Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Six good things during the past week

Candle lighting at the JCA
Holiday parties and a writing award provided an uptick after a sad week.

1. Went to the Jewish Community of Amherst for a Hanukkah party Wednesday with candle-lighting, latkes and pizza, having seen the announcement in the entryway where I'm doing my Literacy Project volunteering now. It's also where I sent my children way back when. It's much nicer now with the addition to their facilities. I didn't think I would know anyone and so was happy to bump into a former colleague who sends her daughters there. We sat together and made plans to return for one of the rabbi's Wednesday lunch and learn sessions. I'm not exactly sure why, but I was a little depressed and felt better after seeing all the lit menorahs, singing songs, eating latkes and talking to my friend and her daughters.

2. The Dog Writers Association of America gave me its Inspirational Feature award for my story in the American Kennel Club's Family Dog Magazine. It was about how Maddie and I each helped the other heal after our separate near-death experiences. It came with a $300 award. $150 for Maddie and the other half for me?

3. After tennis Friday, I went to a fun ladies’ lunch. I have been trying to remember to put everything in my phone and on paper. I put in my phone from 12 to 2, figuring that Nancy wanted time after tennis to get ready. I bought orange juice and went to Starbucks for badly needed coffee, for I had spilled most of it after putting it on top of my icy car roof in the morning. When I checked my email for directions, I saw that it was really at 11, not noon, so I raced over there. Luckily they were still eating, and there was plenty left. I guess being off by an hour is not as bad as missing my college reunion, for which I was off by a week. (Question: Did I subliminally not want to go? Who knows…)

4. Book club holiday party Friday night. None of us finished A Gentleman in Moscow. We liked the writing and many of the author’s observations about life, but we said we kept waiting for something happen. Avid reader friends who finished it said it was worth it. So we’re going to finish up for next time while also reading A Visit from the Goon Squad. The food was delish, the company delightful. We had a Yankee Swap. Love my book group friends but not so much Yankee Swaps.  (#FirstWorldProblem) Stayed up too late.

5. Saturday, dragged myself to yoga. I don’t drink very much, and after two glasses of wine I felt a little hung over. Saturday night, fun Christmas party at Marianne and Karen’s. So much good food an such a friendly crowd.

Menorah in Riverdale
6. Sunday, packed up for trip to family Hanukkah party in the Bronx. Headed out a little bleary-eyed but stopped on the way at Ben’s for visit with Ben, Joe and Callen. (Nell was away on a girls’ weekend.) In a short time, Callen had turned into a little person! Amazing how that happens.

On my way out, I found a florist where I got pretty flowers to take to my cousin’s. It was good to be with family and extended family. We had more latkes and delectable New York deli sandwiches. I always go for the corned beef. REAL corned beef. This is the second year after Jennifer's suicide. Last year, the first year without her, was the most difficult. I spent some time talking to her twin brother on Sunday. He says that without Buddhism, he doesn’t know how he could have survived. I told him that at the JCA, I met some people who called themselves JewBus. I looked up the definition and found this interesting story.

Stayed over at Residence Inn in Yonkers. On the way back, I was so tired I had to stop twice. Often that's the way it is when you're on the go. The expectation on the way there keeps you alert. On the way back, Starbucks (good) at stop 1 in Woodbridge, Conn., and Subway (kinda yucky) at stop 2 kept me awake.

Didn't get any exercise except for getting in and out of the car. Got back pretty late and thought of a brief run but it was dark. And I thought of Zoe getting hit in the dark. So I went swimming. It's my least favorite activity. Though some who have cut back on running say they get the same high from swimming, I don't feel it, probably because I don't go far enough. For some reason, the last two times I have stopped at 24 laps, the last two doing water jogging. It is boring, not at all like running outdoors when you can soak up the scenery with your eyes rather than getting water-logged in a pool.

A few times in the past I did get some endorphins from doing laps, but last night I was distracted by leaky goggles that I had to keep fixing. I might invest in a pair of prescription goggles. Despite the drawbacks, it did get the schpilkes out. 

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