Thursday, December 23, 2010

Preparing for Christmas

read Christmas poem by Ferlinghetti here.




If moving from this house has no other benefit, I am assured to lose weight. Living in a home where good food is plentiful, I am the one forced to make the hard decisions. I have to tell them to make my plates light. Portion control is a necessity when aerobic opportunities are limited. Now in the days before Christmas I recall a friend asking me "Are your shirts fitting tighter lately?" Indeed they have. There is something about how these cheap fabrics shrink, and keep shrinking...

Still, it is exciting to watch the house alive with industry. The holiday effort includes the production of hundreds of tamales. Masa purchased in huge bags have been mixed to coat the insides of corn husk, a filling of chicken, cheese and jalapeƱo, then wrapped securely for steaming.

Also, on the stove, fresh jalapeƱos sit on the grill, turned until all sides are black, then tomatoes are roasted similarly. The black skins are discarded, and blended into the finest chili salsa with green onions, cilantro, and fresh garlic.


The kitchen comes alive like this every night under the guidance of my house manager. Paralyzed from the neck down, she guides all the work in her kitchen step-by-step.
Under her guidance many men and women have learned how to cook and manage time in the kitchen. So, in addition to the tamale effort, the kitchen will come alive tomorrow for the Christmas party.

My desire to get well enough to move out again is strong. Every day, I master new skills, and recapture pieces of my previous, independent life. Still, I am not as overly private as before, and my unsocial crust is falling off. I have come top like the people in this home. I guess I can stay a while longer.

Merry Christmas. Thank you for reading.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


From all my past employment, one thing, I never remember is joining a company Christmas party. The one company party I remember involved a circle of crapulous coworkers engaged in cutting loose from the self-imposed rigidity of the work environment. I always believed myself to be much the same person in and out of work. But the workplace Christmas party is a great tradition that happens all throughout the country.

I went to some workplace party years ago, and remember how stifling it seemed, and how uncomfortable I was. Everyone was all dressed up. I worked for a hotel at the time, so I believe the party was held at the Wyndham hotel. In deed, I cannot blame parties for my discomfort attending them. Still, going to the party has all the trappings of the movie From Dusk til Dawn. Do I really want to see this other side of these people I already see from nine to five every day?

Being around ten years ago, I remember going to the party, having found something worth wearing (besides my workj uniform), and looked at this chaotic mass of people, hoping to find someone with whom I could chat. I suppose office parties can be a chance to look inside myself, and ask who here do I really like enough to engage in conversation outside the context of work.

I read the last three paragraphs, and wonder how unsocial I really am. May be this writing is merely one chance to use the word crapulous before losing it in my mental lexicon of words I will never need. Still, company parties are strange.

I was encouraged to dance, so I danced. I watched others dance whom I felt should not have. I remember seeing people with glazed eyes that obviously were not sober enough to have a good time. To this end I have enjoyed seeing pictures of the yearly Christmas party. I never have to k now what my fellow employees are like when drunk. Ironically, the pictures tell me exactly what I am missing.

Perhaps you know about these things as I do. Maybe in your office there is someone hiding in the accounting office. Someone points her out, and say, "that is Yuletide Carol. " Watching the movement, the precision, the complete lack of social interaction, and you ask, "why is she called Yuletide Carol?" and you are told to wait until the party, the Christmas Party in December. Then, you will know...

I ought to get myself clothes appropriate for a good party. I do not have to attend workplace parties though to foster my sense of seasonal joy. In fact, maybe it is through not attending these parties that my sense of Christmas joy seems to get stronger.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Accessible Christmas

My family's homes are not wheelchair accessible. As much as I wanted to encourage them to build a ramp, widen their hallways, and rebuild their bathrooms to accommodate me, they have been resistant. I say this in jest, of course. With litigation pending, I would do well to not discuss this further...

But, something happened. I would have to ponder the odds that something like this would happen to me, and I believe many homes are not able to accept a person in a power chair. Thanksgiving lasdt year was around the time I stopped using a walker. This year, my sister called me to tell me she wanted me to come to her house, and celebrate Christmas! To accomplish this, she purchased movable ramps that will make it possible to go to her house again!

I am feeling festive, and in my house there has been a flurry of activity. Two of the caregivers workeed together t0o create wreaths. The house is filled with decoration, and even I am reaching into my heart to find evidence of my own Christmas spirit! I will report more on this soon.

Thank you for reading.

addendum: here arre the ramps!