it has been an exhausting week filled with familiar faces and tear-filled cheeks.

next week, a fresh new look on the new year. but for this morning, i thought i would put some more thoughts down about my grandmother.

she was an avid writer, and up until about a year ago, she wrote daily in her journal about her day’s events. from pay stubs, to doctors visits, to meals; it was all recorded. she had an entire room in her house dedicated to the lifelong journals she kept. they are my treasure. i’ll always be able to go back and read about her, not only the times we spent together, and the grandmother i knew, but i’ll also get to know the person i was never able to meet: the girl, the newlywed, the young mother, the person.

she always got on me to start my own journal, and while over the years i have dabbled here and there, writing down my day’s thoughts in a book never really stuck. but i do blog, and it is about my life from day to day. i emailed her once to show her shinyfork when i first started blogging, and while i have no idea what the exact entry was that she read, she called me back immediately after reading it and asked, “are you OK? do you need money?”

so maybe she never “got it,” but i hope this counts as journaling to her, at least a bit.

beyond keeping her journals, she also wrote beautiful poetry. if you talk to anyone in her family, and the subject of her poetry comes up, they will immediately begin to beam, and say (with a sweet, and soothing southern drawl), “you know, she won a thousand dollars for a poem once.”

no one can remember which one won the prize, but i’m certain she’s got it written down somewhere to tell us.

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i wish i could see you tonight by dhw (AKA patty)

_

i wish i could see you tonight,

just sit here and talk for a while…

about nothing important…

the weather, perhaps…

just wish i could see your sweet smile.

~

i wish i could tell you tonight,

little cares that cause teardrops to start;

you always could cheer me,

and make seem so little,

the sorrows that bowed down my heart.

~

i wish you could know tonight,

how much i miss seeing your face

and hearing your laughter…

and talking with you…

there’s no one can take your place!

how to summarize 2010? ah, i’ve got it:

2010, much better than 2009, but still not great.

after enjoying a wonderful new year’s eve celebration and new year’s morning with friends, mike and i sat down last night to a quiet evening, reflecting on last year, and looking to the year ahead, talking about the things in our life we are resolved to accomplish.

interestingly enough for both mike and i, last year seemed all about the bigger picture – what does it all mean for things 2, 3, 5, 10 years down the road for us? don’t get me wrong, it’s good to be thinking ahead, but it’s fairly paralyzing to the present day if that’s the only thing that you are thinking about. so instead of solely looking forward, what we vowed for 2011 is to think more of now, because life is now, it’s not a few years away. in light of all that, here’s what i’m trying to get done in the next 362-ish days left in 2011:

go to the dermatologist. i have had a draft blog post about this in queue for months now, but haven’t been brave enough actually hit ‘publish’. i’m nearly 30 and still have the skin of a pubescent teenage boy. it’s time to do something about it.

don’t wallow in self pity when things are not actually that bad. i really enjoy the blog sweet juniper!, and recently this post particularly resonated with me. what struck me was the line, “no matter what you get, remember you are the lucky ones.” it’s so true, and yet so easy to lose perspective of. it’s just kind of silly to feel bad for myself when every day of my life i: feel safe, have a great job, a wonderful family,¬† dog, and network of friends, plenty of wonderful food to eat, and a beautiful shelter over my head. so. things really aren’t bad. in fact, they are kind of great as a whole.

make charlie’s life better. i often stop myself from doing other things like finding a yoga class, going to the grocery store, exploring the city in general, because i feel like the time out of the house would be a disservice to charlie. but having a depressed mom at home probably does just as much good as leaving him alone all the time. so i’m aiming to strike some sort of balance to make charlie’s home and outside life better. i’m not exactly sure what i will do, but i’m going to work hard to figure it out, and then execute.

find out someTHING(S) out about myself. that i love zumba, or hate zumba. that i can meet new people and not get awkward in a conversation. that i actually…who knows?! just figure it out.

blog. about a week ago, our friend over at hellosorld, mike, and i had a chance to hang out together. while at dinner he and i made an impromptu pact with each other: to blog at least twice a week. not an unrealistic goal, to be sure. the posts don’t have to say much or be earth-shattering, the goal is just to blog. i’m truly looking forward to this, as i really love to write here. having this outside pressure/commitment will, i think, make my worries of writer’s block dissipate.

there are some other items on the list, but they are a bit more personal. suffice it to say, they’re all about how to live life now and not to wait until later to make me, my friends, and my family happy.

happy new year to you all. i hope that 2011 brings you much deserved love and joy in your lives.

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unfortunately, the first couple of days to this year comes with some sad news: i found out this morning that my grandmother passed away quietly in her sleep last night. she was a wonderful woman, with more love in her heart for her family and God than anyone else i’ve ever met. it was a treasure to have her in my life, and i can only strive to be half the person that she was. it was time for her to go, i understand that, but it doesn’t make the hole this loss has created any smaller. i love you, patty.

hm.

i’ve been contemplating, well if i’m honest, stressing out, quite a bit about what to write here – truly there’s just so much to say. we’ve had quite a jam-packed couple of months, with highs and lows, and in-betweens.

so i suppose i could go into all of the fun, not so-much-fun, and whatever else we may have gotten into the past couple of months. but really, that’s not what this blog was ever about. this blog was never about my day to day, and my life living with me in it.

this blog was really always meant to be a reflection of how i am feeling, not what i’m doing. it’s a public secret repository of how i am reacting to the life that i’m living, and if i can, injecting a funny line or seven to make myself feel better.

so. with the true intent of this blog in mind, i feel: crappy.

no, really. i have a cold.

how are you?

it seems that, and i truly never thought i would ever say this, i missed new jersey yesterday.

halloween in old city philly, it appears, is not for the cute, eager, excitable young ones looking to stuff their bags with sweet treats. no. it is for the loud, it is for the scandalously dressed, and it is for those who create, distribute, serve, and finally then drink, alcoholic beverages.

essentially, halloween here is for the not-so-cute, incredibly eager and excitable twenty-somethings, looking to stuff their something else with someone else’s something else altogether.

ahem.

prior to moving to the big city, our halloweens in new jersey were filled with the most adorable little children. every year i would make a huge effort to buy candy well in advance of only the crappy stuff being left in the store, and take off from work early enough so that i wouldn’t miss the earliest (and oftentimes cutest) of arrivals.

then, once the trick-or-treaters began to arrive, for the next four hours or so, mike and i would commune.

we would commune with the children screaming proudly, or shyly whispering, “trick or treat!” at our doorstep.

we would commune with the accompanying parents, who, while we never really knew each other by name, got to know each other by face, year after year.

we would commune with our neighbors, all of us often sitting on our respective front porches, enjoying the crisp night air, or the unusually warm weather, chatting, catching up, exchanging stories, remarking on the most adorable costumes. being the people that american folktales are made of.

although we’ve moved on now (for the better, overall, i might add), and halloween will never be the same as it was in our small neighborhood in new jersey, i’m glad to have those times in my back pocket as a memory. i’m also happy to have them as something to strive for in halloweens¬† yet to come.

since i was not able to attend today’s rally to restore sanity and/or fear in d.c. with mike and other friends (hi guys!) because of work obligations (hi employment!), i have put together some of my general thoughts on the matter live from my couch on my a%$ as i watch c-span covering the event.

my favorite signs / buttons:

“i’m over here” (helpful)

“zombies aren’t afraid of anything except glenn beck” (i can’t verify this statement, but it is seasonally appropriate)

“hate fear / fear hate” (good, classic common sense)

“yield” (i don’t get it, but i appreciate that the confusion comes in a one word package)

“go vote yourself” (cheeky)

“don’t panic” (a long-time favorite of mine. thank you douglas adams for this gem)

“i [soup can adorned with jon stewart’s face] [heart] stew beef” (??!?)

other general observations:

how in the world is the mall lawn still green? with so many people gathering there all the time, it must be an ubber crazy strain of grass seed that they use to keep it constantly growing. hmmm. stewart just said it was a mess. perhaps i’m wrong here. quick. someone invent the grass seed!

father guido sarducci is fairly hilarious. as things go.

charlie seems unimpressed with all of the antics at the rally. but fear not. he’s just a dog.

who is t.i. and why is it obvious that he couldn’t make it to the rally? oh.

i need to go be a productive member of society. i’m going to go do my laundry.