom faded out gradually over many years – her death was the opposite of a surprise.

We miss the Yvonne who was completely with us, smart and funny and sarcastic. We still feel sorry for the Yvonne who was fading away, not quite there with us, simultaneously happy to play online Scrabble and consume novel after novel, but content to let the tide wash her out. But I am so grateful that she and her husband had each other for 60 years. Also, that she and my husband loved each other so much.

I’m glad that she missed COVID. I’m sad she missed the end of the Trump administration and the upcoming grab-your-popcorn comeuppance of that whole gang. I’m sad for my dad, still hale and hearty at 87, who – freed from his caretaking duties – could have spent the last two years traveling and visiting friends and family and being social, and has had that mostly curtailed by the pandemic. (He’s still getting out there though, socializing with ladies and going to plays and concerts. More than we do!)

Anyway, I miss my mom, but I’m proud that I can look back on the arc of her life and see how much she accomplished, and take lessons from it.

So, 3 weeks into the New Year. We are plugging ahead, still at the tail end of de-Christmassing (all the boxes are back in the storage closet and the linens in the guest room dresser, but we have to finish the resetting of the living room). It’s been very cold, so haven’t power-walking (or skating). I’ve got a big list of annual winter projects, like go through all the closets, and get my tax stuff together. I went through my yarn stash and threw out two bags of crap – stuff that I’ll never ever use. (Don’t worry, that was probably a 10th of what’s left.) I’ve been working on a baby blanket for my young cousin – there’s a deadline, which worries me, and I may not have enough yarn, which also worries me, but both of those things are addressable, and the blanket itself is coming along nicely and will be both lovely and comfy.

Banks no longer have quarters at all, so I’m now taking the heavier items (sheets, towels) to the local drop-off laundromat. That’s pricier, but completely doable and involves very little work on my part. Taking bets on how long it will take me just to dump all the laundry there. (I can totally do that for a weekend that’s crazy-booked.)

Oh, yeah, the chamber music concert got cancelled, which is a shame, but takes a load of responsibility and time-suck out of the picture. We’re starting rehearsals for the next concert this week, but winds don’t start up until rehearsal #3. I’m going to use the ‘I don’t have to practice yet’ time to spend at the piano, or keep chipping away at these winter-clean projects.

What else? I’m playing Wordle, like everyone else, and yes I’ve seen Byrdle and Absurdle and Lewdle and all those. I’ve mostly given up on daily Plants vs. Zombies minigames, but I do play a round of Atari Adventure every day.

Now that Xmas movie season is over, we’ve been watching Virgin River. It’s just over the middle on the ‘good’ side of good/bad. Sometimes it’s very clunky, script-wise, and watching very good actors like Annette O’Toole gamely deliver some of the ridiculous stuff on the page is entertaining in its own right. Watching one of the Animal House guys (Tim Matheson) playing a grumpy elder makes me feel like a grumpy elder, oh well. In general, the acting is good, although the lead guy doesn’t bring much more to the table than ‘handsome’, and I don’t think there’s a ton of chemistry between him and the female lead. Speaking of which, Colin Lawrence, who was the lead in that ‘Dancing’ Xmas movie we saw a month ago, is the best friend character, and he’s very good about looking like he’s smitten with whatever lady they’ve paired him up with.

We’ve got some more of that to go, and a bunch of hour-long dramas queued up behind it, and for half-hour, we’ve picked up Season 3 of “After Life”, which is wonderful. We’ll probably do “The Chair” after that.

And we’er watching Oscar-bait movies. “Passing” is excellent. Last night, we watched “The Power of the Dog”, and I was thinking until the last 20 minutes, “if this does not pay off, I’ve just spend 2 boring hours”. But then it did, quite wonderfully. (There’s a whole huge section that’s like ‘if X is what’s true about the characters, why is Y happening?’ and then you find out.) It’s beautifully acted, quite tense, and the scenery is great. I think Kirsten Dunst is saddled with a not-great character to play, although she’s quite good. Very worth it. I think we might watch “The Lost Daughter” tonight.

Yeah… still kind of in winter limbo – moving forward, but it’s all maintenance. Nothing concrete to look forward to yet.

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