The day before yesterday it was 74 degrees and sunny. Yesterday it was grey, blustery rain. Today it is sunny but cold. Fall sides gently into the beginnings of winter. There was just enough wind today to strip many of the leaves off our maple in the front yard. It was one of the last trees to turn and has only been a glorious red, apricot, gold for the past week. The dogwoods and crepe myrtles have long since assumed the stark elegance of grey, winter branchings. Their neighbors, the somber pecans and water oaks, slowly, silently rain leaves.
Today I cleaned a little, read a lot, rested, relaxed and cuddled with my daughter. We had a sleepover last night and today was a day to laze. Right now she is snoring gently in my bed and has been for almost two hours. I am letting her sleep as long as she wants as we are going to pick Dave up at the airport at midnight when he returns from the bachelor party debauchery in Las Vegas.
J had a sleepover last night for her birthday party. The invitees were her best friend Grace, Grace's Mom (and my friend) Stacy and Grace's baby sister Alice. The Moms drank champagne and talked till midnight, and the girls played and then drowsed around us. It has been a birthday of long duration for the J. Pretty cool. She received well wishes and many cool gifts from friends around the country. There were Barbies and boots, books and bangles. But two gifts really stuck out for me: the bag J is holding in the photo at right (described at left) and four music cd's created especially for her by our friends "Aunt" Vanessa and "Uncle" Bryon It was Bryon's bachelor party in Vegas for Dave for the past five days. You might think five days is pretty long for a bachelor party but Dave is the Best Man and had loads of responsibilities (and vodka tonics).
I used to love to make special gifts for people myself but time and tide have reduced me to Amazon.com. Thoughtful gifts, but never touched by my own hands. When J opened the present from Bryon and Vanessa and there were the hand-knit bag with the personally made tag and cd's with personal labels and specially created music lists, I got choked up by the care and attention that had gone into the gifts. I had thrown money at the birthday and fulfilled my gift obligations with Barbies and a Barbie carriage, a dvd and a couple of books. I was amazed and humbled at the effort that good friends with equally busy lives had gone to to give Jessie something special to mark turning five.
I am looking forward to a slower pace next year. Gardening, time with my family, meditation, yoga, long walks with the dogs. I have been very successful professionally this year. I could follow that success up by pushing my limits and working harder. But to what end? Where do I wish to go professionally? I need to ponder that question as this year comes to a close. I do know that I don't want a big business with employees and seven day-a-week obligations. Much of this year passed in an exhausted blur from which I am just now waking. Life is too short.
I close this post with the playlists from J's new cd's. Music to shape a young mind.