Friday, January 29, 2016

January Plainness

As January comes to a close, I feel rested from the relief that comes after the rich glitter and color—sometimes the excess--of the holidays. I like the plainness of this month as my spirit needs it. Maybe now I will be ready for Valentine’s bright red. We have had one snow day, but the television stories of the weather out East made ours seem inconsequential. Right now our weather is sunny and warm!

As we have made plans for the year ahead, we have also been forced to look back because of the deaths during this cold time of the year. We’ve attended one funeral for a friend; and one day this week, I took three sympathy notes down to the mailbox at the end of our lane. Since a dental appointment the next day would prevent Gerald from attending the funeral, we drove over to Murphysboro Tuesday night to attend the funeral visitation for the son of one of Gerald’s cousins.

We went at 5 when the visitation started hoping to avoid later crowds, but we had to park a block away, and the line was already to the door. Since we no longer have the annual family reunion that the older generation started and which continued for many decades, it was good to visit with Gerald’s cousins’ children and spouses. We are the older generation now. Only one cousin-in-law and the two of us represented our age group that night, although I imagine more older ones were able to come the next day. It was good to reconnect with family despite the sad circumstances. Since the waiting line was still as long as when we arrived, we were glad we came when we did. We stopped on the way home to use one of our Christmas gift cards for a bite of supper.

Yesterday we had planned to go to Paducah, so we went early in order to use another gift card for dinner there at The Olive Garden. That is one of the few restaurants we don’t have in Marion, I love the way their salads are served, so I like going there. After we did a couple of errands, we had leisure time to drive to the old part of town and enjoy the many old buildings there and then to drive along the Ohio River waterfront for a bit before returning to Illinois.

This morning I had a check-up with my doctor—all is well. For the third time this week, I go to cardiac rehab this afternoon, so much of our time this winter is filled with medical and therapy appointments—a common complaint of our age group. But I have spread out papers and resolved to finish writing up what I have learned about “Cedar Billy” Martin, my third great grandfather. I almost had a long essay on him revised a year and a half ago when another project interfered. I have not had the will to go back and finish, but I hope by the time spring arrives, I will have completed this essay on a man I only found out about in late 1998.

No comments: