Day 250, with holiday plans

Today is a light-gray November 17th, and my little world is a stew of political nightmares. Biden won the election in the US handily*, but 44.5 won’t concede and millions of people here think the election was stolen. Millions of people think this virus is a hoax, too, and demand their “right” to endanger millions of others. In my city, easily a third of the people walking around my neighborhood are doing so maskless, and another significant chunk wear a mask around their chin but ignore “keep 6 feet distance” guidelines. Because freedom, I guess.

It’s frustrating. I have been in this small apartment in the middle of a city for 250 days, and have only been past the front stoop thirteen times in those 250 days, those 35 weeks, those 8 months. Five of those times I stayed in the car. In the meantime, through my apartment or car windows I watch unmasked people wander outside blithely. The few times I’ve been out to walk the dog I’ve had to stand in the street waiting for unmasked people to pass, wobbling on my cane, forced to pay attention to them and the cars and the dog and my feet all at the same time so I don’t fall over into traffic.

And people elsewhere are yelling about how horrible it is that state governments are headed for the oh-so-frequently-predicted-earlier-in-the-year second lockdown. Because it’s “cancelling Thanksgiving” or “cancelling Christmas.”**

I know it’s hard for some people to be away from their loved ones. Back in July my own mother asked me to start thinking about “ways that Thanksgiving could work – don’t say no, just think about how it could work.” I didn’t have the energy to burst her balloon then, but I knew there would be no way I could attend a group gathering inside. Since then she’s listened to others in the family, but I was bracing myself for a hard conversation.

Sometimes I’m baffled at the resistance from people who know the virus is dangerous. We knew there wouldn’t be a vaccine ready until 2021. We were told by experts that the process doesn’t work like the movies. We heard all of this way back in April.

Because of all that information, I knew that my holiday plans this year would have to be treated like they were last year, when I couldn’t climb stairs and thus couldn’t be at my family’s house or Jon’s: with thought about how I’d demonstrate love to my family from a distance. I spent last Christmas at home, alone, texting or Facetiming or calling people as they celebrated. I asked Jon to go to his family instead of staying with me, because I get him every day and they do not. I was happy with our little tree at home, texting everyone, laughing at photos of my nephews opening their presents and my nieces smiling.

It was fine. I was fine. Sure, part of me being fine is that I’m a deeply introverted person, but part was because I was prepared for it.

I was prepared for this one, too.

I feel so very sorry for people who are having a deeply difficult time with the prospect of yet more alone time. Truly, I do. But if you think staying home means a holiday is canceled? You’re ignoring what the basic social premise of a holiday is about, and I don’t mean the religious aspects.

Holidays are about togetherness, and togetherness is more than just bodies. One’s love for another isn’t contained just in flesh. I promise.

It’ll hurt. It’ll ache. But the holiday can still exist. It’s up to us to make it.


*As of today Biden has well over 5 million more in popular vote, 306 projected Electoral College votes
**You can tell a lot about who “they” are by these two comments. Pisses me off that they never include Hanukkah. Plus, there are some prominent Sikh and Baha’i celebrations that can’t happen in the usual way.

Holiday Week Hindsight

So this past week has been one for the ages as far as I’m concerned. Not only is Jon still recovering from knee reconstruction surgery (quite well, but still, he’s got a limited range of available activities) but I managed to do some fun damage over the course of the week:

  • I somehow managed to fuck up my hips and back where moving and walking is painful
  • then tripped and fell so badly (while walking the dog, poor Kizu) I ripped the palms of both hands and my right knee and foot
  • then dropped a cast iron griddle on that same foot
  • then wrenched my back *again* trying not to fall down the basement stairs

So while actual Gluttony Day worked out okay, the following days? Not so much. I’m sporting some pretty decorative bruises, and the muscle soreness from the fall and the wrench is something else. My back is hurting badly enough that I didn’t dare drive the two hours to see one of my favorite living writers read from what is probably my favorite SFF world.

Which was extra depressing.

But here we are, Monday monday, and the week is done. I know that in a year’s time what I will really remember about this past week is that Jon and I, together, figured out how to manage both our weesmall kitchen and our physical limitations to deliver a damn good Gluttony Day feast – duck! amazing mashed potatoes! sauteed mushrooms and onions! and we did PIES this year! I did a pear custard tart with almond crust and Jon did a pumpkin pie with graham crust. Plenty of homemade whipped cream to go with it.

We were also able to figure out how to share a table rather than eating side by side on the couch with our plates on our laps. If we’d had to eat like that it’s not the worst thing in the world, but the thing I like the most about sharing a well-composed meal is the face-to-face aspect.

I might still be in pain, but I do count both of those as big wins. Wins I’m grateful for.


Being Prepared – The “Oh Crap” Version


Turns out that it doesn’t really matter how prepared you are if you don’t have a table big enough to put all your planned food on, and neither your kitchen counters nor your refrigerator have enough space to hold the food either.

Time to switch mental processing hats from “foresight” to “seat-of-pants ingenuity” :x

Being Prepared – The “Doc’s Ofc is Closed for the Holidays” Version

Every week I get an allergy shot, in order to reduce my immune response to my allergies and lessen the intensity of my breathing issues. (It’s made it easier to breathe on a regular basis, but the runny nose I got in exchange was annoying, and I still have bad reactions to mold.) Usually both Jon and I get these on Thursdays, since the local office is open until 5:30 pm then. But, yknow, Gluttony Day is always on a Thursday, so this week Tuesday before 1 pm is our only local option.

Which means I was up earlier than usual, and Kizu will be walked earlier, and also benadryl wooze will be a thing because the shots are not fun with Claritin, and I don’t want to spend my afternoon struggling with symptoms. By 8 pm I am going to be SO wiped out.

So yesterday? Got a rotisserie chicken so I don’t have to think about food. And I have a bok choi already out and staring at me, which I will saute when I get home so the veggie part will be taken care of too. *thumbs up*



Being Prepared – The Low Spoons Version

Knowing myself and my energy level these days, I’ve started prepping for Gluttony Day (so called because Thanksgiving has a racist history, but I still love food) WAY early. Did you know that mashed potatoes actually freeze really well? Therefore, mashed potatoes for Jon made and frozen! 
For tomorrow, I’ve got some plans for the carrots I keep getting in my “ugly produce” boxes. *rubs hands together gleefully*