Time to play catch-up by word synopsis and picture recap. I have a whole lot of images to share, starting with a little trip to NYC from over the summer. We had a great day, laughing and walking and dodging rain drops, meeting Dad for lunch and spending the day with Mom. It was a happy highlight from our summer merging into fall.
Life has been busy, and this blog hasn’t been updated as much as I’d like. So, here’s what has been going on lately:
We had a great summer, and are experiencing a nice fall thus far, too. I find I love being a nurse, and am thankful for a job. I work nights, and (try to) sleep days. It’s not easy, the night-shift thing, but for now, it (mostly) works. As Nora would say, “Pretty much.” The kids are good, they love their teachers, and keep us laughing much of the time. Connor’s quiet and cheerful and loves taking care of the dog and avoiding homework. Joel’s enjoying the transition to middle school, and doesn’t usually mind being a ‘walker’ now. Nora’s chattier than ever, and comes home full of information about her day. Paul’s working and smiling and cooking a lot, which, in turn, makes the rest of us smile. He spends much more time in the kitchen during these colder, slower days. It’s a happy sound to hear the kids praise him and ask him to make certain dishes. “Hey, Dad, you makin’ Spezzatino tonight? Puh-leeeeeez?? No? Can you make Chicken Piccata, then?” He’s good at it, and it makes him break out in that sheepish grin every time the kids gush over his culinary arts. If you know him, you know the grin I mean. I love it.
By standard, I dislike fall because it brings winter, the bane of our New England existence. However, I find myself smiling at the approach of the coziness, the knitting by the wood stove in the evening, and even baking homemade bread now and then. There’s a dormant hermit in me somewhere, I think, with the longing for home and hearth and the beauty of shortened, treasured days. The Christmas carols are already playing, and that is unusual in this house. By history, I seem to put it off as long as I can. But this year I long for the sound of Frank Sinatra singing ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem.’ It always reminds me of Christmases spent at my Grandma and Grandpa Ryan’s house, and makes me wonder if I really like Sinatra’s voice, or the feeling that it brings when I hear him sing that song. I think a bit of both. Those happy reminders of childhood and warmth, and the joy of being 7 years old.
Our extended families are good, growing and recently added or will be adding little baby girls to the mix on both sides. My sister and her little family are home from Illinois for Thanksgiving and it feels right, like things are just how they belong, when all 5 of the Ryan girls are in one room. It feels like home. It makes me long for our children to look back on these days of being young and remember it with the fondness their parents do, that they can feel the bittersweet mix of nostalgia and hope found in family memories and anecdotal history told around a gathered table.
I hope they remember, and realize they have it so good, that they are a fortunate people to live the life they do.
Life is good, and I want to remember.
From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.
“Keep your eyes open to your mercies. The man who forgets to be thankful has fallen asleep in life.”
-Robert Louis Stevenson