winter cardinal

I’ve been looking for family Christmas photos. I want the photos from when we were young children but I think they are all on slides, somewhere. If I ever find the slides I can get them digitized. What I could find were photos of when I was a teenager. They are telling photos. No one smiles. Expressions range from bored to angry to close to tears. Those aren’t the memories I want to focus on.

I’m struggling with what I had planned to write about today. Perhaps I will save that for tomorrow and let the sadness be what it is today.

It seems that sadness happens so much around the holidays – or perhaps we just remember it more because of the timing. I wasn’t planning on having a big Christmas but now, all the possible Christmas has been sucked out of me.

I plan to have a quiet day. I will go ahead and prepare my little standing rib roast and Yorkshire puddings. This week, the best I have felt is when I forced myself to get up and cook. I made pulled chicken green chile and green rice on Sunday. I was so tired on Sunday and I just couldn’t stay awake. I almost threw in the towel for the day but forced myself to start cooking. It took me all afternoon and most of the pots I own. Oddly, I felt more energized than I had all weekend.

Monday, I made a big pot of spaghetti sauce. Again, it was forcing myself up and into the kitchen and feeling better after. Perhaps I should focus on cooking for the next little while.

Cooking reminds me of Mom. From early memories of standing on a chair and cooking beside Mom to my last memories of being able to connect with her through cooking while she slid into Alzheimer’s, so many of my memories of Mom revolve around food. Many of my recipes are still based on the foods Mom and I cooked together when I was young, especially spaghetti sauce. Even when she couldn’t cut the vegetables or read the ingredients, she could stir the pot and she loved doing that. My recipe is a little different these days but I always think of Mom when I make it and remember standing on my chair and stirring the pot when I was too young to do anything else. Life is a circle.

I wish you all happy memories this Christmas. The sadness is what it is but don’t lose sight of the happy.


8 thoughts on “memories”

  1. It is, as I’ve posted on the blog and FB, a terrifically hard and stressful time of year for many. And depressing, which some people have difficulty accepting. They would rather cover the holidays with a fake cheery veneer. I would go with your feelings of sadness while doing what you can to get through the days with some happiness, or perhaps contentment. Know that you are always in my thoughts. xoxo


    1. There is almost always some happiness to be found, even in the sad times. At least, so I hope. Thinking of you, also. Enjoy your day with your parents and daughter.


  2. I’m weirdly nostalgic this year, I’m not sure why. Perhaps it was seeing a brand of chocolates on the shelves that I cannot recall seeing since I was a kid and I always bought them for my parents.

    When I was little, my Granny (who died nearly 30 years ago) had this lolly jar, it was gorgeous. Crystal with a silver lid. If I’d had more time, I would have spent some time searching antique stores for something like it.

    Since my Mothers Mom died all those years ago, Mother has refused to participate in Christmas and frankly makes the entire day suck for everyone around her. This year my Uncle is living here and he has a new Chinese wife and she told them “we don’t really do presents” but I always do, I cannot remember a year I did not give them things, though I always get cash in return. So I have no idea why she would say that other than she can’t be bothered doing them and she can’t remember that I always do. I bought them presents but it is likely going to be embarrassing for them as they have probably not bought us anything.

    We leave in about 15 minutes, and I am dreading it with the force of a thousand suns. I know she misses her mother, but why must she torture the rest of us forever and make our Christmases something we would prefer not to endure because of it?

    It will be all I can do to keep my mouth shut and not say those things I just typed for the next few hours.. 😦

    I think I’d much rather pop over to yours. 😉


    1. Why is there always so much drama? If Mom wants to be miserable perhaps she should stay home. I understand grief and everyone’s grief is unique, but you don’t spend 30 years torturing others. At least, in my opinion. I should probably shut up. 🙂

      Gifts are complicated here, too. I used to love buying gifts, finding something that I thought was special for each person. Perhaps I am too old for it. Or I want something out of Christmas that doesn’t exist anymore.

      I hope your evening was not as bad as you expected and you were able to find some happy. Otherwise, come be quiet and eat a little roast with me.


      1. It did turn out ok. 🙂 Not a hint of Christmas in any format for the most part. Mother even managed to totally forget the one Christmas thing I convinced her to buy from Costco, which was Christmas crackers – good ones, too!

        But the food was awesome, I did not eat too much and for dinner made myself a turkey and beetroot toasted sandwich. I’m going to be toasting a lot more beetroot in my future, that was the first time I ever did it and I have to say, much more awesome than tomato in a toasted sandwich.

        There was a big thunderstorm and we sat out the back and played a word game for much of the day.

        My gifts were awesome and I managed to find these ice cube trays that make round ice cubes which my Granny used to have, and Mother thought that was an awesome thing. I also took a big glass jar, and filled it full of their favourite lollies.

        So overall much better than expected. I hope this turns out to be the case for everyone. 🙂


        1. I’m so glad it was better than you expected. I’ve found that anticipation is almost always worse than the actual event.


  3. I’d love to be there too, we’d have so much to talk about, you me and Snoskred. So much of what Snoskred says rings bells with me too. Christmas is usually a tricky time but this year I have handled the run up to it better and feel more positive than usual. It’s all so complicated and really shouldn’t be! Wishing you the happiest Christmas possible under current circumstances. x


    1. I was doing quite well and was feeling so much more Christmas-y than in years past. But I had a more or less quiet Christmas, made a nice dinner and am now wondering what to do with the leftovers. Perhaps next year a nice steak instead. Even a small roast is quite large and it just seems decadent to turn it into a stew.


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