Again this year I did not kiss Billy Crystal at midnight, although I'm sad that Nora Ephron left us in 2012. Instead I piled on the quilts, drank cocoa, and stayed up late reading Jess Walter's Beautiful Ruins, way past eight p.m. I drifted away in a happy dream where iridescent hummingbirds towed congressional representatives and senators to happy rainbow compromise with pink satin ribbons. It seemed so real!
Jess Walter's Beautiful Ruins also seems so real and wonderful. I loved being sucked into all the story lines and movie pitches. And when the iridescent hummingbirds bring me a Very Big Check, I will go to Cinque Terre to hike and write my memoirs. I will stay at the Hotel Adequate View for sure.
Had lunch with long-time friends at Corner Bakery. My walking buddy claims this is our annual New Year's tradition. I'm embarrassed to admit if it is our tradition I don't recall. Read back through my blog entries from a year ago, and found no Corner Bakery New Year's.
There's something profoundly anchoring about a tradition so unblogworthy. I rely heavily on that friendship, that comfort of the known, that hesitationless panini combo. The routine is so consistent that the only decision is whether to start walking from her home or mine.
Two years ago my sister and I brought Dad to live out his days in Plano, Texas. One year ago, Dad was entering his final downhill slide. Eight years ago my mother was being transported to Mayo Clinic. I did not know I'd just seen her for the last time.
January is a tough month. I look to the ceiling and see cobwebs that date back to the dawn of the modern era. The hummingbirds fly in with ribbons, not cobwebs.
There was about a year and a half after Mom died when Dad still had most of his wits. He followed my interests in photography and hummingbirds and spiders. He could still connect those interests with our family tradition of exchanging Christmas tree ornaments. He was not yet in the toddler self-centered dementia. He could still plan ahead.
I cherish the cloisonne hummingbird ornaments he ordered from a museum catalog that year knowing how much I would like them. The wonderful spider pin he gave me has a broken clasp, but there's a silken web leading to an alert mind and a man with whom I'd shared every birthday.
Yes, January is a rough month. Good friends are the ribbons and webs that keep me together. And I recommend the poblano fresco sandwich with roast beef.
© 2012 Nancy L. Ruder