It may be better to give than receive, but I’d rather read your newsletters and cards than try to remember the past year in enough detail to write my own.
Memory isn’t always accurate in my case. A friend once accused me of “painting the past in pastels.” I beg to differ. Every writer I know paints the past in different colors but not all of them are pale. I don’t always note in which months these things took place, but I do recall the emotion vividly.
Our little Caedan Ray had swine flu. It began with symptoms of a regular flu but perhaps because it happened sometime in summer, an alert doctor tested for H1N1 and that’s what it was. Immediately Caedan was quarantined with her mommy. Even her dad, Edan, couldn’t be close to her. I wanted to go to L.A. to help, but the doctor wouldn’t allow that either.
One of the most frightening parts was that one day Caedan got quieter and more pale and lay down on the floor. Cathleen rushed her back to the doctor where she was found to be oxygen-depleted and put on respiratory therapy. This disease can affect lungs so quickly and with terrifying results. Better news – Cathleen had a “regular” flu, but no one else close to them got Swine Flu.
Caedan started Kindergarten in September, the youngest in her class. She has just now turned 5. So far so good. She loves school. Loves the work and according to her teacher, loves visiting (too much it seems) with her schoolmates.
I remain in Mill Valley, north of San Francisco, while my family is in southern California, so I spend a good deal of time commuting. It’s worth it for the blessed fog and redwoods near me – and then the warm reception I receive when I show up at the door to my girls’ place.
My biggest thrill so far this year (There are still a few days left and I wouldn’t mind another big thrill. Are you listening, Santa?) was winning the John Steinbeck Short Story Award for my story, “Hank Williams Was A Friend Of Mine” which is from my collection in progress.
I hope each of you has some pastel-colored memory to keep.
© Anita Garner 2009