Writer’s Cramp

The appeal of my self-proclaimed quiet New Year’s weekend is starting to wear off. I could use some fun! Hopefully that will happen before Monday comes around again and life goes back to the usual routine.

I went into this weekend with plans to catch up and catch my breath at home after a whirlwind past few weeks. Having Dad’s funeral on December 14th, and then Christmas less than two weeks later made life feel even more crazed than it usually already is during the holiday season. Add to that, frequently checking in on Mom’s well-being, and helping finalize all the little details and paperwork that follow a person’s death, and I needed some down time.

Besides, Jack had to work right through the holiday, so our lack of celebratory plans was less of a choice than a necessity in accommodating his work schedule. And anyway, I asked around and it seems most everyone we know was planning a quiet night at home. We weren’t missing out on anything. We must be reaching that age.

There were a lot of things I planned to accomplish this quiet weekend, including putting Christmas decorations away. I wasn’t really feeling Christmas-y when they were brought out. Mostly, the decorating was done out of a sense of obligation, since it was my turn to host the family Christmas Eve celebration. Maybe next December we’ll be able to decorate with a bit more enthusiasm.

Another weekend goal is yet to bake THE cookies. My fifteen year-old nephew has been asking since Thanksgiving if I would be baking the cookies. It took a bit to figure out he’d decided the sugar cookie cut-outs that I make at Christmas time were the cookies. These are made from Jack’s grandmother’s recipe. They have a lot of butter, and I have to admit, they are good! I add the extra touch of frosting them. Actually, Chesney usually does that part. And hence was born the cookie.

Unfortunately for my nephew, cookie baking fell off the priority list at Christmas time. But I thought I might still make some and surprise him with a batch this weekend. If I manage to accomplish any baking, I’ll skip the Santa and stocking cookie cutters and just use the snowflake one. We’ll call them New Year’s cookies!

The number-one priority though, was thank-you notes. With Christmas happening so soon after Dad’s funeral, the thank you notes for all of the donations and flowers given were still waiting to be written. There was an evening last week when I might have gotten started, and dang it if I didn’t fall asleep in a living room chair that night! (I’ll blame this sinus cold I’m currently fighting.)

I took responsibility for writing about forty notes to all of those connected to me who gave something in honor of Dad’s passing. This included Jack’s and my neighbors, friends, coworkers and my in-laws. The notes we ordered have a pre-printed message in them, but I thought it was appropriate to add a personal note as well. I spent all late-morning and afternoon yesterday writing those, and when I ran out of notes, I took myself over to Mom’s to get some more and finish up my list. Then I started in on the portion of notes that were Mom’s responsibility. There were a lot more. Dad, having been a deacon for twenty-one years, participating in marriage, baptismal and funeral celebrations, touched a lot of lives.

One of Mom’s many afflictions caused by her health conditions is circulatory problems in her digits. Mom’s fingers are often inflamed, infected and usually painful. She managed to write three notes before she had to call it quits. I took the rest. And can I just say that it’s been a long time since I’ve done so much writing the old-fashioned way? The callous has returned to the side of my right middle finger, the one that was always there during my school days. I have a bad habit of squeezing the pen really hard when I write.

I finished up about eleven o’clock last night, and except for a few stragglers which need addresses researched, the job is pretty much done!

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If Christmas gets put away, if cookies get baked, if the spare bedroom gets cleaned … that will be a bonus! At least those thank you notes are done, and just barely inside the timeframe that funeral etiquette says is appropriate.

It feels like life is taking a turn back towards normal again, and I’m grateful.

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17 thoughts on “Writer’s Cramp

    • Thanks, MJ! I needed a few days to get through the necessities. The thank you notes were really bugging me. I knew Mom couldn’t manage them on her own, and I always say when the spirit moves you, you gotta move. The spirit was moving me, and now they’re done and I’m happy. The next couple of days will give me some room to breathe. As for the grieving, it hit me really hard on Wednesday night and I had a big, big cry. I’m sure there will be other times, but for now, I’m feeling pretty good. Thanks for your friendship and support, MJ!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. There has been very, very little written about bowling scores from you. For a while, bowling was a basic staple in your life cupboard!

    Make a few cookies. Put ’em in a bag.
    Take the cookies, and the boy bowling.
    Surprise him, after the first game, with your cookies.

    Surprise US with the bowling scores or even an update on loveable Gina.

    Order a catalog on young trees and shrubs to plant. Read ’til Spring to choose wisely. Begin to choose the best spot to plant too.

    When mom up and died on me, I took my time choosing her memorial tree, flowers, shrub. I went with her beloved lilacs, a fire-y red maple, and Star of Bethlehem….her last Mother’s Day flower from me….that she just stared and stared at from all angles, and smiled.

    The smell of lilacs fills my house with mom every Spring.

    The red fire maple is the last tree to shed leaves ever since I put it off my living room window out there. Our first snow this year was yesterday and red leaves are gone. Wierd winter for us.
    Usually, snow blankets us and then red leaves take their time softly decorating the snow as they fall to the ground. Mom is in every one of the leaves, and that “stick” of a tree in 2008 is too tall to trim the top now. (And it fully blocks out the view of a neighbor).

    The Star of Bethlehem everyone likes.
    But for me, their blossoming brings back the last Mother’s Day with mom…
    and her smile re-blooms in me.

    Think on these things.

    You can even give Gina a fake name, but give us a clue please. Chesney was easy. The rest,…. not so much.

    I remember when God moved into your neighborhood nearly two years ago, and you began to write more and more on your new neighbor. He is not moving. He is staying.

    Our ability to love is because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)

    Finally, writing.
    Whenever I write the word “wierd”, as above, my brain stops and acts like a tongue searching for a pulled tooth.
    I tell me “It’s I-before-E-except-after-C”, but it always looks wierd when it comes after W in wierd.
    It could just be spelled wrong, eh?

    Happy New Year!

    Let 2016 be cramp free, er…
    Writer Cramp Free!

    Blessings Tee

    Keystone

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    • After a while, the bowling stories all start to sound the same, but I’ll try to find one that’s interesting enough to share again. 🙂

      Bowling with the boy sounds like fun to me. At his age, not sure he’d take me up on it. He might rather be on a snowboard at the local ski park … and I’m not skilled or young enough to share in that activity! 😉

      Thanks for the idea of a memorial tree or shrub. I like it. And my yard is due for an overhaul in the spring anyway. Time to add something new anyway.

      And if you’re confused about who’s who around here, the “about” page should help out. (I hope!)

      As for “wierd” or “weird,” I once read that it can go either way, but now can’t find proof of that. Seems that it’s “weird.” And this is why they say English is one of the most challenging languages to learn. We don’t follow our own rules.

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  2. Your year ended with a lot going on, so your wish for a quiet weekend is understandable! Good for you for getting all those thank-yous written. I hope the remainder of the weekend includes lots of fun “Tee time”.

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    • Thanks for your good wishes, Abby! I’m not sure my plans are what anyone would consider real “fun,” but they’ll allow me to reset and recharge, and that’s just what I need. 🙂

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  3. It’s gotta feel good to get the thank you notes out of the way. I feel the same as you – a personal touch is always nice, but boy does it take time.
    Our Christmas tree is still up. I might take it down today. I might not. If it stays up too long, my hubby will take it down. 😉
    Glad to hear a sense of normalcy is returning to your household. It’s nice to be able to appreciate “normal”, isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, those thank you notes were just hanging over our heads! I knew if I didn’t get at least a good portion of them done before going back to work tomorrow, the chore would just drag on.

      I was reluctant to take my tree down. I felt like I didn’t get enough time to enjoy it this year, but for the same reason as the thank you notes, it needed to come down. And I couldn’t count on my hubby to do it if I didn’t! 🙂

      As reluctant as I feel about going back to a five-day work-week, I know it’s necessary. And getting back into routine will be good for all of us. You’re right. “Normal” is something I can really appreciate right now. 🙂

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  4. I’ve noticed that my handwriting is not what it used to be either! When I was growing up, it was very important to practice those loops over and over again, until we got it right. Now it seems like younger adults print and use abbreviations. It makes me wonder if we’re all going to be talking in acronyms pretty soon. LOL!

    It will be nice for you to get back into your “regular” routine. It looks like you’ve checked a lot of things off your list already. Sometimes being busy is the best way to get through rough times. I hope you can find time to relax without being bored. 🙂

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    • I remember practicing my cursive too. I used to pride myself on how neat and perfect it was. Then during high school, I started drifting from the rules and giving my writing its own style. My writing is still neat, but it wouldn’t meet with my grade school teachers’ approval!

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    • I can believe you haven’t handwritten anything for a long time. I might jot down a few notes each day, but actually writing anything significant by hand is rare for me too. If it weren’t for those thank you cards …

      On a positive note, someone who received one of my thank you notes said she was impressed with my handwriting! 🙂

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    • He promises me he won’t be working the next couple of Christmases! I’m looking forward to when he retires. Never thought this crazy, rotating work schedule would become a lifelong thing.

      I’m happy to share the recipe! Ummm… Maybe a blog post will do it the most justice. I promise – soon!

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  5. Yea, these days, writing long hand seems to be a lost art form. I tend to leave the cards and responses to my better half – she has way better handwriting that I do. I was wondering how you were holding up with the holidays and everything else on your plate right now. I sure that you and Jack will be able to find some time to yourselves and I hope that he can get some of the holidays off in the future.

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