Tag Archives: Christmas

tea

I had to look it up. It was Christmas 2011. Zach had moved from Oregon to Louisiana the summer before. Sarah had started her doctorate program in Colorado. Jeremy and Ashley had moved into their own home. I was starting to get back on my feet after the economic disaster of 2008 and 2009.

I don’t remember if I helped to finance, or if I suggested it, but with all five of us in one place at the same time, I wanted to get a nice picture of all of us. Ashley’s brother Ryan had a nice camera and generously agreed to take some pictures. there are a bunch of good ones, but this is the one I picked today:

But back to tea. For a Christmas present, my children got together and gave me a teapot and some tea. I don’t know why exactly. I had not been a tea drinker. I didn’t (still don’t) drink coffee. I had become a fan of caffeine over the years when I discovered it helped with my headaches but I had never thought about getting it via liquids.

OK, I have a teapot now. When I got home, I started trying out the teas that had come with the teapot. Eventually, I developed some knowledge of what I liked. The next year for Christmas, Zach sent me a huge assortment of teas. Here’s my kitchen cabinet after they arrived:

I’ve got some nice glass containers now but otherwise the cabinet looks much the same. I keep lots of different teas and drink whatever feels right at the moment. I have some loose leaf teas but use tea bags most of the time.

I thought of all of this last night when I was at the grocery store getting milk. I always go down the tea aisle, even when I have plenty of tea. I guess I look for stuff on sale. At this point I know what stores have what teas so there aren’t many surprises.

What struck me last night was that the Stash tea was about the cheapest tea there. Stash was the brand of the assortment that Zach had sent me and I thought it was pretty good. It’s an Oregon company so I thought there was some angle for him there. They have lots of teas so I was able to try lots of different flavors.

Today was Oolong. Thinking of you, Zach.

back in the saddle

Home. My little apartment. I got back last night after a day of travel: driving from Spokane to Seattle, to the hotel where I rented the car, then walking to the Transit Center to catch a bus to the airport ($2.75, a deal!), hurrying through checking my bag and through security to the gate where the plane was 30 minutes late. Then it was an hour, then another half hour. I got to SFO at nearly 7, twelve hours after I had left Spokane.

I makes me think I should just drive all the way next time.

Today I did laundry and caught up on the myriad things that the real world demands: bringing my checkbook up to date, paying bills. One bill was for car insurance. My traffic light indiscretion last year cost me nearly $500 at the time. Today I found out that it will cost me another $300 on my insurance. Grrr . . . . As far as I can tell, there is no mechanism for removing the one point I now have by any kind of traffic school so I guess I’ll have to eat the increase for the three years! the point is on my record.

There is a thing called Mature Driver Discount that AAA will give me if I complete an online class so I started that today. I thought about shopping other insurance companies but it makes me weak.

Then there is work. I called in and the Christmas crunch is getting rolling. We’re ok through next weekend but after that I may be working 5 or 6 long days each week. That’s 60 or more hours for those of you who haven’t been paying attention. Welcome, real world!

one year

It’s way past the real anniversaries, but I was thinking the other day about how different my table looks now compared to a year ago. Then it was covered with sympathy cards. Now it has Christmas cards.

Most recognize my loss but they are essentially a message of joy rather than sadness. That’s a big improvement. Thank you everyone for the cards and support! I hope you are all reading this! I don’t think I’ll be sending out any kid of newsy Christmas letters for a while. Here is where you get my news.

Speaking of news, I saw Cubby last night at the union meeting. Cubby lost his wife last Easter Sunday morning and went into a tailspin for several months. He couldn’t work but now he’s back and looks good. We had a good long hug. Solidarity.

holidaze 2

Well I went tonight. It was fine. It was a totally different scene: at Eddie’s home instead of a public space, kids all over the place. I asked twice but he told me not to bring anything and there was lots of good food. The vast majority were relatives and neighbors but a few IA people were there so naturally I talked shop with them. I did talk to a few other people tho’.

Later the guitars, ukes and other instruments came out and Christmas carols and other songs were sung. Eddie gave me Diana’s guitar to play along with. I did for a while until my fingers started hurting from the big strings.

Sarah came by so I was able to be with her a little. She found the cookies in the back of the kitchen which I hadn’t noticed and made some nice designs. I had forgotten it was billed as a cookie party.

All in all, I did OK. I told a couple of people about Zach and they said things like, ‘I don’t know how you do it.’ and ‘I can’t imagine . . .’ I’d probably say the same things if I were in their shoes. The horror is so great there really is nothing to say.