Jan 8, 2014 4:48pm
The lead-up to Christmas 2013 was the typical, busy mix of holiday shopping and last-minute planning, and is one reason why I have not posted here in so long. Seasonal busy-ness and my general slowness these days, means that I have not had the time to write for quite a while.
Normally, I am lax with Christmas cards, not having mailed any since the early 2000s, but this I year made the effort as I had so many people to thank for their support and kindness, and a card was the least I could do. 120 hand written cards merely scratched the surface of people I wanted to thank, but it was a start, and it turns out that writing and addressing 120 cards with your left hand is not only time-consuming but is pretty good hand therapy too.
It is not hard to think of creative ways to keep my slow-hand occupied, and one idea of Julia’s was “Baking Therapy”. We had committed to baking an enormous batch of CAKE BALLS to take to friends and colleagues who had been so helpful to us during the past year, so production of these tasty treats took a few weekends toward the middle of December, and when they were finally ready, we took an afternoon off to deliver them in person and wish everyone a Happy Christmas/Holiday Season in person.
When Christmas Day finally came, our Christmas Day meal was Dim Sum, spent with our pals Bosco and Steve, followed by viewing the latest Hobbit movie (which has becoming something of a tradition lately).
December 26 was of course a big day; the one year anniversary of my Boxing Day stroke. (Boxing, as in thoroughly beaten up). This year was, thankfully, so much better than LAST year, when I could not even think straight and my right side was thoroughly dead to me. Julia and I had decided well ahead of time to spend a quiet day at home, together. It was comforting this time around to be in the company of someone I love, rather than alone, paralysed on the floor.
I was led to think back on another Boxing Day long ago; the first time I ever saw the film Star Wars in 1977. And so, 36 years to the day later, I began writing about that experience, in what became a very long reflection on the life of a nerd. You can read about that on my BLOG.
The Day AFTER Boxing Day was a very pleasant crab dinner with friends, including some who had been by my bedside a year earlier; during the dark times. Once again, it was an amazing contrast to the same day a year ago, and it gave me great joy to be surrounded by my friends, laughing and enjoying each other’s company.
A few days later, Julia and I went away for her birthday (December 31) to a great hotel in Napa, about an hour North from San Francisco. After our year of being neck-deep in medical stuff, the idea of 2 or 3 days holiday seemed wonderful to us both..
..only for each of us to be brought low by flu, and a particularly miserable one at that. Julia’s symptoms arrived first, just a few hours after we checked in. She was a few hours ahead of me on the misery-curve, with my symptoms of day two being hers of day one, so judging from her feverish condition on the second day, I knew that a storm was coming my way, and came it did; HARD. The original plan was for us both to get out into the Napa sunshine and paint and draw, but we were trapped in our room the entire stay.
So, try as we might, we were still held hostage by medicine. Sigh.
Thankfully, we are both close to 100% now, and life is getting back to normal. I will have a much longer post soon, within the next few weeks, but I just wanted to take this opportunity to quickly wish all of you a Happy New Year for 2014!