Tis the Season

Christmas 2013

Christmas 2013

Well, it certainly doesn’t FEEL like Christmas.  We’re in the middle of a heat wave these days…for December, anyway.  I head for yoga with four layers and peel them off one by one almost as soon as we begin.  (I stop before I get to my underwear!)  I was thinking today that I hope the weather continues so that everyone who comes to Florida for Christmas has a beach holiday.  Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

The picture above is from two years ago when I was finished with my first three rounds of chemo. I was bald and pretty weak but we had such a good Christmas with the Littles.  And the Santa hat was a perfect coverup.  And the prayer shawl that Kate Sullivan made went everywhere with me.  It was like my “blankie.”

It seems that all I’ve done in the past couple weeks is go to the movies.  There are so many really good ones this month.  Jerry and I saw Bridge of Spies (the Gary Powers exchange) and Spotlight (the Cardinal Law/Boston Globe/pedophile priest mess) and loved both of them.  They blew us away.  And I saw Trumbo (Blacklisted screenwriters in Hollywood) and Brooklyn (Irish girl comes to America) and they were both really good too. And there are a group of us going to Room on Wednesday.  Good thing the local theater is so inexpensive!  If I could only go to one or two of these, I guess I’d pick Bridge of Spies and Spotlight but honestly, they’re all good.

I went to a funeral this week.  A good friend’s mom died of ovarian cancer.  Beth’s mom was 70…not so old…and active and fine until she wasn’t fine.  She was diagnosed in the summer and never caught a break after that.  She never got any better and suffered terribly.  And when Mary Anne and I went to Sarasota to the wake, we kept saying, “Aren’t we lucky?  Aren’t we lucky to be alive?”

And I’m also glad I went to Anderson in Houston.  And Mary Anne is glad she went to Sloan Kettering in New York.  It may not have made any difference to Beth’s mom if she had gone some place else, it may have been too far along…but I’m so very glad I did.  And so very lucky I had a place to stay…it made the decision to leave Venice so much easier.  And I was lucky to have Jerry…I met a woman at Anderson who did it on her own.  She found inexpensive housing near Anderson on their shuttle route and went through treatment completely on her own.  I can’t even imagine it.

Once a year, I take a trip to Boca Grande, an island south of here, to (so me!) renew my Lee County Library card so I can download books from their library to my Kindle (they have a great collection)  Every December, my friend, Nancy and I make a day of it…out to lunch, wander around the island, stop at the library to renew the cards.  Another friend, Linda, joined us this year.  We went to the library, had lunch at a restaurant on the beach, walked the beach and toured the lighthouse at the end of the island, drove by my favorite inn in all of Florida (Gasparilla Inn) and finally headed back home.  Perfect, perfect day…and not too hot.

Yes, life is good in spite of some minor bumps in the road.  I’m running into trouble with “dumping” (too gross to describe…look it up if you’re curious)  At any rate, I really need to be careful what I eat, how much I eat and how fast I eat.  If I’m not, often, there are no problems but lately…Well, I missed a terrific play in Sarasota yesterday because of it and nearly missed a wake earlier in the week.  Keeps me humble, that’s for sure.  Mindful eating…that’s what I need…which just means paying attention.

Busy week ahead.  I baked cookies for a book club/cookie swap on Monday.  I’m not a baker and I’m not particularly good at it but every year I give it my best shot.  My goal is to make them come out  looking decent and tasting good (not raw or burnt)  It would be so much easier for me to just make everyone a cheeseball.  You can’t go wrong on cheeseballs!

We’re heading for Texas on Friday.  We haven’t seen the kids since September.  That’s a LONG time.  And we haven’t seen Sean and Carly since July.  That’s an even LONGER time.  Why can’t we all live within an hour of each other???

The quote below made me laugh…and made me think.




7 thoughts on “Tis the Season

  1. Have a blessed Christmas with your family…..they get more special every year, don’t they? Continue to feel well my friend… and travel safely. xo Merry Christmas!

  2. It was so nice to visit with you ! Enjoy Christmas with your family. Love you 😘

  3. Turns out that a close teacher/friend of 15 years, is Robbie’s (of “Spotlight” fame) sister!!! She invited a dozen of us to join her seeing it for the second time. I happened to get to sit next to her. Such fun, as she kept commenting on the authenticity of her brother character by Michael Keaton. Even the car he parked in front of the Globe was the same model as his. Leslie said they worked for months on getting all those small details correct. She had been to the opening in Boston and was on the Red Carpet with all the stars. If you see it again, Robbie, Sasha and Mike are in a cameo when they are seated at Fenway Park. They are sitting just to the back and left on the scene. Robbie is wearing a dark baseball hat. The whole process has been years in the making, but Robbie really enjoyed it.

    Robbie got a Pulitzer for his work, and left the Globe to become a full professor at Northeastern, teaching Investigative Journalism. He had been doing similar work before and had traveled the world. He is now back at the Glob part-time as a Mentor in the Spotlight department. Quite a guy. Quite a story. Excellent movie in many ways. Liked it even better when I saw it this weekend with John and friends.

    Merry Christmas, our Mary!!!!

  4. May you and the family enjoy a blessed Christmas and a healthy, happy new year!

  5. Love your quote!! Have a very Merry, and am so glad you will be spending time with your grandchildren!

  6. Wendie Highsmith

    Mary-Always a pleasure and affirming to read your posts. I am 20 years out from cancer. Can’™t quite believe it, but thankful every day I am here. And so aware of those who didnâ’™t have the chance to live as long as I have.

    Your descriptions of Boca Grande(what a grand place) and photos of the sand sculptures are wonderful and nostalgic.. We went a few years ago and were blown away by the artistry and the wind.

    It will be just us for Christmas but January 7, we all meet in Costa Rica for 2 weeks. 8 of us—6 adults and 2 kids (good child to adult ratio a friend remarked).

    It’™s less than a month away. Can€’t wait.

    Blessings and good cheer to you and your family. Travel safely, friends!

    Love, Wendie

  7. As always, I love reading your posts. I just had another NEC report from my yearly scan and realize how blessed I am every day…not only to be healthy but to also have our friendship.

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